When it comes to loss and grief, your parents may have told you something they believed to be true, but wasn’t. You may have had a single experience that led you to draw a false conclusion. Contemplate what you believe about life and yourself that might not be true. False beliefs can greatly limit your options. It could change everything if you actually knew the truth! You might think that you’re not good at sports or public speaking. You might believe that you’re not talented or that nothing you do is good enough. It’s time to show yourself that many of your beliefs are inaccurate. One of the best ways to find and eliminate false beliefs is through experimentation.
Follow this process:
1. Make a list of your limiting beliefs for which you don’t have significant proof. Significant proof is repeated personal experience. One experience doesn’t prove a thing. Even two experiences can just be a coincidence. Get some real proof.
2. Start with a limiting belief that you can test easily. Maybe you believe that you can’t make friends. This might be based on the experience of not having friends in your younger days.
3. Learn what you need to know. Do you know how to make friends? It wasn’t covered in school. You might need to purchase a book and educate yourself. Maybe your social skills are a little rusty. Perhaps you need to work on minimizing your social anxiety.
What do you need to learn or do to put yourself in the position to test your false belief fairly?
4. Practice. If you believed that you couldn’t learn to play the violin, you wouldn’t prove it to yourself by picking up a violin for the first time and giving it a whirl. It takes practice to test your belief.
Likewise, you can’t prove to yourself that you can’t make friends by just walking up to a single person and saying, “Do you want to be my friend?”
5. Practice your social skills. Get out of the house and practice interacting with others. Learn how to maintain a conversation. Learn how to be more charismatic. Learn and then practice. Then practice some more.
Engage in your interests with others. Join a yoga class or a weekly poker game.
6. Test yourself. Make the test fair.
Give yourself 30 days to make at least one friend. You don’t have to make 20 friends. The whole premise was that you can’t make any friends. One friend would prove that belief to be false. If you can make one friend, you can make two. If you can make two, you can eventually make 50.
7. Keep your expectations realistic. You’re probably not trying to prove to yourself that you’re the best in the world at something, merely that you’re competent.
For example, most people only have a few close friends. It’s not reasonable to expect that you’re going to find 10 in the next 30 days.
8. Adjust your beliefs. With the proper preparation, you’ll find that 99% of your limiting beliefs are false. Once you’ve proved yourself wrong, be willing to adjust your beliefs accordingly.
Now go tackle another one. Challenge your limiting beliefs one by one and decide whether or not they’re true. Use your own personal experience. Test your assumptions whenever you have the chance. You’re likely to discover a whole new world of skills and experiences that you enjoy.