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A belief is a statement about reality that you think is "the tru th " And this belief molds your behavior, your emotions, and your attitudes. Each of your beliefs serves as a box that limits and determines the beha vior that is possible for you.
Not only do your beliefs determine your behavior, they also determine how you ex perience things emotionally. For example, if you believe Dogs are friendly, the appearance of a boisterous, excited dog that jumps at you will produce delight a nd joy. But if you believe Dogs are dangerous, the same action by that same dog will produce fear. Change the belief, and your emotional reaction to the same st imulus automatically changes. This occurred with one of my clients. Larry had a phobic fear of crowds that led him to tremble, break out in a sweat, and hyperve ntilate whenever he was in the midst of one. "I don't know why I respond this wa y to crowds," he told me. "It's not rational." As I worked with Larry, he discovered that his emotional reaction was based on t he belief In a large group of people I don't know, something bad will happen. W hen the belief was eliminated, Larry's fear went away and the accompanying physi ological symptoms disappeared as well.. Many people have difficulty with the idea that emotional reactions are based on beliefs. They think of emotions as uncontrollable impulses, resulting from physi ological and chemical changes that are separate from the mind. Feelings "just ha ppen." But this is not correct. Emotional reactions, or feelings, usually are ve ry much dependent on beliefs.
You Perceive What You Believe Not only do your beliefs determine your behavior, your feelings, and your attitu des, they literally determine what you are able to perceive. Everybody senses th e same thing, but perceiving it is different. An oversimplified description of h ow you see is that light strikes an object and is reflected in your eyes. Electr ical impulses travel from the retina to the visual cortex, where the shape and c olor of the object are registered. But before you can actually see an object, el ectrical impulses have to travel from your visual cortex to your frontal lobe, w here the sensation of sight is integrated into a perception of a specific, recog nizable form. In other words, sensations are the raw data provided by the senses ; perceptions are the result of what the brain does with the raw data. And that is largely a function of your beliefs. So it might be appropriate to reverse the old saying "I'll believe it when I see it" to the more accurate statement "I'll see it when I believe it." Let's use a simple example. When you see white moisture on the ground in winter, you say, "That's snow." If, however, you asked an Eskimo man what he saw, he wo uld point to as many as ten different places in the snow and use a different wor d to refer to each place. The Eskimo might ask you as he pointed, "Do you see th e kanewluk or the muruaneq? And, over there, the natquik and the nutaryuk?'1 And you'd say, "No, I don't see any of that. I only see snow." Are there really ten different "things" out there? There are for the person who has distinguished them, but not for the person who hasn't. It might not be hard to learn to distinguish ten different types of snow, but until you did, you woul d sense what the Eskimo senses, but you would not perceive what the Eskimo perce ives. Once you "see" something or, more accurately, distinguish it it really does exist fo r you, and you can no longer "not see" it. Consider the Popular optical-illusion books that are filled with images you can only see afte r you soften your focus and look at the image without deciding what you expect t o see. Once it comes into focus and you "see" the picture, you can't stop seeing
Why? Because he believes it weighs one thousand pounds a nd thus perceives it that way. just for a moment. Begin with these five principles: 1. and consider a different way of viewing life. When you eliminate the beliefs that are limiting you. The basic structures of the material world are determined. The good news is: The beliefs can be elimi nated. You have the potential of discovering workable solutions that lit erally didn't exist before. he was able to complete projects s uccessfully without cutting corners. you create your reality. or any other object to exist? One way to a nswer is to imagine a specific thing say. 1. and reality specifically. What would happen to it? You wouldn't see the hand anymore. 2. There is no inherent meaning (or "the truth") in the world. a chair. 5. by the wa y we look at this world. I ask you to set aside every preconceived idea you hold. This is a very basic c oncept about reality: In order for anything to exist. "Do things exist?" the response would probably be. you create new possibiliti es for action. ultimately. When you create a belief.. It would disappear because ther e would be nothing in the universe that was not the hand. When all the beliefs were gone. Randy be gan to eliminate the beliefs that were stopping him from finishing projects with out cheating. When you eliminate a belief. "Of cou rse things exist! The world is full of things. how our consciousness creates reality by making distinctions. creation. you can change it by eliminating the beliefs .it. The Turning Point the principles of the Decision Maker Technology are based on a theory about the nature of consciousness. The subject struggles mightily. there must also be not tha t thing. you change your reality and create new possibili ties. Existence is a function of consciousness. Language is the primary tool we use to make distinctions. "Can you see that your behavior is absolutely consistent with tha t belief?" He realized that it was virtually impossible to change his behavior w ithout first eliminating the belief. The bad news is: You will find that the negative beliefs you have created in you r life literally create your reality. Existence Is a Function of Consciousness. the observed Patterns of matter are reflections of patterns of mind.. 3. After you have eliminated a belief that has run your life and discovered that you created it. Using the DM Process as you will find it described in Part Two. you become the creator of your life. 4. . Th is is an altered state of consciousness in which it is possible for a hypnotist to make suggestions to a subject that the subject then believes while under hypn osis. yet fai ls to pick up the bill. You're no longer limited by the box you were previou sly in.. a hand." Doesn't everyone know that there is physical stuf out there that reality is tangible and real? But what allows anything a hand. I asked Randy. What if the hand expands and kee ps expanding until there is nothing in the universe except the hand. One common trick is for a hypnotist to drop a $100 bill on the floor and t ell a hypnotized man from the audience that it is his to keep if he can pick it up and that it weighs one thousand pounds. Fritjof Capra. When you see that you create your life with your beliefs. If you asked someone. Another example of how beliefs determine perception can be found in hypnosis.
a noted anthropologist has said: Human beings do not live in the objective world alone. you do n't even sense what's "out there. Can you see that there is nothing? That's because in o rder for anything to exist. and individual beliefs ). beautiful and ugly these only exist and have unique attributes because they have been distinguished from each other. For example. In other words." I would suggest that what physical rea lity really requires is consciousness to make distinctions. couldn't exist. if it wasn't sur rounded by "not that object" it couldn't be distinguished from everything else. When there is no armed conflict there is peace. nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood. That means they literally wouldn't exist. The fact of the matter is that their "real world" is to a large extent unconscio usly built up in the language habits of the group. the state of war is distinguished from peace by the presence of armed conflict. without which they cou ldn't be distinguished. (Nothings as we've seen. we use our sensory apparatus (the five senses) as well a s our perceptual framework (language. If no distinction is made between a specific thing and everything else. Physicist Fred Allen Wolf once said that "the world is only a potential and not present without you or me to observe it..2 As Edward Sapir. w hich are largely a function of our culture and our immediate environment. as a condition distinct from peace. Our mo st important tool in making distinctions and creating our reality is language." Rather they are "concepts that the brain has learned" (or distingui shed) as a result of having a specific sensory apparatus. In fact. It isn't any way until yo u perceive it that way that is.) In other words. moving and stationary or vertical and horizontal are not events "out there. paradigms.3. strong and weak. But the world isn't really the way you perceive it. Language Is the Primary Tool We Use to Make Distinctions What we perceive is also determined to a large extent by our personal beliefs. The same principle applies to nonmaterial concepts. you wouldn' t be able to distinguish war from any other state. But if armed conflict existed throughout the world all the time. peace and war . We see and hear and othe rwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our commun ity predispose certain choices of interpretation. In making distinctions. it must be distinguished from everything else. and if the alternative (peace) was unimaginable. culture. 2. War.4 . however. there is only an undifferentiated everything which is another way of saying nothing. Can you see that any physical object is bounded by " not that object"? If an object did not have any borders that is. . without any distinctions. . It's all just a n undifferentiated whole. Love and hate." because there's nothing out there to be sense d. but are very much at the mercy of a p articular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. is the potential for everything to be disti nguished. until you distinguish it that way. Now imagine everything in the universe without any distinctions.Consider this for a moment. Everything. it wouldn't exist. is the same as nothing.
We don't perceive "things out there" because there really are things out t here. good or bad. You have only seen a chair whi ch you interpreted as being comfortable. thinkers and things." or "it houses. there is no meaning in the world. nothing? In our very forms of thought we instinctively divide the world int o subjects and objects. distingu ish. Ultimately. How can we possibly think of nothings." or "Life is .. has only one principle word-category. the Nootka perceive of as a longlived temporal event.. There are only interpretations. Other people might interpret the chair as being uncomfortable. usually stem from your experiences as a child. If I ask you. Even something which we see clearl y as a physical object. We therefore think in terms of things. rather than processes or relationships. except t hat they take no subjects or objects as English verbs do. You mig ht think they are "facts" that existed in the world before you "discovered" them .". That's not true in every language.. then. With language we categorize. like a house. for example. perc eive the world as a stream of transient events. you have never seen anywhere in the world that "I am [any¬ thing]. but nature exposed to our method o f questioning. You have never seen anything beautiful or ugly. And how do we question? All of our methods of interrogating natur e depend on language and it is the very nature of language to refer to things.. which acts upon an object.Language is far more than a tool for communication. su ch as I'm not worthwhile. we perceive the world according to our language. But have you really? No. The word "language" comes fr om logos. including the negative ones that you might hold about yourself. . houses. which means category or concept. because in our language there is a subject. That just happens to be our worldview."5 In a discussion of this point. which are a form of distinction.. They project very different pictures of the basic nature of reality as a result. it denotes happen ings or events. and you see objects acting on other objects ( such as acts of nature). As Ralph Strauch points out in his book The Reality Illusion: Some languages are structured around quite different basic wordCategories and relationships. Your beliefs. "Comfort" is not inherent in chairs. and create the universe. trees." or " People are . rather than as the collection of more or less permanent objects which we see. with its emphasis on noun forms. except that such a form doesn't sound right in English.6 3. we perceive a world made up pr imarily of objects: people. "Have you ever seen a comfortable chair?" you mi ght reply that you have. Yo u see people behaving and talking. This division seem s so natural that it has been presumed a basic maxim of objective science. There Is No Inherent Meaning ("The Truth") in the World If nothing exists without distinctions. which exists independently of the subject. The Nootka. I n the English language. These objects do things or have thing s done to them using verbs. For example. when we think in English. Larry Dossey quotes Nobel Prize winning physicist Werner Heisenberg as saying. A verbal form like "evening" might better describe this word-cat egory. We might think of Nootka as composed entirely of verbs. We literally see everything in the world in this fas hion. mind and matter. nothi ngs. but you have never seen the meaning of any of these beh aviors or events. For example. what we are observing is not nature itself. The literal English translation of the Nootka concept migh t be something like "housing occurs. independent entities (subjects and objects) are primary. The language of the Nootka Indians in the Pacific Northwest.
Cerf and Navasky tell of how in the 1850s. for any given person. It became "the truth" for you. that you only saw events that had no inherent meaning.. Ignaz Semmelweis. others don't. asked one philosopher."I calls 'em like they is. Thus.. is a distinction we create that e xists only in our mind. it must be. Creation is the act of making distinctions. We are not creating anything. as we look at these trivial points. When You Create a Belief You Create Your Reality When you realize that you never saw your beliefs in the world. such as My parents' marriage doesn't work. but it wasn't really. Belie fs are interpretations based on your observation of events. We take them as we find them 'out there. it becomes clear that you create your beli efs and." other t han what we touch." but you have never actually seen "men" or "women". "There ain't nothin' there until I cal ls 'em. smell. There is an old story attributed to author Karl Weick about three baseball umpir es discussing their job. can be described as that which that person's consciousness has al ready distinguished 4.' male and female. The first one says. you would eventually walk down the street and think you are seeing "shorties" and "tallies" as clear ly as you now see men and women. It becomes clear. only in your mind. they are only abstractions you have distinguished. "we do not create clas ses. juicy. vegetabl e. Some relationships work. In The Experts Speak by Christopher Cerf and Victor Nav asky. Here is a vivid example. Marriage do esn't work. they are interpretations of what you see and h ear. . That belief was formed in your child's mind as an interpretation of what you heard and saw. if as a child you watched your parents fighting a lot instead of expressing signs of love and affection. animal. The following is just one of the beliefs t hat was generally accepted as "the truth" and that determined the believer's beh avior at the time. has no one made a class of red. Reality. "Surely. It really does exist for you.. hundreds of experts are cited who were limited in their ability to see any thing outside their existing beliefs. or taste. your reality. You describe these human beings as "men" or "women. You only saw one couple arguing. The re were other ways to interpret what you observed.7 So nothing is until you make it so. it is difficult to imagine that thing not existing. But your beliefs are not facts. "I calls 'em like I sees em. ." Once you make a distinction and bring something into reality. edible things and included meat and cherries in it? Or a cl ass of tall. In Alternate Realities." Why then. see. dark-haired men and women with no earlobes? . you walk down the stree t and think you actually see "men" and "women" when you actually only perceive individual human beings. For example. everything we say is "out there." we say.. But once you do. a Hungarian doctor and professor of obstetrics. you might have concluded. Or. We are observing things and le arning their relation¬ ships. You didn't see your belief in the world. ultimately. that. Your interpretations don't exist in the world. we help create a nd maintain the reality we perceive and react to. For example." The second one says. and mineral. Lawrence LeShan gives a simple example: Consider how we make classes of things." And the third one says. but others might. hear.. You can no long er not see men and women. If you were to arbitrarily distinguis h people into those taller and those shorter than six feet.
you have created a reality in which your belief is "the truth. Imagine God saying. gets in it. Obviously God could make the land disappear and contin ue sailing. You cre ate reality (truth) by making arbitrary distinctions out of nothing. The death rate plummeted from 22 out of 200 to two out of 200. You have cons tant evidence that the belief is true." (Dr.) Semmelweis' superiors shared Dubois' opinion. and therefore it was not the truth for them." and there was earth with land and water. When You Eliminate a Belief. It also serves as the d efinition of what has been brought into existence. You have a hard time even imagining possi ble behavior that is not consistent with your belief. which m eans beings who create "reality. Whatever yo u distinguish becomes real (true) by the very fact of your having made the disti nction. which God created. however. You Change Your Reality and Create New Possibili ties Because things only exist as a result of distinctions you make. T hen God said. in a memo to the French Academy. Charles Dubois. when the Hungarian physician insis ted on defending his theories. but its scrupulous application has presented such difficulties that it would be necessary.1858. The only thing that is "true" is that which you make true by definition. But as long as there is land. The distinction brings something into existence. We are. in Paris for instance. Semmelweis's theory did n ot it with their beliefs about hospital care." Once you have created a belief. "I think I'd like to visit earth and go sailing all around the pla net. to obtain results that remain entirely problematical. when you dissolv . conscious beings who distinguish. to place in quarantine the personnel of a hosp ital the great part of a year. I like to use this story as an illustration. with land and water. even if it is dysfunctional and you try to change it. Parisian obstetrician. Afte r a while. prompting the following reaction from one of Europe's most respected medical practitioners: "It may be that it [Semmelweis's procedure] does contain a few good principles. "Let Principles of the DM Technology there be earth. from a different set of beliefs. But Dubois and his colleagues were operating out of a different worldview. It is difficult to elimina te or change the belief because you feel as though you actually perceive it exis ting in the world.8 In modern times.ordered his interns at the Viennese Lying-in Hospital to wash their hands after performing autopsies and before examining new mothers. creates a boat. and that. So your behavior continues to be consistent with your belief." So God goes to earth. they forced him to resign his post on the faculty . by our very nature. 5. even God could not sail unimpeded around the world. on September 23. and starts sailing. even God would not be able to continue sailing because the b oat would bump into land. The world is but only because w e said so." And your life becomes consistent with that belief. moreover. we may view this example as ridiculous. Doesn't everyone know t hat proper hygiene is a lifesaving factor in hospitals? We tend to view this as an objective reality a fact.
The new figure no longer its the definition of a triangle. chronic welfare dependenc y. and educational failure. child abuse. teen pregnancy. Let's distinguish a two-dimensional figure with three straight sides from every other possible figure and call it a triangle. It doesn't exis t. In the DM Process. substance abuse. But once w e see that our beliefs are merely interpretations or distinctions we made and not "the truth" at all we are open to other alternatives. and we strongly resist strategies or ideas that are inconsistent with them. Many medical experts. Now new possibilities appear that weren't there before. and parenting authorities agree that posses sing self-esteem is the key to living as empowered adults. Most therapies assume that there is an objective world "out there" that the indi vidual is having trouble dealing with. You now have a f igure we have denied as a rectangle. and how you perceive the world. Therefore. health care. This principle explains what makes a belief disappear during the DM Process. assumes that there is no "reality" independent from your beliefs. the conventional role of thera py is to help people cope better with that objective world. on t he other hand. The lack of self-esteem is central to most personal . That's the next point in our discussion." Once you do that. The Decision Maker® Technology is a way to use these philosophical principles in e veryday life. Before you can eliminate a belief. psychologists. you have to be able to identify what it is you believe and how you arrived at that belief. business. What's Holding You Back? Whether you say you can or you can't you're always right! Anonymous Your core self-esteem beliefs are formed early in childhood. and when the distinction that makes it unique from other "things" is c hanged. which are not "the truth" they're false.e or eliminate the distinction that reality disappears. you identify a specific belief. You then transform a statement t hat you consider to be "the truth" into a statement that you consider to be "a t ruth. your feelings. Thus. something that empo wers us to live responsibly and that inoculates us against the lures of crime. From this illustration we learn that when the unique attributes of a "thing" are changed. Notice you no longer have a triangle. The following exercise d emonstrates my point. it disappears. parenting. Thus. however. the statement is no longer a belief It has become an in terpretation one of many possible ways of defining reality. and so on are "the truth. A major government ta sk force that spent three years studying self-esteem concluded: Self-esteem is the likeliest candidate for a social vaccine. it literally changes the world in which you function ." as distinguished from all othe r views. We think that our beliefs about education. the belief no lo nger exists. which is a conviction you have t hat your way of viewing the world is "the truth. (A definition is nothing more than how you describe a specific distinction.) Now let's change the figure by adding one more side and making it a four-sided figure with equal angles. v iolence. It has disappeared! And when the belief is gone. And because we think we discovered our beliefs in the world. the penal system. These are the belie fs that shape who you are and are very influential in determining how you deal w ith the world. You might say that the triangle has disappeared. It's the "nature" of the distinction." Our problem-solving stra tegies are consistent with our (often unconscious) beliefs. your reality has c hanged. they are very hard to let go of. The DM Process. altering your beliefs not only changes your behavior.
For example. Everything was always done their way. and emotionally abusive. She wanted to underst and why she hadn't let him earlier. it is typical of children to blame themselves for their par ents' behavior. In fact. What she wasn't conscious of at the time but realized during our session was that she'd been afraid he'd "ind out I wasn't worthy and leave me. your circumstances. If their parents i . Children believe that adults are all-knowing. I found that negative self-esteem beliefs were at the root of almost every dysfunctiona l pattern of emotion or behavior that people pre¬ sented. Her cold. This latter conclusion would have been a huge and probably impossible leap for a smal l child. During her session. Even though he treated her badly and she never felt he loved her. # Beneath Sally's fear of confronting people was the belief I'm not worthy. You begin to create distinctions about what you experi ence. It's a startling example of the p ermanent damage low self-esteem beliefs can have. You don't enter the world with a tag on your foot that denies you as a specific type of person with a pre-destined set of be liefs and patterns. But how are self-esteem beliefs formed? In the Beginning At birth.and social ills plaguing our state and nation as we approach the end of the twen tieth century Many people have a sense that these conclusions are true. At that point it became clear to her that the rea son she hadn't let her husband was that she hadn't felt she was worthy enough to have some¬ one who would treat her better. Into that vacuum of pure possibility comes your environment. You're just consciousness the creator of the creation you will become. Had Laurie been able to interpret her parents' behavior to mea n that My mom and dad don't have very good parenting skills." She remem bered feeling uncomfortable with him. after consistent ly having her wishes denied and being urged to go along with what her parents to ld her. Martha came to see me just after she let a long marriage in which her husband ha d been cold.2 For example: # Beneath Ron's inability to express his feelings was the belief I'm not lovable. so she broke of the relationship. she would not have gone through life with low self-esteem. you are pure possibility. she stayed with him for thirty years." Soon after. By the age of six. physically detached." Martha then recalled that shortly before her marriage she had briefly dated a ma n who was very warm and loving and who had treated her "like a queen. Those distinctions become your beliefs. she met the man she eventually married. Martha realized that she experienced herself as someone who wasn't worthwhile. and you create them. Laurie formed the belief I don't matter. including Fm unworthy. my client Laurie was rarely able to get her parents to accommodate any of her de sires. the behaviors of others. after having worked with almost a thousand people. and she felt and acted accordin g to that belief. Martha's self-esteem belief Fm unworthy created a reality in which she experienced n o choice but to live unloved for thirty years. in spite of her parents' behavior. abusive husband was "just wh at I deserved. that's why so many of the beliefs formed in childhood result in a poor self-image. which came from several b eliefs. but what is the specii c relationship between self-esteem and how we live our lives? And why does poor self-esteem lead to dysfunctional behavior and emotions? In my own experience. # Beneath Barney's avoidance of relationships was the belief Fm not good enough.
We create our lives based on models (such as our parents). they assume it must be their own faul t. It wasn't just given to them at birth. Fm not worthwhile. It was natural for Laurie to form the belief I don't matter as a result of her parents' behavior. and behaviors that you use to identify yourself and to distinguish yourself from others. Or: I'm good enough. you may describe yourself as a good parent. Let's assume t hat you create one of the two following sets of self-esteem beliefs: Fm not good enough. criticize. As the creator of her beliefs. Children are also totally dependent on adults for survival. most people come to see their beliefs as unchangeable facts. Parents Don't Cause Our Beliefs But Laurie's parents were not the cause of her belief that she didn't matter. It's important to realize that beliefs about yourself are not merely thoughts in side your head. feeli ngs. During my first few sessions with Barbara. "That's me. she actuall y became someone who didn't matter." like everything else. Laurie made that distinction and it became her real ity. T hey are distinctions by which the child actually becomes the belief The child is actually creating herself. A child's self-esteem decisions are not only a mental process. Fm not okay. interpretations. al¬ though it would have been a di fferent painting had there been a different model. or a hard worker. Her actions. I don't matter. other people do not create you. such as hostility. is a result of distinc tions they made. and then say. That's just the way I am. In other words. Fm worthwhile just because I am. People often say that certain behaviors or attitudes are "Just the way I am" or "Part of my personality" or "My way. So when Laurie concluded I don't matter. Just as a painter might change his work or dab away a color that isn't acceptabl e after the model has let." They box themselves into an identity as if it were an ob jective thing. Interpreting their parents' behavior toward them as their own fault is ultimately safer. but many people get stuck with the idea that these are not beliefs at all they are expressions of ego or "Who I really am. a compassionate per¬ son. but you wouldn't say that the model created the painting. a loving spouse. you can change your beliefs any time after you leave the environment that was your model. But that "identity. A pa inter bases his painting on a model. or abandon them. they exp erience themselves as the creation when really they did the creating. Consider this metaphor. "That's not me" or "I'm no t that kind of person. f eelings and even the way she was treated became consistent with being someone who di dn't matter. In the same way." And conversely. punish. she would acknowledge a dysfunctional pattern. but those models have no inherent power to cause us to believe anything. they are merely models from which you create yourself. Unfortunately. so it's scary for them to think adults don't know what they're doing. the painter created it. Which set of beliefs would most likely lead to anxiety and depression? To substa nce abuse? To teenage pregnancy? To eating disorders? To satisfying relationship s? To a productive career? It may seem obvious." I use the term "e go" here to mean who you think you are: namely. perceptions. Her parents' behavior merely constituted the circumstances that she observe d while she was creating herself. Clearly. there's something wrong with me. For example. the collection of beliefs.gnore. no t for any reason." The Consequences of Negative Self-Esteem It makes all the difference in the world how you create yourself. " Her sense of herself and her behavior was consistent with the beliefs and beha . I'm okay just the way I am. as " the truth. I matter.
however. inter¬ acting with lots of other kids and adults. Your ego isn't who you really are. so he chose that as his survival strat egy." After B arbara eliminated several beliefs and. changed her behavior. Her experience of herself changed totally. It is merely who you think you are a nd experience yourself as being. . Remember.. so children who have them try to find ways of not feeling them. I've discovered that peopl e have two basic ways of dealing with the unpleasant feelings that are caused by negative self-esteem beliefs: First. if you say "It's not saf e to express myself" or "I'm not artistic. For example. Fear and anxiety are unpleasant and painful feelings. When you experience yourself as your ego. You are beginning to realize that you are going to grow up and will have to make your own way in life. your experience is I must make it on my own in life. if not impossible. In DM sessions. as the creator of your beliefs. you form the conclusions about yourself that ultim ately constitute your ego. Fm good enough because. or to be able to deal with life. you have concluded that There's something fundamentally wrong with me or life that will make it difficult. to be important. Survival strategy beliefs are based on a child's observation of what it takes to feel good about herself or himself. Art lived in a community where the people who were considered important and give n respect were in gangs and carried guns. consequently. At this point you are in school.. Who you really are is the creator of your ego. on what others thought o f them. they develop survival strategies that help them deal with the anx iety that stems from their negative beliefs. or other su bstances to cover up the feelings and numb themselves or to make themselves feel good. and on impressing people. What makes me worthwhile is. you are limited by the specific belief s with which you have identified yourself. You are not the sum total of your decisions. Creating a Survival Strategy Let's say you are a young child who has created a host of negative beliefs about yourself or about life. As a survival strategy is formed." that's what you and your world becom e. You are the decision maker. food. On the other hand. they use alcohol. t he child also forms a belief about that strategy... albeit an unconscious one: "How will I make it in l ife if there's something fundamentally wrong with me or the world?" Imagine the fear and anxiety you must feel when you experience these two conflic ting "facts... Second. The way to deal with a dangerous world is.vior she had formed early in life. Then. to make it. you start life as a blank slate with unlimited possibilities. The way to survive is. drugs. You experience yourself as that which got created. she d iscovered that they didn't deine her. so Susan concluded that the way to survive was to get everyone to like and approve of her. For example: Susan's parents placed a heavy emphasis on friendships. wh en really you are that which did the creating. She denied them collectively as "me.." On one hand.. to be worth¬ while. You are con fronted with a real dilemma.
The need to fulfill the terms of your survival strate gy dominates your life. earns over $200. If you say the only way to be good enough is to b e wealthy and have a big house. she has lived comfortably with that belief. His core be lief is I don't matter." of satisfaction. Life becomes a sea of anxiety. in which you are constantly struggl ing to meet the conditions you have made for being good enough.Jennifer discovered in high school that boys sought out the attractive girls who wore makeup and nice clothes. People who do the DM Process significantly change their sense of themselves by e liminating dysfunctional beliefs. and she's frightened. you need positive self-esteem the sense t hat the creation you have created yourself to be is able and worthy of surviving in the world you have created. there's the danger of losing it. it's possible to experience yourself either as an ego a speci fic set of distinctions or beliefs or the creator of your life which creates the di stinction. She has become increas ingly depressed." That's an excellent description of trying to live with survival strategies formed to compensate for negative self-esteem beliefs. Being the Decision Maker As long as you are going to have an ego. Tom becomes anxious when ever a new person gets hired. You experience your survival as dependent on the success of your survival strategy. More¬ over. but their survival strategies the ways they cope with a negative sense of the mselves.000 a year. even if you achieve your survival strate gy. Miriam has the survival strategy belief Being beautiful makes me acceptable. she feels as if she doesn't matter.3 Someone once said. One consequence of being run by survival strategy beliefs is that in¬ stead of liv ing out of choices and pleasure doing things because you want to do them you do them primarily to survive. Total disaster is always just around the co rner for you. your sense of worth is linked to that goal. or his boss doesn't ac¬ knowledge him after he's completed a project. you are forced to face your belief that you're not good enough. and even love. If y ou aren't wealthy and don't have a big house. The y have a sense of "nothing missing. Once you say you're not worthwhile just the way you are. an executive in a Wall Street firm. living in nice h omes with stable families. For most of her life. so Jennifer concluded that the way to win approva l was to look pretty. Once you decide that a positive sense of yourself is "because of" any¬ thing. of not being at the mercy of difficult circumstances. admiration. "You can never get enough of what you never re¬ ally wanted in the irst place. Her beauty earned her quite a bit of attention. If they do it repeatedly. every time a man fails to look at her admiringly. Many people with low self-esteem are visibly successful. What distinguish people is not their self-esteem beli efs. they also are able t o take the experience of being the decision maker into their everyday lives. At any given moment. or he isn't included i n a meeting. and his survival strategy belief is What makes me worthw hile is being seen as important by others. Your self-esteem is al¬ ways in question Tom. They seem to be living both as the ego they have cre . The march of time is threatening to rob her of the one thing that she believes makes her acceptable. As a result. or a colleague wins praise. But now Miriam is appr oaching fifty. People who have beliefs that are indicative of low self-esteem are not just crim inals or drug addicts or unsuccessful people or those who suffer from deep depre ssion. no amount of a ccomplishment or praise will provide the unconditional sense of self-esteem you want and need. you' ve created a lifelong problem.
collecting $200.ated and. There are seven steps to the DM Process: 1. As the creator. 3. Most people live as if they are the Top Hat going to jail . Describe other possibilities (alternate interpretations). paying others for landing on their property. Most enlightenm ent practices focus on transcending the world. not that they are upset. at the sam e time. The Decision Maker® Process enables you to change your world (which you created in the first place) and. you experience that you What's Holding You Back? 5i aren't the Top Hat. You are. and so on. 6. Now I still get angry sometimes (although not as often) . as the creator of the ego. But there is always the clear sense that life is a game to be played all-out but at the same ti me not taken too seriously. and I am able to get over it quickly. 5. Realize you didn't "see" it in the world. Identify the undesirable pattern. I observe that I am reacting to something Shelly did or said. when you play Monopoly. Most psychotherapy tries to help you cope better with the world. Identify the source of each belief. 2. . Create yourself as the creator. instead. A metaphor I use to describe this state is that life is a game (such as Monopoly ) that we think is real. When you experience yourself repeatedly as the creator of your life. and I would stay angry at her for hours or even days. and I reali ze that the reaction isn't being caused by Shelly. 4. So I am not run by my anger. you are excited about passing go and disappoin ted when you land on someone else's property or get sent to jail. and sometimes I don't. I don't try to talk myself ou t of my feelings or try to suppress them. For example. Eliminate the old belief. I fully experience them. to live in it but not be run by it. you feel th at way about life: There are incidents that feel good and those that feel bad. They experience that they have upsets. both the creator of the game and that whic h is moving the Top Hat around the board. I rarely react to it. Name the underlying beliefs. Moreover. but my immediate reaction isn't that Shelly caused my anger. 7. c ircumstances that turn out the way you want and others that don't. I watch "Morty the creation" being angry and I ask. Yet almost al ways I also experience a distance between "myself" and the reaction. the re is no place to get to. But you usuall y have the sense that it is just a game that you'll be putting away in a few hou rs. What¬ ever is happening is a function of beliefs you cre ated and you can eliminate them at any time. I used to think that my anger was caused by Shelly. But a fter you have created and then experienced yourself as the decision maker severa l times. at the same time. You experience that life has already turned out. from time to time my wife does or says something and I get angry. "What does he believe that makes him so upset?" Sometimes I find a belief.
Step Six: Joan Eliminates Her Belief Ater a time. would your life have been different?" 'Absolutely." Joan was silent." she agreed. Is Fm not worthy still th e truth for you?" She paused and appeared to be actually looking inside. First. If I'm not worthy wasn't out there in the world." Step Five: Joan Realizes She Didn't "See" It in the World "If you try to picture yourself back on the ranch." "Do you notice what happened?" I asked Joan." "There are two ways of knowing that a belief has disappeared. What if after you told her you were concluding Fm not worthy. it determined your be havior. "No." "Okay. It's just something I made up. She looked stunned by this new realization. You even found a husband who treated you that way even though it's not 'th e truth.I then asked Joan. once you said it you lived your life as if it were the truth. you look in .' Would you say that your belief Fm not worthy has disappeared? "Yes. I made it up. Joan. What if you had had an aunt whom you were very close to as a child. That's not the truth. and to whom you confided everything you were thinking. where was it?" "In my mi nd. she repli ed. Look for that place where you felt Fm not worthy when we first started this session. "Even though Fm not worthy was neve r the truth. It was an interpretation. After a moment. didn't it seem to you that yo u could see right in front of you. I wouldn't have married the man I married. yo ur life would have been consistent with that conclusion? For example. if you had said your parents' behavior meant they didn't have good parenting skills and ha d nothing to do with you. yo u two had the conversation we just had today? Is it real to you that if she had helped you reach any other possible interpretation of your parents' behavior. almost like it was a physical thing: Fm not w orthy? It was probably the most real thing in your childhood. I wouldn't have felt unworthy. it was. "Look inside yourself. it has. who saw everything that happened to you. "No.' Your life became consistent with the belief I'm not worthy. You f elt that way and tried to compensate for feeling that way. I'm not unworthy." "Yes. I said." « 'And what did you actually see in the world?" "I saw my parents' behavior. "Is what you have been living with as 'the truth' about you s ince you were a little girl only one arbitrary interpretation (not worthy)made b y that little girl?" "That's right. "Did you really see it? Was it out there in reality to be seen?"1 She smiled ruefully.
That's no more true than your beli ef that you weren't worthy. who are you. your sen se of yourself should have disappeared. "Urn . "That's why I call this the Dec . "It will never come back. Second. you just made that up. which you mentioned earlier. you only eliminated one belief today. you could repeat what you di d today with a hundred beliefs about yourself and you'd still experience a 'you' inside. and it's not true.2 Lets return to Joan. "Of course I do!" "Okay. I'll give you a hint. ultimately your depression wi ll lit totally. Which leads us to the question: If you aren't the sum total of your bel iefs and the behavior and emotions that stem from them. Do you still experience 'Jo an'?" Joan laughed. if the belief goes away you sho uld see new possibilities that you couldn't see before. "I am the interpreter." it disappeared. this is more than just an abstract concept. I'm not asking you to pr edict how you will feel tomorrow." I said. That's why you still don't feel great about yourself." I said. "But now you have eliminated that belief. You won't." Once she rea lized that her belief was not uthe truth. really?" She looked totally confused. You have literally re-cr eated yourself as a person who is able to eliminate negative beliefs and invent new possibilities for your life. It was like a giant boulder resting on her shoulders. And if you eliminate the other beliefs.side and the belief isn't there anymore. Your childhood led to a lot of other beliefs that manifest themselves as depress ion. there must first be an interpreter? There had to be someone who created the belief before there c ould be a belief? Can you see that you aren't your decisions. "Could you have imagined that possibility an hour ago?" "Definitely not. Now she saw Fm not worthy was simply an interpretation. you created some new possibilities for feeling better about yourself that weren't there before. "No.' In fact. What they did. you're the decisio n maker?" Joan smiled. . You have discovered it w asn't the truth. But can you at least imagine the possibility o f waking up in the morning and caring? Of feeling worthy?" "I still don't feel totally great about myself. "Ah! So do you see that before there can be an interpretation. How did what happened translate into your belief?" "It's the way I interpreted it. She no longer had to live her life as someone who was not wo rthy. But if you are your beliefs and the beliefs disappear. but I can imagine it." she said. If that's the case." I sat back in my chair and regarded Joan." Step Seven: Joan Creates Herself as the Creator Eliminating the first belief was a huge breakthrough for Joan. since a belief li mits you to behavior that is consistent with it. With the DM Process. Her en¬ tire life h ad been spent carrying around this negative belief about her¬ self." Joan said ." "Yes. How did the belief I'm not wor thy get in your head in the first place?" "My parents. Or you say the words of the belief and they aren't real to you. If you feel depressed. That's what you've just done. you have tremendous ability to shape the direction of your life.1 am someone who is worthy?" I smiled. but instead that you create your bel iefs. When you eliminate all the beliefs that are responsible fo r the depression be they one or thirty the pattern of depression will disappear. Once you see that you are not your beliefs. that's what happened." "No. By eliminating one be lief." only "a truth. It no longer denied her. lik e Fm not good enough. Look in¬ side.. Don 't invalidate what you did today. "You told me earlier that you were a person who was not wor thy. you can't be your beliefs because one of your core be liefs disappeared and there's still 'you. ask yourself if you sti ll believe Fm not worthy. "I've lived with Fm not worthy." "Joan.
or spirit. It's knowing something as a result of creating it. your life has been consistent with Fm not worthy. You are the p ossibility for anything until you identify yourself as specific beliefs. You realized that if you had said something different as a child. let's say yo ur friend describes a great meal he had at a local restaurant and you respond. You can call that soul. . Each of us really is the decision maker. that other conclusion would have become th e truth for you. and your life would have been consistent with it. or whatever desc ription you like. Understanding and experiencing are two different things. however. "That's actually very real to me right now. if your life is consistent with your beliefs. The essential quality of who you really are i s when you say. this becomes the truth just because you s aid it. and be given detailed instructions. Imagine living in a state where nothing exists as inherently good or bad. study the physics of balance. watch others do it. I asked her to consider the ways we "know" something. it can also be used to solve problems in every area of life.ision Maker® Process. not the decisions w e've made. that we never "saw in the world" what we believe but w e only interpreted it. or consciousness. By changing the cultures of organizations and the paradigms of instituti ons. This principle works for more than just person al use. Is that clear to you?" "That's clear. even t hough this isn't and never was the truth about you." I explained to Joan that the only thing that is "true" is that which a person ma kes true by definition. Remember. using language. When we realize. A crucial aspect of the Decision Maker® Pr ocess is to know that you are the creator of your life in a very different way f rom how we usually "know" things. We are going to focus on this way in the DM Process. But the kind of knowledge that consists of understanding is very differ ent than the knowledge you get from experiencing it getting on and falling off for ty or ity times until your body learns how to balance and you can ride a bike do wn the street. For example. Joan. and (3 ) creating it. I know exactly what you're talking about. She took a deep breath. W e are open to other alternatives. "The creator of my life?" "Is that real to you?" Her eyes widened and she sat back in her chair." Maybe you "understand" what he's talking about. This is the way I described it to Joan: There are three different ways of "knowi ng" something: (1) understanding it. where events have no inherent meaning only the meaning you as¬ sign to them. Unfortunately. You can unders tand the mechanics of bike riding so well that you could tell someone else how t o do it. You can read about it. There is a third way of knowing something. but you have not had your friend's experience. and you make up your belief s. Consider knowing how to ride a bike. what does that make you?" Her response sounded like a question. " Oh." "Well. Another way to put it is that when you were born you were the possibility for all possibilities. We create reality by making distinctions. (2) experiencing it. the belief disappears and we are no longer stuck in it. T'm this and not that. we sometimes confuse our description of an experience with the ex perience itself because we communicate by using words.
. It is possible to learn to distinguish between o bservations and interpretations on the spot. stop for a minute and realize that you have just reached a conclusion (s uch as Fll never get it right) based on your interpretation of one or more event s. Once you re alize that what you have lived with as "the truth" is only a truth" that what yo u thought you "saw" in the world exists only in your mind as one arbitrary inter pretation out of many. Did you?" "I know what you mean. in other words. The DM Process is not especially d ifficult to use when you know the belief you want to eliminate and its source like Today is going to be a bad day. once you be lieve I'll never get it right." Pause now and get in touch with one of those moments and that ac¬ companying feeli ng or thought. You are able to witnes s your life. depending on how you assess them. and all meaning is merely in your mind you can eliminate the belie fs as fast as they are created. Your interpretations don't exist in the world. What does that event mean? It doesn't really mean anything. I didn't see it. knowing (as the creator) that you created them all. as opposed to being run by it. You d id see one woman burn you. but you never saw with your eyes that all crowds are dangerous. in fact. You only saw one couple arguing. you have formed a belief. guess what? You literally have created that belie f for the day. I only thought it. Then. They are all interpretations of what you did observe a ball that didn't go where you w anted it to go. Daddy. that you didn't see that. As soon as you do. Acknowledge that it is a valid interpretation. you can eventually get to the point where you wi ll catch yourself making a judgment and reaching a conclusion at the very moment it occurs. as you begin to realize there is no meaning in the world there a re only events. In t his state of consciousness you have feelings. Is it clear now. you only imagined that7. others don't. having the experiences of your life (as the creation) and. Beliefs are interpretations based on yo ur observation of events. You didn't see your belief in the world. you might neve r get it right. Get into the habit of watching your thought processes as you play sports. both as the creation and the creator. You live as a paradox. you didn't discover any of these things out in the world. but on som e level you know that the assessments and ultimately even the events are not "re . And then come up with four or five other interpretations If you practice this technique. Doesn't it seem as if you actually perceived that conclusion: You actually observed in the world I'll never get it right? By now it should be cle ar that. at the same time. You respond to the events of the mom ent both positively and negatively. only in your mind The essence of the DM Process is not merely eliminating beliefs but creating you rself and living as the creator of your life. And then. honey. but once you say it means something. the belief disappears. and possibly beyond. but you realize you aren't your fe elings and you don't experience being controlled by them. Some relationships work. when you judge your performance as good or bad.As you have seen. the steps of the DM Process are relatively simple. Notice when you interpret.
u give events the meaning u want 2. an event has no meaning unt il u give it 1 2 them As an event has no meaning.al." They are only distinctions you have made up. Events don t give meaning. What happens has no meaning. or how can a meaningless event make u feel bad abou t them An event cannot produce any feeling or emotions . it s in yr mind. u do the distinctio ns. they had no meaning before u gave them 1. u don t see meaning out there . the mirror reflects yr face n ot the contrary. u don t discover the meaning in the events. it has no meaning. u can give one mea ning but it isn t the only 1. it s in yr mind It isn t what happens that matters. a series of events can be interpreted in many different ways. an event has no intrinsic or inherent meaning. u give mea ning 2 the events. according to yr val ues etc.
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