Richard Bandler, the father of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has helped thousands of people around the globe to rid themselves of "incurable" phobias, fears, anxieties, addictions, negative habits and past traumas - sometimes in just a single session. In his latest book, "Get the Life you Want," he tackles the issue of how our belief systems can often keep us stuck:
"ONE OF THE MOST important aspects of what human beings do is build beliefs. Beliefs are what trap most people in their problems. Unless you believe you can get over something, get through something, or get to something, there is little likelihood you will be able to do it. Your beliefs refer to your sense of certainty on some of your thoughts.
Most people listen to their parents, teachers, and authority figures from an early age and learn lots of limitations they supposedly have. If you were told that you were not clever enough or not good enough at a subject or at a sport, the danger is that you believed it. As soon as we believe in something, we search for ways to prove it's true. What we are looking for here is to learn to doubt your limitations and be more certain of what is possible for you.
In order to create any change, it's necessary to help the person change their beliefs and build new beliefs that will allow them to maintain the change into the future. In order to change beliefs, we first need to learn a way of finding out the qualities of beliefs.
Once again, this is where submodalities come in handy. Like any thought, our beliefs have a structure in terms of their qualities. If I were to ask you, "Do you believe the sun is coming up tomorrow?" what would your response be? Typically you would immediately answer yes, but there is an intervening process. In order to answer the question "Do you believe the sun is coming up tomorrow?", you will usually represent this belief in your mind.
It's important to note that if I asked you the question verbally, you would know the answer without speaking aloud. When I ask, "Is the sun coming up tomorrow?", typically people flash an image of the sun somewhere in their minds. They may say yes inside their heads in a certain tone of voice, and they will have a feeling of certainty somewhere in their bodies that lets them know this is true.
This internal process is a guide for our behavior. It allows us to make plans. It allows us to buy a book and know that we'll read it in the future. Having beliefs as a guide to our behavior is an important part of being a human being. It's also an important part of knowing how to change a human being - and how to change yourself in particular." (2008, pp. 19-20).
~ Excerpted from "Get the Life You Want - The Secrets to Quick and Lasting Life Change with Neuro-Linguistic Programming" by Richard Bandler, hypnotherapist and Transformation Guru