Melita's Inspirational Corner
by Melita Hunt
I remember being at a workshop many
years ago and hearing about “changing beliefs” for the
very first time. I
also remember just how reluctant and resistant I was to
even consider working on my beliefs. I was adamant that I
wasn’t at that workshop to hear or learn about beliefs.
I was darn well “right” and no-one was going to use
hocus pocus or hypnosis or any other thing to convince me
to change who I was (or believed I was). I liked my
beliefs and who I was. I thought that I was pretty cool
chick and the thought of changing was pushing far
too many buttons and bringing up a plethora of fearful
thoughts about who I might become if I start messing
around with my beliefs. Murky waters…
After all, wasn’t it my beliefs
that had gotten me to where I was at that moment? I was
happy, with a great job, family and friends. I traveled
often and was excited and enthusiastic about life. I
didn’t want to change my friends, my lifestyle or my
job. I just wanted to improve it. Life was good.
But then again, why was I at the
Well that particular workshop was all
about investing in real estate, and I wanted to learn what
to do and find out how I could become a guru real estate
investor. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it
wasn’t just the knowledge that I needed (the techniques)
but more importantly, I required the belief system that I
could actually be, do and have what it was that I was
seeking. I knew there was something more, but I wasn’t
ready to change who I was to get it. I just wanted
information about real estate investing.
When I look back at that time in my
life, I realize that the thought of changing too much was
terrifying to me. I had “made up” that I would lose
friends, family, security, credibility, etc… "What
if the 'new beliefs' that I adopted really screwed me
up?" After all, my comfort zone was pretty
In hindsight, I was fearful and just
uninformed because at that time, I had the “belief”
that someone else may be able to control my thoughts,
or that others could convince me and coerce me into
beliefs that I didn’t want and my whole life would
subsequently fall apart if I wasn’t careful.
How naïve I was because the exact
opposite was true. And it took me many years to finally
get the “aha” moment that I am in control of my own
belief system (if I choose to be).
Here are some things I didn’t know
at that time:
1. Other people had already been
controlling my beliefs because I had unconsciously adopted
their beliefs without question. Those of my parents,
friends, the media, school, etc.
2. Beliefs guide my behaviors whether
I am aware of them or not.
3. Many are useful and I can continue
to believe them if I want to.
4. Many are limiting and keep me
stuck in my comfort zone and these are the ones that I can
get rid of, change or replace.
5. Questioning and changing my
beliefs will certainly alter aspects of my life, but most
of my fears were completely unfounded.
6. I’m in the driver’s seat, and
I can always change direction.
7. There are many ways to change
beliefs if I am willing to do so.
So let’s take a look at how to
change them. There are simple techniques and there are
First you need to identify your
beliefs, which we have spoken about previously. It
doesn’t all have to be done in one sitting because it is
an ongoing journey and actually becomes a way of life if
you want it to be. Perhaps you are ready to spend
considerable time journaling your thoughts, writing down
things that you believe in each area of your life (self,
faith, friends, family, finances, fitness, fun, etc...) or
you may just want to concentrate on one particular
subject. What do you say, how do you act, what are you
writing about? Notice notice notice!! Becoming conscious
of your beliefs is ALWAYS the first step.
Second, question the belief. How has
it been useful? Is it still useful? And where does it
limit me? Is there a more effective belief that I can use?
Here is an easy example:
Last week I received conflicting information from
two clients about the exact same thing, and I found myself
shrugging and saying “Well you can’t please all of the
people all of the time.”
I identified it as soon as I thought it, so I
looked at where that belief came from, questioned it and
asked myself if it was useful and how it had limited
It was a long held belief that I have
heard my whole life, so I am not sure where it came from.
I don’t like the word “can’t” so I questioned it
and thought “Could I please all of the people all of the
time?” That didn’t seem very useful either.
How has the first belief been useful?
It has protected me from criticism and allows me to be
nonchalant about the people that I haven’t
On the flipside, how has it limited
me? Well for the exact same reasons, I notice that I shrug
and become nonchalant (which is not how I want to be) and
I notice that I can use it as an excuse rather than
hearing criticism objectively.
All in all, I still regard part of it
as a useful belief; however, I have chosen to add to it as
accept that I may not please all of the people all of the
time, and will learn from each experience. In addition, I
will also look at why I am feeling the need to please all
This is simply known as a re-frame.
Now if the first belief ever “pops
up” again, guess what will come into my head in future?
And it may change again and again as I learn and grow.
So beliefs can be very easy to change
(unless you want to believe that it is hard work), but
keep in mind that if there are any emotions or feelings
attached, and reactions occur or buttons are pushed, then
there is more work to do! We’ll get into that next week
when we talk about noticing feelings.
There are books, workshops, classes,
ways to stretch yourself, to leave your comfort zone, to
do the seemingly impossible, releasing techniques,
exercises, therapy, etc… The list of ways to change your
beliefs is endless if you really want to.
So this week’s exercise is to
notice some of the “sayings” that you have operated
under throughout your life and do a re-frame on them. If
you aren’t sure of any, ask someone that knows you well
or listen to what others are saying and where you nod in
agreement, you may just be surprised.
Feel free to send them
to me, too.
About Melita Hunt: Melita is CEO of the Van Tharp Institute. She has had a diverse career working in the fields of telecommunications, accounting, marketing and sales, real estate investing, and ultimately speaking, coaching and writing; which are her passions. Her energy and enthusiasm is the cornerstone of her writing and speaking success and she has a special interest in inspiring people to be the best they can be. She has an innate ability to simplify complex subjects and enjoys traveling the world and sharing her experiences. She has worked throughout Australia, in London and is currently working in the USA. You can contact Melita at