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CwL Ep94: Why We Believe What We Believe

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In this episode Lisa shares how we come to believe what we believe (because in order to create meaningful change in our lives it’s helpful to know how our brains have locked in our beliefs in the first place!)

She explores questions like:

How have your ‘truths’ been created over time?
What’s the significance of the years from birth to seven years old?
Where did we collect all the ideas about who we are?
And how does knowing this change how we parent?
Why do we often find that even if we want to change, we can’t?

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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here

Hey, it’s Lisa Corduff. Welcome to the podcast where you can expect inspiring, raw, energising, and transformative conversations with people on the path of personal evolution. I’m here to really live my life. And if you are too, these conversations are just for you. I’m really glad you’re here. Enjoy.

Hey, welcome back. Thanks for joining me on the episode today. This is actually going to kick off a new little series on the podcast, which I’m really, really excited about. You know what I’d been missing? The conversations on the Conversations with Lisa podcast. So I’m going to be sharing lots and lots of stories of change from women who’ve been part of my Ready for Change programme and have gone on to experience sometimes big, sometimes really subtle shifts that have had a really profound impact on their life. And I’m doing this because… I don’t know. Don’t you feel like sometimes, you just need to know that life has changed, or improved, or that others have gotten through things that you are struggling with?

I love examples of that. I listen to podcasts for that and realised that this podcast could be a vehicle for your inspiration, hearing about how women have literally changed their lives. And in this episode today, I really want to start with just some of the foundational things that I actually do teach in Ready for Change, but that will really help you contextualise what you’re going to hear over the coming weeks. And this is just all about why we believe what we believe.

How does it actually happen that one person who grew up in the same household as someone else and was a part of the same life events has a completely different interpretation, has a completely different belief structure about themselves and what’s possible for them in life and all that sort of stuff? Literally the events were pretty similar, but they have these fundamental different beliefs. Why do we believe what we believe? How does something feel so true to us when someone else might look at the exact same thing and have a completely different interpretation?

So we are just going to delve into that a little bit on the podcast today. And some of this stuff might not be new to you. Some of it, I like hearing it and reminding myself of this stuff again and again, and again. Because no matter what it is that I’m doing in my life, I come up against these beliefs, or if you’re in Ready for Change, you’ve joined that programme, you know I call them stories, these stories that we tell ourselves. And I call them stories because we make them up. We literally make them up, but then they start to feel true to us. And that’s when it can feel really hard to change things.

We can get that feeling of stuckness. We can get that feeling of like, “Oh my God, this feels like we’re trying to walk through mud.” Or we’re looking around, just wishing someone else was doing something about themselves so that our life would be better, when really, we need to put the spotlight on ourselves and wonder why we’re even necessarily hanging around and dealing with other people’s crud, or why we think we have no power to make decisions in our own lives.

I mean, this stuff fascinates me and Leslie. And it doesn’t matter where I am in my life. There’s always more stories. There’s just more to uncover. So let’s figure out why we believe what we believe in the first place. And like with all good things, let’s just go right back to the beginning of when you were born. And those really, really important first seven years of your life. When you are little, your brain is like a sponge. And many people call it the theatre state, which is a similar sort of state to when you’re in hypnosis. And so you are literally absorbing everything around you.

And key in what we are talking about is you are absorbing ideas about who you are. You’re picking up so much information about the world, so much information about your place in it and who you are as a person. And this can happen. Little things like, “Aww, look at you. My little water baby.” “Oh, am I? Am I someone’s water baby? That means I love water. Okay. Water, water, water, water.” Or, “Wow. You just don’t shut up. Do you?” “Oh yeah. I talk all the time. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.” We get these stories about who we are.

Sometimes, it’s a pretty accurate reflection. You love spending time in the water. Sometimes, you are a bit of a chatter box, more than other kids who might be sitting quietly. Maybe your sibling is really quiet, and so your normal level of conversation, or just the level of toddler, young kid interest and curiosity in the world has kind of been and surprising to your parents. And so they labelled you a chatter box and that’s a label that you’ve taken through life. You believe that that’s who you are.

We form our identity. By the time we’re seven, we’ve got a pretty cool idea about who we are. And that’s freaky, because you are only just becoming and you haven’t had a chance to put your stamp on that identity. Mostly, it’s been to do with what you’ve heard, the structures in which you grew up with. Did you grow up in a really religious family and you took on the belief of the particular religion or spiritual practise that you were born into? Is that yours? Do you still believe that stuff is true? Do you?

Because I’m sure once it was all very true to you. I mean, I remember my grandma dying when I was in primary school and talking to her in Heaven. I mean, I remember saying the Hail Marys, and Our Fathers, and all those sorts of things. My context of the world, my truth was that there was a God and he had a child called Jesus who came to save everyone. And when we die, we go to Heaven if we’re good. And now, I absolutely don’t see that as truth.

But it took work. It took an opening up. It took a questioning of the stories of that religion that I was born into to challenge the beliefs, and to craft something new for myself that felt more true for where I am right now. And I think that’s the big point that I want to make, is I think that what I see with women who come into Ready for Change, and there are all the stories like, “I’m so triggered all the time.” And it’s like, “Okay, but if we can see that there’s actually times where you do take a breath and you do recognise that it’s probably not best to get into your emotions in that moment, it’s probably true to say that you are not triggered all the time. That actually, you can see that this is a pattern of behaviour, but it’s not true about who you are.”

Because there’s many examples in the world of people who are have been that really stressed out, on the edge of everything kind of vibe, and they are triggered all the time. The littlest things are setting them off. I mean, that’s just life. I’m not as great when I’m stressed out and at limited capacity. Get me on holidays. The things that might annoy me when I’ve got lots on my plate, just not the same. It doesn’t exist. I just don’t get to that same level within myself. So is it true that you’re always triggered? Is it true that you’re living a life that has created very little capacity for you to feel calm and peaceful? So see what I mean?

But oftentimes, there’s a lot that has happened from when we were kids. These ideas that we’ve got about ourselves, our subconscious identity stored all this information. It has it all there. You might not be remembering it. You might not think you are living from it, but it’s all there. And it happened from a very, very young age. And I know that a lot of women, when they join Ready for Change and they learn about all this, they’re like, “Oh shit, have I just stuffed up my children?” Because they start to hear, “Oh my gosh, wow. Yeah. I am delivering them information about who they are. Or I did that when they were little. Can I go back and change it? Oh my gosh, I can see how they’re playing out this idea of themselves that I gave them, just like my parents gave it to me.” Or maybe it’s the language that you’ve used around money and your children from a young age.

And like, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” or “You have to work hard for money.” And blah, blah, blah. We sort of inherit all this stuff. “I don’t have money for that.” And we get these ideas about money that we literally carry through our whole lives. “If you want to be wealthy, you’ve got to go to university.” I mean, “You’ve got to study hard.” Honestly, our lives so much, we have just absorbed from, from the people around us, from society, from religious structures, from our education, from life events. My God, our children now have an idea. How is this pandemic going to have informed their ideas about life, their story, their beliefs, about what can happen? I mean, full on.

Okay. So let’s just calm me down and just take a moment, and realise that the best thing is that absolutely you can change these stories and you can start to spot them. And that’s everything that I teach in Ready for Change.It is possible. Even just being aware, raising your awareness around it is going to create really big shifts for you, and that’s why I’m going to be talking to people over the next few weeks on the podcast so you can start to see and hear their stories in your life, and look for ways in which you can change stories.

Because they might have made sense to us years ago, but they might not be relevant in the context of our lives right now. I feel like so many people throughout the last two years have been questioning what they believe. Like, “How did I actually think that I needed to go into an office five days a week?” So sometimes, we get these opportunities where the stories, the beliefs that we’ve had about what we need to do, or what’s possible for us, get challenged because of life circumstances. But then other times, we have to do that work ourselves.

So here’s the freaky thing, the humans, we’re so interesting. But we get all these ideas about who, about life, about ourselves, develop all these stories. Even coming down to what a good relationship looks like, what love is, all that stuff. Fascinating. Then you know what we go and do? We go and spend all our time looking for proof that our beliefs are, in fact, correct. We’re always looking to reinforce our particular truth. Our brains love it. It makes us feel secure. No one likes feeling like, “Hang on. What do you mean? What do you mean? I’ve been wrong about this all the time.” It’s dismantling, it’s destabilising. So most people just stay safe and just look for proof that what they believe either about themselves or the world or the people around them is true.

We are really good at reinforcing our particular beliefs and stories to just lock it in as a life truth. And I am sure you see examples of this in the people around you. I hear it, even my kids. “I couldn’t. I can’t do that, Mum. I can’t. I can’t do that.” Why do they believe that they can’t? Is it because they tried going down that scary ramp on their bike before and they fell off, so they think they can’t do it again, when it’s been two years and they’re actually way more proficient on the bike and they can have a go?

Is it because they’ve heard stories of me saying, “We’ve got to be very, very careful in big waves, and there’s a lot to learn about ocean safety,” that they’re a bit trepidatious about going in on their boogie boards too deep, or going beyond the small little waves at the shore. But unless we challenge that, “Hang on, is this true? Is this really still true for me?” Then we’ll spend their whole lives just proving our, well, stories. You’ve collected all of it from somewhere. You have said the same things over and over and over to yourself so many times that you truly believe it. And also, I’m not into self denial or stuff like that. There are absolute things about myself that I can’t just speak away to something.

We do have aspects to our personality. We do have aspects to identity that are sometimes hard to shake or unshakable. If anyone’s into human design or any of those sorts of things, sometimes you can just… I remember having my birth chart done, and just going, “Oh my God, that’s why I do that.” Or if you’ve done any of those personality tests, sometimes it can be… Well, sometimes it can also reinforce the stories. But sometimes, it can also just be a wonderful thing to let yourself off the hook and be like, “Oh yeah, that’s just a part of me. Cool. Now I know I don’t need to try and change myself. I can just work with my natural flow, my natural state, my natural way of being.”

Well, I feel so much better like that. So believe me, when I say this is not about changing who everything about who you are, it’s about being able to recognise when you’re telling yourself bullshit that maybe served you years ago, and now that you want something a little bit different. Or that you need to make a big decision, or you are seeking a new direction, or you’re wanting to feel brave. All that old stuff, it’s coming up and it’s just keeping you where you want to be or where don’t want to be anymore.

And unless you really understand how to spot the stories from the truth, you just get locked in this pattern of repeating, repeating, repeating, repeating. When really, so many of us just want to fuck that shit off, excuse the swearing, and just actually start to be way more of who we are, feel better about the decisions we’re making about who we surround ourselves with, the work we’re doing in the world. There’s been amazing stories of women who have literally been wanting to move, move back to living close to families and stuff, and gave themselves all the reasons why it couldn’t happen.

Even although they were just yearning for this change. We’ll come up with all the reasons to just stay safe and stay exactly where we are. That’s how our brains work. They like feeling safe, and secure, and doing things the same way over and over and over again. And you know what? There’s also nothing wrong with that if what you are living is feeling good, and acceptable, and awesome to you. But if there’s something that you want to shift, well then, we need to do a little bit of digging.

So you get your power back when you start to do this work, because you get to spot, “Okay, maybe this is an aspect of me that I’ve just been told about myself and I just took it on. And in fact, life feels a little bit odd because I keep living this out, but that’s not actually who I am anymore, or that’s not how I feel in myself.” So we get to change the story.

I can’t wait to share with you stories of change, and I’m also going to be dropping in a few stories to change. So these are things that I hear women saying over and over and over again, and pretty much universally, they’re bullshit. So I’m going to be giving you some tips on how to move through them. Get set for some juicy conversations. Get set for some big time inspiration from women like you and me, like women who are just trying to live a life where they feel lit up, lit up from the inside. They’ve stopped waiting for things to change around them. They’ve done the work on themselves, and now they’re living life way more on their terms than they ever believed was possible for them, achieving things that they thought were out of their reach. All of this stuff is going to inspire the pants off you. So stay tuned.

Before you go, if you are like most people, then you want to create some positive changes in your life and you might have tried this before, and things haven’t quite worked out. Well, I want you to know I’ve created a brand new free workshop for you that’s going to help you with the self-defeating stories that just get in the freaking way of you creating what you want in your life. I am sure that when you watch this workshop, you will absolutely see that some of the reasons that you’ve been telling yourself you can’t have what you want might not be true. Just going to put that out there. Get access by the link in the show notes and start watching this powerful workshop straight away so that you can stop waiting for permission. You can stop waiting for everything around you to be perfect before you take action, and you can get out of your own sweet way and start creating what you want in your life. Enjoy it.

Hey, if you are enjoying the conversation, then it would mean the world to me if you head over to iTunes and give us a rating and review. It really makes a difference. And it’s my intention to get as many of us involved in real conversations that really change the game as possible. Thanks so much for your help, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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