Beliefs come in a few varieties. There’s religious beliefs, obviously, but then there are beliefs that you hold about how the world works. For example, I believe that cause-effect is how things in the world interact. The reason why this is a belief and not a rational “truth” has been expounded in David Hume‘s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. If something as fundamental as that can be brought into question and thought of as customary belief, how many other things may be thought that way?
Some beliefs obviously limit you from achieving your goals, and are appropriately called limiting beliefs. Usually they are pretty obvious when presented in examples such as, “Money is dirty and unspiritual”, which would obviously interfere with a goal of making money. Other beliefs, however, are less obvious.
The way I discover some of my limiting beliefs is like this: I ask myself, “Why have I not achieved this result yet?” The answer is usually in terms of doing, being or having. Sometimes the answer is reasonable. For example, “Why am I not healthier?” has the obvious answer that I do not excersize. On the other hand, there have been studies where one group of people were told that their normal, everyday movements were enough excersize and they subsequently showed muscle growth. So, it’s tricky to figure out what is simply a limiting belief and what is a physical state in reality. As a personal anecdotal example: since I was a kid I’ve believed I have really good reflexes (cause I thought it was cool, all my favourite characters had great reflexes) so I do. I’ve often caught things that were dropping that I only saw out of the corner of my eye and impressed people that way, too. I don’t recall doing a reflex test recently, though, I should try it out. Anyhoo, my belief seems to have translated into an actual quick reflex time even though I do not have any training like that.
On the other hand, if you believe in IM, then its all limiting beliefs and you can just change your beliefs, even those that seem reasonable and do whatever you want. However, there are some beliefs may be limiting you from achieving some goals, but they are not really beliefs, but values. That is, your conscience says that they’re not good things.
Question: “Why do I not have an A+ in all my courses?”
Answer: Because I do not spend enough time or energy studying. I believe that there is a certain amount of time or studying I need to do to achieve this goal. On the other hand, I could find a way around this belief by becoming a more efficient student.