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Creating Empowering Beliefs

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

How I transformed my negative beliefs into positive beliefs.


A crumpled ball of paper turning into a boat and then into an origami bird that flys away.
I transformed my limiting beliefs into empowering, beneficial beliefs

What’s a Belief?

Previously, I talked about my habits and the impact changing them had on my goal of writing a novel. However, I can’t just thank habits for my growth; every one of the Big Five Concepts has helped me tremendously. With that being said, the main focus of this entry is beliefs, a concept that works in tandem with habits. What I mean by that is if I have a certain belief, I’ll most likely have a habit that complements it, and vice versa. Actually, it’s not just those two; every concept of the Big Five has that sort of harmony with each other that makes the way people act make more sense. I’ll be able to explain that better when I introduce more concepts, but for now let’s go back to beliefs.


My father stated beliefs are statements that I accept to be true, even though they’re sometimes not, and can form in relation to my experiences, what others tell me, and what I tell myself. They can be either empowering, which helps me with my goal, or limiting, which holds me back and causes problems. And their sources can vary from culture, religion, government, and the news to family, friends, social media, movies, and more.


Additionally, there are some challenges that anyone can face when reviewing their beliefs. My father told me that many struggle with awareness and acceptance since they’re not consciously aware of every belief nor question them to the point of blindly thinking they’re true. We can also develop conflicting beliefs that don’t align with our goals, needs, behaviors, or other beliefs. Beliefs can also be flat out false since their validity can change over time, they don’t pertain to us while the same belief does pertain to others, or they’re only true under specific circumstances. Furthermore, beliefs can be given to us by others and blindly inherited, or become static from never being updated or reviewed since many think they’re immutable. With this information, I began writing down every belief I could remember related to my writing.


My Beliefs

  • I’m a bad writer

  • I don’t need to work hard to be a popular novelist

  • I’ll never be able to finish a novel

  • I can only do novelism

  • My novels are only interesting to me

  • Everything has to be perfect

  • I need to plan everything in my novels before I start writing

  • I can create my characters however I want

As you can see, my beliefs were all over the place and rarely benefited me. A majority of them were limiting, similar to my habits, and I can’t question myself enough on my dedication to writing. I am genuinely not sure how I still want to write after these five years. I mean, basically everything I did, felt, feared, remembered, and believed related to it was pushing me away. Just looking at my list of beliefs makes that mystery even more unsolvable. Not only was I not aware of how daunting they were, I blindly accepted them without question, like My novel is only interesting to me, and nearly all of them were contradictory in multiple ways.


When I finished creating my list, my father gave me a series of questions to help analyze and improve my beliefs. And this improvement can come in the form of deleting my old beliefs, replacing them with new empowering ones, or creating new ones altogether without an original belief. However, in order to replace or create empowering beliefs, there’s basically a set of guidelines. Firstly, new empowering beliefs have to be positive, meaning the words “no” and “not” shouldn’t be used. For instance, the belief I’m not a bad listener should be changed to I’m a good listener. Secondly, they shouldn’t be limiting in any way. If someone has the belief I can get a minimum wage job, it’s limiting them to just minimum wage jobs, and should be changed to I can get a great job. Finally, an empowering belief must be grounded in reality to prevent overexertion or needless negative emotions. As an example, I can’t have the belief I can write my entire novel in a month; not only is that physically impossible for me, I have other parts of my life that I have to balance and need to give my time to. With this in mind, I analyzed my beliefs except for the last one, which I viewed as an empowering belief I want to keep.


I’m a bad writer

Is this really true?

  • I’m not sure if this is true since no one has read my writing in years. Even if it were true, I can take classes to improve my writing skills to make it false.

When is it true, and when is it not?

  • It was true when I received criticisms on stories from either my high school friends or myself.

  • It wasn’t true when I submitted essays with little effort and received high marks from my teachers. It also wasn’t true when I edited papers for my friends and they received high marks.

Where did it come from?

  • Writing my first love story. I realized my pacing was off, my characters didn’t make sense, I had nothing planned, and I didn’t know what to do after a certain event that took place early on in the story.

  • My friends gave me criticisms on a story I invested time and effort into. The number of criticisms and what they were focusing on led me to believe that I was a bad writer.

  • When I was in sixth grade, the class was assigned to write a story. Out of everyone in the class, I needed to be instructed and helped out the most.

What does it conflict with?

  • My other beliefs, I can only do novelism and I don’t need to work hard to be a popular novelist.

Is it empowering, or do I need to create a new belief?

  • It’s limiting, and I want to replace it with the belief I’m a good writer.


I don’t need to work hard to be a popular novelist

Is this really true?

  • No, it’s not true. In order to be a popular novelist, I need to invest significantly more time and effort than I’m doing right now.

When is it true, and when is it not?

  • It’s true right now when I’m starting my Ridiculously Easy Goal of working on my novel three times a week for five minutes each time.

  • It won’t be true in the future when I’m used to consistently working on my novel for longer periods of time.

Where did it come from?

  • In school, I didn’t try or study and passed.

  • I received high marks on a majority of my writing assignments with little effort.

What does it conflict with?

  • My other beliefs, I’m a bad writer, I need to plan everything, Everything has to be perfect, and I can only do novelism.

  • My need for growth. I’ve been going with the flow for the past five years, and I need to break out of that cycle.

Is it empowering, or do I need to create a new belief?

  • It’s limiting, and I need to replace it with the belief I need to work hard on my novel while maintaining a good work-life balance.


I’ll never be able to finish a novel

Is this really true?

  • No, it’s not true. If I start and consistently use Ridiculously Easy Goals, stay dedicated to writing a novel, and continue completing exercises, I am more than likely to finish a novel.

When is it true, and when is it not?

  • It was true when I stopped writing several stories.

  • It isn’t true when I plan and work on my novel.

Where did it come from?

  • Over the past five years, I’ve started and stopped several stories, and when it came to the one I made the most progress on, I stopped despite having more than enough time to write and making good progress.

What does it conflict with?

  • My other belief, I can only do novelism.

  • My goal of becoming a novelist. I’m trying to write a novel despite believing I’ll never finish it.

Is it empowering, or do I need to create a new belief?

  • It’s limiting, and needs to be replaced with the new belief I will finish several novels.


I can only do novelism

Is this really true?

  • No, it’s not true. I currently have a good job that isn’t novelism.

When is it true, and when is it not?

  • It’s true if I don’t try to change.

  • It won’t be true if I learn new skills that can help me get a different job.

Where did it come from?

  • At the start of high school, I decided that I wanted to be an author, and dedicated my time accordingly. However, I didn’t set any time aside to learn anything else besides games or see if I had any other passions.

What does it conflict with?

  • My other beliefs, I’m a bad writer, My novels are only interesting to me, I’ll never be able to finish a novel.

  • My behaviors. I should be doing everything I can to make novelism work if it’s my only option. If I can only do novelism, I should be in college, learning how to improve my writing and storytelling.

Is it empowering, or do I need to create a new belief?

  • It’s limiting, and needs to be replaced with the new belief My career can be whatever I choose.


My novels are only interesting to me

Is this really true?

  • No, it’s not true. There will always be a group of people that like something.

When is it true, and when is it not?

  • It was true when I talked to my friends about my novel ideas.

  • It won’t be true if I learn how to present my novel in a more appealing way.

Where did it come from?

  • When I would show or talk to my friends about my stories and novel ideas, they weren’t anywhere close to as excited as I was, and I think the same will apply to my novels but on a much grander scale.

What does it conflict with?

  • The belief, I can only do novelism.

Is it empowering, or do I need to create a new belief?

  • It’s limiting, and I need to replace it with the new belief My novels will be interesting to my target audience.


Everything has to be perfect

Is this really true?

  • No, it’s not true. Nothing can or needs to be perfect.

When is it true, and when is it not?

  • It’s never true because there are plenty of stories that aren’t perfect but are widely loved. My novel just needs to meet a certain level of quality.

  • It’s not true because perfection is subjective, and it’s impossible for everyone to find something perfect.

Where did it come from?

  • I’m not sure where this belief came from, but I think it has something to do with my perfectionism.

What does it conflict with?

  • My other belief, I don’t need to work hard to be a popular novelist, but is aligned with the belief I’ll never be able to finish a novel.

  • My goal and needs of completing my novel. If I try to make my novel perfect, I’ll never be finished.

  • My behaviors. In order to make something perfect, I need to put in significantly more time and effort than I have been doing.

Is it empowering, or do I need to create a new belief?

  • It’s limiting, and I need to replace it with the new belief Nothing can be perfect.

  • I also want to create the belief My novels only need to reach my minimal standards.


I need to plan everything in my novels before I start writing

Is this really true?

  • No, it’s not true, but I want to plan basically everything as it’s my chosen method.

When is it true, and when is it not?

  • It wasn’t true while writing my first love story, but became true subsequently.

  • It’s not true for everyone. There are many ways to write a novel.

Where did it come from?

  • It came from my first failed attempt at writing. My characters didn’t make sense, I didn’t know anything about them, and I didn’t know what to do after a certain event early on in the story.

  • I think that by planning everything I’ll be able to avoid the problems I faced before.

What does it conflict with?

  • My other belief, I don’t need to work hard to be a popular novelist.

  • My behaviors. Since I’m rewriting the entire novel series, I should be putting in more time and effort in order to plan everything in a timely manner.

Is it empowering, or do I need to create a new belief?

  • It’s empowering as long as I don’t try to be perfect. As long as it stays empowering, I want to keep it.

The Importance of Converting to Empowering Beliefs

As you can see, the process is thorough and requires time, effort, and perseverance. Identifying parts of yourself that the brain keeps hidden or pushing past emotions to look at beliefs objectively isn’t easy, I get it. When I first started working on my beliefs, I had trouble with just coming to terms with their existence. It was jarring seeing how much of a melting pot of doubts and convictions I was; I had a ton of questions and even more doubts that I could change. However, despite any and all struggles I faced, I found the exercise rewarding and a great step forward.


Similar to habits, and every other concept of the Big Five, it’s important to realize what beliefs you have. Bringing awareness to an issue is the first and most crucial step since you can’t fix what you don’t know. Once I had a list of my beliefs, I could easily see just how negative I was toward myself and how senseless and contradictory they were. And when I started answering the questions, I was able to logically and efficiently change how I thought about my writing thanks to each question and what the answers provided.


The first question, Is this really true? brings the validity of your beliefs into question and provides an objective analysis. Why exactly is the belief true or false?


The second question, When is it true, and when is it not? identifies when or how a belief becomes true or false. Furthermore, it helps you find a way to grow and improve. For example, in my analysis of my belief I’m a bad writer, I identified a way to make the belief false, which was through taking classes.


The third question, Where did it come from? helps find the origin of your beliefs. As I mentioned before, the sources of beliefs are vast. What I didn’t mention was that they typically come from something called a significant event, a concept I will cover in a later entry. Essentially, they’re an easily memorable event in our lives where we decide something, either consciously or unconsciously. And being able to resolve anything related to them is very important.


The fourth question, What does it conflict with? helps identify what is needed to grow. By learning how aligned or unaligned your beliefs are with everything, you get more and more reasons why the beliefs should be deleted, kept, or changed.


And the final question, Is it empowering, or do I need to create a new belief? gives a look at an ideal future, a future you get to choose, and a path to it.


All in all, I like the exercise since it embodies the teachings; it provides awareness and the opportunity to grow. It doesn’t do all of the work for you, but makes growth a possibility instead. Similarly, creating a new belief isn’t everything, which is where my recommendation comes in. In order for the new beliefs to actually replace the old ones, you need to be reminded of and experience them on a regular basis. So, my recommendation is to have the new beliefs written down somewhere you look every day and available to look at while completing your goal. With that being said, I’ll be going over a concept related to beliefs in the next entry: fears.


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