How do beliefs and values shape your reality?

How do beliefs and values shape your reality?

Your beliefs about yourself and your life have more power over your existence than you can imagine. Personal ideas and values you’ve held for a long time can block the way toward a life you desire. Identifying your unhelpful beliefs as possibilities, along with helpful ones can open up new perspectives for new opportunities.


Here are some examples of examining beliefs that may be hampering you in your efforts to live a fulfilling life:

1. “I ought to let go of my dreams because I’m unable to achieve them.”

A couple of unhelpful things happen when you think this way. First, it seems you may feel undeserving of the dreams you have and are, therefore, sabotaging yourself. Second, you’re likely not doing anything to move closer to how you want to live.

  • One way to alter this belief is to ponder how to follow your dreams. Make a list of the steps required to achieve the life you crave. Look at them as stair steps. Then, begin “climbing” those steps toward your future, one by one.
  • Your new belief might sound something like, “I’m following my dreams starting today and will celebrate each step I achieve along the way.”

2. “I don’t have the right to ask for what I want because I fear rejection.” 

This belief indicates you feel less important than others. You see your wants and needs as not relevant to others. Living with this belief means you likely keep your true feelings under wraps and simply go along to get along with others. There’ll be no rocking the boat from you.

  • The fact is that your feelings are equally valuable as everyone else’s. Consider changing this belief to,
    “I am important and how I feel matters to me. I can diplomatically ask for what I want. Others may disagree, but I can handle it.”
  • When you can state you want or need tactfully and honestly without anger, those close to you will probably listen well and respond to them.
  • However, if they have a negative response, remind yourself that you have no control over the feelings of others.
  • You do have control over your own feelings and actions. Therefore, ask for what you want. Recognise that you can listen to others’ responses, but you’re not responsible for how they feel.

3. “I’m not going to trust anyone again.”

This belief may stem from a time in your past when someone you trusted hurt you.

  • Perhaps, when you were a youngster, your parents were unsupportive or tough on you. Or in a prior close relationship, you felt betrayed or that your feelings were minimised. Whatever the case, it sounds like you’re afraid to trust and you’re trying to protect yourself from further emotional hurt.
  • Alter this belief by giving yourself permission to trust. If you pledge not to trust again, it likely means you’ll not have another loving relationship.
  • Recognize that you probably learned something positive from the prior relationship. You’ve grown and your ideas about what you want are clearer now.
  • You can adopt a belief something like, “In order to have a relationship, I must invest in it. It may be scary at first, but I can do it.”

4. “I don’t make enough money to live a financially secure life.” 

This belief puts a heavy cloak over your efforts to be happy. When you think this way, you fail to see what you can do to save for your future. Your emotional health is intimately connected to how you feel about your financial life.

  • Open the door to a more secure financial and emotional life by adjusting your belief to, “I have control over my finances and I can save X income per week.”
  • When you believe you can live within or below your financial means and still save, you’ll discover you can enjoy your life.

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi


What do you think about yourself, others and the world?


Perform a thorough self-examination of your major beliefs and values.

Are your thoughts and beliefs preventing you from achieving healthy relationships, establishing monetary security, or living the dream life you believe are meant for others but for some reason, don’t believe you deserve?

Limit those limiting beliefs when they show up, starting now with the Beliefs and Values workbook that uses various journaling and critical self-reflection prompts to explore and affirm which beliefs are holding you back.

Navigating Change

Navigating Change

Navigating Change

Whether it’s longing for change, or finding it happen without warning, this article touches on some common approaches that counsellors, psychotherapists and coaches alike will look to when understanding and navigating the unique circumstances people may find themselves in when it comes to moving through change.

Four major factors that come up time and time again, are these key elements of what helps to adapt and evolve were;

  1. Learning: Feedback from experience.
  2. Behavioural: Safety behaviours and rewards.
  3. Resources: Internal and external toolbox.
  4. Mindset: Fixed VS Growth.

Learning: Feedback from experience

According to a study by James O. Prochaska, there are different areas of behavioural change which require decisions on small and larger scales, which all involve variables within the stages of transition. The Cycle of Change has evolved since the first paper released back in 1987, and most recently 2017 with the recent book release called Changing to Thrive.

This initial concept of all change begins with taking the first step of realising something needs to change and resulting in learning what doesn’t work from any mistakes or relapses throughout the upward spiral of moving through change.

Cycle of Change

Behavioural: Safety behaviours and rewards

Behaviour neuroscientist, Tali Sharot shares research in this captivating Ted Talk on ways to look at why we would be resistant to change and how any explicit warnings have limited impact. Detailing how some warning signs, or flags which lead to the bad or unwanted behaviours later in life are maladaptive safety behaviours that were useful at some point in life and worked with the path of the least resistance. These unwanted behaviours may then become a barrier to meeting needs or developing healthy safety behaviours later in life. This video addresses the important components within the process of change coming from social incentivesimmediate reward and progress monitoring.

Resources: Internal and External Toolbox


Critical reflection through journaling helps build resilience ‘muscles’ through self-efficacy and providing a space to process thoughts, feelings and develop a sense of self.
A classic journaling exercise called the ‘What, So what, Now What’ model helps to do this effectively by noting what happened by provided details of the event or interaction or reaction, and then asking the self, so what was/is it about that event or situation that is significant for you or why did it have the impact it did. Concluded with now what? Now the experience, emotion or thoughts have been acknowledged, what would you like to do about it or to happen instead? 

This type of reflection helps build on ones own understanding of themselves and their values whilst observing from a different perspective to enable problem-solving and resourcefulness.

Dedicated Apps

If keeping track is a driver for you, there are plenty of apps that encourage and track progress, such as 7 minutes workout, and others that require tracking substance use or thought process when learning to change maladaptive behaviours.

Websites such as Life Hack and Ted Talk provide a platform where videos and articles are provided for those seeking out how to make change effectively in areas specific to their needs providing positive reinforcing reasons why change might help.

Whilst all the above tools provide benefits for getting onto the path for change in times when lack of immediate social support or finances are available, inevitably, the decision around taking actions is solely up to the person who is thinking of making a change.

Online Support Groups

If external motivation sounds more useful, there are an abundance of online social groups dedicated to helping others going through change together. Most are run by a trained coach, therapist or facilitator in the specific context or situational topic for guidance. It can be within these spaces where supporting and lifting others up can feel rewarding and motivating in itself.

This is also where accountability comes in useful. Finding a group or an individual that helps to keep things on track within mutual support of what you’re both working towards. Have a nudge from someone who’s going through a similar experience is especially useful when doubt or the discomfort of the unfamiliar sneaks in, in the form of avoidance. 

Dedicated support

Where there are preferences towards a personalised or 1-to-1 support, having a mentor, therapist or counsellor to provide a space for reflection, exploring values and needs, or challenge limiting beliefs could be more useful. This form of support allows one to feel heard and seen within a safe environment whilst processing things that might feel otherwise irrational but all valid in terms of finding a unique and useful understanding or experiential work.

Mindset: Fixed VS Growth

Carol Dweck, Ph,D., developed the concept of Fixed VS Growth mindset when looking at how the personal desire to learn and take risks into the unknown can be hindered by an avoidance stance, of not wanting to fail, versus the learning stance, of wanting to move onto the next phase or level to develop or better oneself in their relations, tasks or skills.

There isn’t necessarily a static form of this mindset of people having either one or the other. It’s a fluid pattern that happens to everyone — teachers, parents, students and even Carol has admitted to catching herself in a fixed mindset at times.

The fixed mindset can be experienced as being there to protect us from social rejection, feeling  invalidated or conditional acceptance. What is really useful to be aware of when it’s happening it to ask the question… is this fixed mindset serving the desire and need for change to happen? If not, thank the thought or felt senses for catching it popping up and reframe the thought with “what would serve the need to overcome this obstacle?”

Fixed Mindset…

“I simply can’t…”“Some people are born with it…”“It’s not possible…”

Growth Mindset…

“I’m not sure how, but I’ll figure it out”“This is tough now, but it’ll get easier”“What other options are there?”

Mindset coaching, such as the work of Tony Robbins looks particularly close to rewiring the brain to more empowering and positively charged thinking patterns.

NLP coaching and CBT therapies provides structural frameworks that enable this paradigm shift. Observing the fixed mindset thinking and opening up the possibilities and perspectives to alternative (growth) frames of thought and processing situations that also work towards the same desired outcome. Applying these alternative thought patterns to ruminating thought, along with journaling or even social support,  creates a new habit that becomes second nature and just like building muscles, the aches and pains become less noticeable and the rewards can be felt as well as seen after time.

In this video, Carol Dweck explains extensively on the research and application of “The Growth Mindset”.

Peoples preferences may change over time as life unfolds when moving into different environments, relationships, beliefs or blind sighted events.

Whatever you feel works for you RIGHT NOW is what matters. There is no good nor bad starting point, only what is beneficial or not beneficial at this moment in time for what you want to have more of for yourself now and in the long run. Wishing you all the best in your human experience, whatever lessons it brings. 

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Amanda Salvara MBACP

Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


+4420 8106 0776

How Living in the Moment Can Help Your Wellbeing

How Living in the Moment Can Help Your Wellbeing

How Living in the Moment
Can Help With Wellbeing

Honouring our emotions, thoughts and feelings with compassion in the moment, moves your focus to that moment only. When you’re living ‘in the moment’, the past and the future can’t touch you.


It can be a difficult task to put your feelings about the past or future aside. It’s like when someone says, “Don’t think of a pink elephant!” Did you think of one, just now?

Well, your grief is sometimes that pink elephant and it seems like there’s nowhere to turn. In this situation, you can look for help from present moment thinking.

Remaining in the present takes practice. While you’re learning how to live in the moment, remember that it gets easier as time goes on.

Using Mindfulness and Meditation

You can work on redirecting the attention from your thoughts, but one practice that’s all about staying in the present moment is mindful awareness and meditation. These simple exercise can also help you work with grief, stress or anxiety.


Here are some practice tips and options:

  • For 1-week, create a meditation schedule – 30 minutes per day every day.
  • Go to a place where you can relax and be alone and notify those around not to interrupt.
  • Sit in a position with good posture or lie down on your bed with the doors closed.
  • Take deep breaths in and out from the bottom of your lungs by holding your hand over your stomach to ‘notice’ the constant breath.
  • You can use guided meditation apps that provide a “mantra”, visualisation or positive affirmation to help you focus.
  • When thoughts arise, acknowledge them, and then let them go.

The most difficult thing you might encounter when learning to meditate is calming your busy mind. Focusing on your breathing helps clear away extraneous thoughts and worries.

When you’re grief stricken, it’s an especially difficult time to keep a clear mind. Thoughts of the past will more than likely keep coming up in your practice. This is normal. As you continue practicing, it will get easier to focus on the now.

An important thing to remember is to avoid judging yourself. Don’t punish yourself for thinking of the past when you’re trying not to think about it. Realise that your mind is taking a turn you didn’t intend, and then lightly nudge it back in the right direction. Be grateful that you were able to catch yourself in the midst of a negative thought, and then move on.

Keeping Up Your Practice

Once you’ve adopted a philosophy of present moment thinking, concentrate on keeping up with your practice. Rather than a mechanism you turn to only when you’re in a pinch, consistent present moment thinking can bring you an exhilarating new lifestyle!

When you learn to live in the moment, you’ll find peace and happiness in life. You’ll be more calm and collected and enjoy every moment for what it is. How amazing is this!

Moment By Moment

As your practice deepens, you’ll fully realize that life is just a series of moments. It’s not a definable measure of time, but you’ll feel many moments in every minute. Little by little, you’ll learn to recognize them.

You may find it difficult to remain in the present just because you must refer to the past and plan for the future in order to live. This is true, of course, but once the reflection is over, and the planning is put away, your goal is to remain in the moment as much as possible.

  • Refer to the past when you must, but avoid reliving grief or daydreaming.
  • Plan for the future, but don’t obsess over it.
  • Simply look at what you’re experiencing right now and immerse yourself in it.

Living in the moment can help not only processing grief, but also help strengthen the ability to catch the thoughts and feelings before they spiral out of control.  When your mind is completely focused on the present moment, you’ll be surprised at how much lighter life can be!

Tools and resources

Explore the various forms and tools of guided meditations and practices available to integrate into your everyday life and become more equipped to support yourself when times get tough. The Little book of Mindfulness has been a great tool to use when getting away from the desk for 10-minutes a day. Simply steps that make a big difference.

The free Insight Time App also provides a variation of guided mindfulness tools and meditations tracks, music and talks on the various practices available. Just search keywords of what you’re struggling with or curious about and the app with narrow down some suggestions for you. 

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Amanda Salvara MBACP

Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


+4420 8106 0776

Considerations for Online Coaching

Considerations for Online Coaching

Considerations for
Online Coaching

Moving from face-to-face sessions, or even starting online can feel like a strange experience. As we adapt and evolve into various ways of connecting, here are some consideration for working with your coach online or over the phone.  

Time and Energy

Your coaching sessions should fit around your time schedule. It helps to factor in the following when scheduling your sessions.

  • Be ‘realistic’, ask yourself how much time do you actually benefit from having a coaching session for it to be productive? 
  • Have you found working in snippets of 30-minutes a few times a week, or a 2-hour session is more effective?
  • Does the routine of weekly sessions stress you out or motivate you with regular accountability check-ins?
  • Would bi-weekly be more realistic for your needs?

Noticing when you’re feeling drained versus feeling energised over online video sessions is a good cue to know how often or long coaching session should be for you. Only you will know when there’s not much energy left to be able to work effectively with your coach.

Sitting at the Screen

Staring at a screen for many hours in the day can be difficult for some and not so tiring for others. Before joining into a coaching session, ensure you take the time out away from the desk either way to get a beverage, close your eyes for a quick nap, or simply exercise the muscles around the eyes by mindfully looking around the room or during a short walk outside. Give yourself the opportunity to join your next session refreshed and reset. 

If you’ve been at the desk all day, I’d suggest having your coaching session on a walk to have a dialogue based exercise. Working with movement and the body to experience new perspectives whilst processing whatever comes up from the conversation.

Sharing the Bandwidth

If you’re in a household with online gamers, video streamers or have common internet bandwidth issues, find or request a time when there won’t be heavy streaming usage for the chance of a more stable video connection. 

If it’s not possible at home, try moving online sessions to work in a private space or room. It may also help to alternative the coaching format to telephone and email communications with guided exercises online. Adaptability is key in finding what works for you here.

Not familiar with working online

Everyone’s got to start somewhere, why not with online video chat? There are many useful documents and video guides online that can help with getting set up.
Here is a quick video guide from Zoom on how to accept and join a meeting online.

It’s useful to practice using Zoom before a session and see how the background and sound looks so you don’t have to think about those during the coaching time.

When working online, tech issues can arise from time-to-time. Always let your coach know if you’re having any issues before or during your session to get help with the setup. You also have the option to transfer the sessions to your mobile phone if it’s easier to work with.

Recent Articles

Amanda Salvara MBACP

Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


+4420 8106 0776

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