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. 

Recent Articles

Amanda Salvara MBACP

Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


+4420 8106 0776

Providing Comfort in Tough Times

Providing Comfort in Tough Times

How to Provide Comfort to
Those Going Through Tough Times

When life hands you a tough situation, you may need to lean on other people for comfort. But what if you’re the person that needs to provide the shoulder? It can be a difficult job since you need to be the one that stays strong for the other person.

How you provide comfort will vary depending on who you’re comforting and what they’ve gone through. However, there are universal tips to keep in mind when you’re consoling someone.

Here are some strategies that can help you provide much-needed comfort to others:

  1. Uplift them. When someone approaches you for comfort, chances are that they’re not asking you for your advice. More likely, they just need someone to be there for their emotional needs. Avoid trying to solve their problems unless you’re asked for advice. In that case, you’re free to provide any advice that you have.
  1. Listen well. It’s always a good idea to develop your listening skills. A part of being a good listener is truly striving to understand what the other person is saying or going through. Remember that you can provide a certain degree of comfort just by lending an open ear to the person suffering.
  1. Offer unconditional help. Sometimes it’s comforting just to know that the other person is there. Tell the person that’s suffering that they can discuss their problems with you any time they need a lift to help them get through.
  1. Give a hug. It’ll certainly vary depending on the relationship that you have with the person you’re comforting, but you can provide physical comfort with a hug. Hugs simply make people feel better! The human touch can melt the soul and warm them with comfort.
  1. Be understanding. You might not know what it’s like to go through the tough time that you’re helping with, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t strive to understand. Do your best to try and understand where this person is coming from.


Understanding Grief

If the person you’re helping is dealing with loss, you’ll also be helping them with their grief. Grief is a natural emotion to go through when people are facing a traumatic loss, natural disaster or sudden and unexpected change. If you gain a better understanding of grief, you may know what to expect should it ever happen for yourself or someone else and feel able to respond in an empathetic manner.

Process of grief

The Stages of Grief

As outlined in the KüblerRoss  Grief model above, grief is expressed in different stages and different people spend varying amounts of time on each stage. Sometimes the stages aren’t even expressed in the same order.

Grief usually starts with the initial shock of the loss and often times denial accompanies this distress. Then pain and anger sets in, which may last for a long time. Sometimes depression also sets in before the person journeys into acceptance.

While you don’t want to push a person through the stages too fast, you do want to do whatever you can to help them along to acceptance. When they’re angry, be an open ear and try to reassure them. Help them see their problem or loss from a different perspective.

Depression can be difficult to help with since the person tends to lose interest in the world around them. You and your shoulder to cry on can make a difference. Show them that the world hasn’t given up on them, so they shouldn’t give up either. With your support, and the help of a professional, the process will find a way that works best for the person and their understanding of what’s happening for them.

When someone you know is going through a rough time, these tips are a basic guide in ways to console your loved one. The comfort you bring them may be the one thing that helps them make it through to better days.

Recent Articles

Amanda Salvara MBACP

Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


+4420 8106 0776

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