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False Beliefs Block Your Potential

Believe it or not – not everything you believe is true, or in your best interest.

Learn how to determine which beliefs are hurting you and how to ease up on those beliefs to make room for beliefs that help you!

Beliefs: Fact or Fiction?

Beliefs play a more important role in our success than most people realize. Have you ever noticed how athletic teams after championship games or seasons give credit to believing? “We believed we could do it.” This is not a coincidence. Believing is the beginning of achieving. The reason for this is that beliefs impact how we see. They become the lenses through which we see reality.


Sometimes we confuse facts and beliefs. We may believe something so strongly or have believed it for so long that it begins to look like a fact.

Facts have their origin in reality. Beliefs have their origin in your mind as you try to match your thinking with reality.

The Law of Beliefs states that whatever we believe is real for us.

Fact or Belief? It’s too cold to go camping when it’s 20 degrees outside. Yes, it may be cold but some people not only camp in the winter but love it.

Is the statement, “I’m horrible with technology,” a fact or a belief? Sometimes statements like this feel like facts. So we may draw the conclusion: “That’s not a belief. It’s a fact.” We need to remember that our feelings stem more from our opinions and beliefs than they do from facts.

When beliefs are invisible, they appear to be facts. As beliefs become visible, we know they are no longer facts. We still may believe them. We still may hang on to them, but we hang on to them as beliefs and not as facts.


Many of our beliefs are based in truth, but some are not. The problem is that Bottom 80s usually think all of their beliefs are true and act accordingly. On the other hand, Top 20s question the validity of their beliefs.

Whether true or false, beliefs are powerful in our lives because they influence us to act in certain ways. False beliefs have us acting in ways that are not in our best interest.

False beliefs diminish our lives. They hold us back and keep us stuck in places we would rather not be. Whenever we are stuck in a place we would rather not be, we need to search for the belief we have that is keeping us there. Usually there is one. A false belief can block us from seeing the truth because we are convinced that the false belief is the truth.

The purpose of beliefs is to enhance our lives. We hold on to beliefs because we think they help us get to a new and better place or help us develop ourselves and our relationships. This will almost always happen if our beliefs are based in truth.


Another way to look at your own beliefs is to examine your self-talk. Consider how you finish sentences that begin with the words “I am.”

Examples: “I am going to let them down.”

“I am about to figure out this problem.”

“I am going to be bored.”

Whatever you say after the words “I am” can set your immediate future in motion. Your “I am” statements usually come true. It is as if a magical genie appears from the bottle, ready and willing to grant your every wish.


Whatever we say after we say “I am…” is what we will become.

The following are examples of “I am” statements that might stem from this belief: Most “I am” statements can be traced to one of the two major root systems that nourish your tree of beliefs. One root limits your potential. It is based in a deep belief: “I am not good enough.” Bottom 80s are often unaware of this root even though it has a negative influence on their lives and experiences.

“I am not going to make my sales goals.”

“I am never going to get along well with my dad.”

The other root system enhances your potential. It is based on a different deep belief: “I am fully capable.” Top 20s nourish this root and have more productive lives and experiences. From this belief comes “I am” statements like:

“I am going to call all my leads.”

“I am going to enjoy this weekend with my family.”

Be careful. Which of these two roots is influencing your life?


Your level of conviction is important because it will determine how real your beliefs feel to you. That in turn will determine the impact that your beliefs will actually have on your life.


The more we believe something to be true, the more real it feels for us.

If you have a false idea in your head that you think is true, that idea will get in your way. An example of this is Lauren, a freshman who was bombarded with negative messages about her physical appearance. Two of her classmates repeatedly made fun of her looks. These messages eventually became strong negative beliefs on Lauren’s part. We understood how Lauren felt and did not ask her to abandon her beliefs, but to ease up on the intensity of her convictions.


“It was easy to ignore those messages at first,” she recalls. “But after awhile, I started to believe what I was hearing. I was a straight 10 on the Conviction Scale. After hearing about beliefs and their power, I decided to try to Ease Up, to take a trip down to a 6.”

Lauren took action when she used the Ease Up technique by:

  • Removing the mirror from her school locker.
  • Throwing away all the teen beauty magazines that were sending her negative messages about herself.
  • Stopping the continual comparisons of herself to every other girl in her classes.

“Pretty soon after that,” she says, “I found myself a lot happier, not only with my appearance, but with my life. I was at 6 for a couple weeks, then headed down to a 2 after that. I still have my moments of doubt, but I’m a lot more comfortable with myself these days.”


Easing up isn’t just saying you are going to ease up. Easing up also requires doing something. The following list includes ways you can actually ease up.

Identify a behavior that would be consistent with a lower level of conviction. If you think a class is extremely boring, decide to:

  • Stop seeking support for your false belief by complaining.
  • Do your homework every night.
  • Give your teacher your full attention for the first ten minutes of every class.

Every time you have the strong belief:

  • Say to yourself, “Not now.”
  • Say to yourself, “Maybe.” This makes room for “Maybe Not.”
  • State the opposite; challenge your belief.

If you find yourself looking for evidence to prove your strong belief to be true:

  • You can ease up by looking for evidence that your conviction may not be true.

What’s the downside of negative beliefs? After all, negative beliefs may be true. What if your boss really doesn’t like you? Why is holding onto that belief not in your best interest? You can’t afford to hold onto that belief because it will pull out the worst in you. It will draw from you a negative energy causing the person who dislikes you to make all kinds of problems for you. Instead, reframe (The Frame is a Top 20 Tool and Habit Builder) and think differently about this situation. Choose a belief that will pull out the best in you. Tweet this

Because they see beliefs differently, Top 20s enjoy a better quality of life and relationships. On the highway of life, they enjoy a better ride.

Top 20s:

  • Know that beliefs are powerful.
  • Distinguish beliefs from facts.
  • Are willing to look at what they believe and assess whether their beliefs are true or false.
  • Are willing to let go of false beliefs.
  • Are willing to ease up on their conviction.
  • Open themselves to experiences that might change their beliefs.

Bottom 80s:

  • Are unaware of the power of beliefs.
  • Confuse beliefs with facts.
  • Are set in their beliefs and never consider changing their beliefs as a way of improving their lives.
  • Are set in their beliefs and never consider changing their beliefs as a way of improving their lives.
  • Hang on to false beliefs.
  • Are unwilling to ease up on their conviction.
  • Avoid experiences that might change their beliefs.

The choice is yours…

Top 20 Training empowers students, parents, teachers, and coaches to develop their potential and make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of others. Having worked with over 500,000 teachers and educational leaders nationwide, they have developed one-of-a-kind training seminars that are practical and immediately applicable. They also offer support materials (books, curricula, teacher’s manuals, and inservice kits) to help teachers effectively implement Top 20 content into their classrooms. Visit us at www.top20training.com or follow us on Twitter @top20training

Thought for the Week

Simply pulling a strategy “off the shelf” or defaulting to the most recently read article or staff development session topic may not generate the results we seek.

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