When we look in the mirror, what do we see?
The obvious answer is that in the mirror, we see what we look like.
And, yet, what we really see is something entirely different. We see what we believe we look like and what we believe we are.
Maxwell Maltz, a renowned plastic surgeon, tells the stories of several of his patients. As a result of their surgery, the flaws they disliked were completely gone, and yet, the people still saw the flaws when they looked in the mirror after their faces had healed. He realized that they only saw what they believed they looked like, not what the reflection in the mirror actually displayed.
We see what we believe instead of believing what we see.
I read an interesting study. The researchers took photos of women. They showed the women 3 copies of the same photo. One photo had been modified to display them as slimmer than they really were; the other photo was modified to show them heavier than they really were; and the 3rd photo was the original. The women almost always picked the picture that was modified to make them look heavier. Again, they were seeing what they believed was true.
How are our beliefs formed?
The beliefs about what we look like are built throughout our life. You’d think that most of what we believe comes from what we are told and the experiences we have. However, instead of our beliefs developing from our experiences, it is actually our beliefs that create our experiences. And, yes, we usually believe what we are repeatedly told by others — including parents, teachers, friends, ex-es, bosses, TV and advertising. It begins as a child, continues as an adolescent and then keeps going throughout adulthood.
The lucky people have always been surrounded by people who encouraged them and highlighted only the positive aspects. The people in their lives held the vision of success, happiness and beauty for them. The supportive folks reflected back an image of potential and possibilities. Therefore, these people have a jump-start on success in life.
Most of us had a different experience. Do any of these sound familiar?
- You’re getting so fat.
- Look at how bad your acne is.
- Haha, you throw like a girl.
- Only pretty girls get ahead.
- Only football players get the cute girls.
I’m sure you can fill in the blank with more of these and some probably even more destructive.
Once we have a belief about ourselves, it impacts everything we think, say and do — no matter what the mirror actually says!
Ok, the next step is to figure out how to change your beliefs so that they help you see what your true potential is. And, remember that what I’ve described is true for more than what you look like. It applies just the same to what you believe you can achieve, you are capable of, you are skilled at, and so on, and so on.
The first step is to close your eyes so that the current real world is gone. Then, begin to see images of what you deeply desire to create in your life and in the world. With regular practice, you can bring many details into your picture — or movie — including sounds, tastes, smells, sensations and emotions. The more detail you create in your mind movie, the easier it becomes to find ways to bring that into your life. You must do this exercise over and over again. Remember, that it takes at least 28 days to create a new habit. This applies to your habitual beliefs, too. Keep visualizing.
What you are doing is replacing the voices and words of all of those people in your life that may have meant well and yet brought about a set of beliefs that only brings you down instead of lifts you up. The more you practice, the stronger your new beliefs become. The stronger they become, the weaker and smaller the old beliefs become.
Remember to focus on what you desire to have more of in your life. Let go of the thoughts and images that represent what you would like to get rid of.
What are some of your current beliefs about how you look, what you are capable of, and who you really are?
Give yourself the gift of time and write down what your beliefs are. Then, take a look at how well they serve your success. Pick some new beliefs to replace any of them that keep you down.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat your new beliefs until they become the thoughts that roam in your head while you’re driving down the road.
Tony Robbins can be over the top, and yet has a great message. Here is a video where he shares how he creates new beliefs – which he calls creating absolute certainty about something.
List of the incantations he makes in the video above (scroll far down the page to find the incantations)