Shifting Beliefs and Growing my Intuition

While I don’t do “book reviews”, I often will share my insights from books I’ve read. My recent read of Own your Own Shift by Stacey Ruth, recommended by a friend, highlighted for me some additional insight into shifting beliefs. And interestingly, there was some “how to” on building up intuition – an area I am personally exploring. As an analytical critical thinker (engineer trained), I’ve wanted to get more in touch with my own intuition. As it’s been said, the teacher comes when the student is ready.

As part of my own retirement transition, I’ve been working on personal development and shifting self-limiting beliefs. For me, retirement has given me time to explore who the authentic me is, including digging deep into what is my own truth and what is just societal, cultural, and even family conditioning.

Changing Beliefs
Underneath our thinking lies a set of fundamental beliefs – beliefs about the self/our identity, our relationships, and the world. These are our “truths” — our story — even if they are not true! They frame our perception of our reality. They come from parents, teachers, culture; they can be baseless or even unintentionally transmitted. Some common fundamental beliefs that we have could include: whether we are capable or incompetent, good at something or not, creative or not, attractive or ugly, stupid or smart, have abundance or scarcity. Also we can believe certain people are better than others or we can believe with certainty our failure or success. But we need to recognize that the beliefs are CHOICES. You can choose a different belief.

Beliefs are highly emotional – they are not of the conscious, rational mind. We often will choose things (to do/not do) or see/hear things in a way that support the story we are telling ourselves. These fundamental beliefs are deeply ingrained and feel familiar. They have become our Inner Guidance System and then we put up self-imposed limitations or have negative behaviors to stay within our story. Keeping these deep habitual thought patterns feels safer – familiar is comfortable! They take time and effort to change.

Understanding how to shift your mindset on beliefs in retirement can be helpful. You might need to rethink your identity, adjust to new routines, adopt new behaviors, create new social networks, or accept new physical limitations. Becoming aware of what your beliefs are in relation to any of these, especially if they are limiting you, and then deciding to change that belief to change your story, requires both VISION and INTENTION. You have to want the change and you need to see the (different, positive) future.

First, really decide if you want to shift your belief. Are you willing to entertain a different belief? How would your life be if you changed that belief? What is causing you to resist the change and what if you stopped resisting the change? Are you afraid of losing something with the change of belief? While you might think , “Of course I want to change that belief, it’s limiting me” I recently had a friend tell me she honestly didn’t want to change some of her self-limiting beliefs because she felt they motivated her. Self-limiting beliefs can also feel familiar and comfortable. Think about, “What am I giving up (by shifting this belief) and what am I gaining?”

Second, imagine yourself in the after and be vivid in the imagining! The more familiar you become with the end result, the more easily you become it. Focus not on what you want gone (the don’t, the not), but on what you want to be. Shift from problem and negative thinking to the positive and future solution. Articulate it as reality – I am — and understand how that feels.

Change is hard. If awareness were all it took, change would be easy! (I’m fond of saying, “The knowing doesn’t make the doing easier.”) Change demands moving out of our comfort zone. But where we focus, we flourish. So when we focus on the familiar of what we lack, the negative, what is wrong… we build it up! When we can see the positive, we can then think the positive, we can be the positive. The more you think it, the more you find/see reinforcement to support and validate that story.

So, do you want to be thinking and finding reinforcement of the self-limiting, negative story or the self-empowering, positive one? The HOW TO is:
– Name and claim what you want (without judgment or qualification) → Write it down in positive self-empowering language
– Consider, what is stopping me?→ Write it down and let it go
– Vividly envision the future → however it works for you – write it down, create vision board, create affirmations
– Micro steps – find time to be in your future state (explore a possibility with one small step), add in meditation (the type best for you), use affirmations daily.

Becoming More Intuitive
I’ve been working on shifting self-limiting to self-empowering beliefs for some time now. I’m better, but change is hard, so this is a work-in-progress for sure. For me the AHA Insight in reading this book became, what exactly is my future vision for who I want to become – What is “being intuitive” really like? What does “having a feminine consciousness” feel like? What do I mean by “unlock my feminine intuitive energy“? What does being connected to spiritual energy/vibrations feel like?

I also had to explore why am I being resistant to this shift of using my intuitive nature/my inner energy? I discovered that I personally place a higher value on cognitive, rational, logical thinking! So now I am trying to think about this as an AND, not an OR? How can I leverage both aspects of the mind so they function synergistically? And even harder, how can I shift to value both the feminine principles (intuitive insights) as well as masculine principles (analytical logic)?

I was also able to identify some specific Intuition Building Practices:

  • Creativity – whether it’s gardening, cooking, crafting, writing, drawing, collaging, or some other creative outlet.
  • Mindfulness – be fully present, aware of breath, spend time being still
  • Awareness of intuitive moments – become aware of when I am compelled to do something, feel a connection with someone, have a strong feeling about a situation
  • Observation skills – multi-sensory noticing – consider doing nature Awe Walks
  • Body Scan – awareness of what the body needs and then do it, Consider mindful eating, jet baths, massage, stretching
  • Compassion for others – build the skill of lovingly detachment
  • Dream Awareness – dream journaling & ask for meaning (“I will be aware of my dreams”): look for metaphors and symbols
  • Awareness of emotions – let go of negative self talk, build positive mindset, reframing stories, gratitude lists
  • Watch for symbols, signs and repeated patterns (subconscious mind seeing)
  • Meditation – loving kindness, chakra, Yoga, rooting

Many of these practices are part of my daily/weekly routine and I will continue to build others into my lifestyle activities.

So, change is hard. Shifting beliefs is hard. Learning to be more intuitive is hard. But with WILLINGNESS, PERSISTENCE, PATIENCE, I will make progress!

What beliefs are you working to shift? What aspects of your future self are you working to become?

Picture Credit: my newest plant purchase for the patio – a desert rose. Now to keep it alive!

14 thoughts on “Shifting Beliefs and Growing my Intuition

  1. I think it’s important to question our beliefs occasionally and be willing to change them if we discover they are not true or no longer serve. As you said, it’s not easy. We have invested a lot in what we believe to be true. I always enjoy hearing what you are studying and working on. I am often inspired to ask myself questions after reading one of your posts. Right now, I’m in survival mode trying to make the most of my last month of work and leave things in good order. On top of that, it’s one of our busier times at the office. By the time I get home, I don’t want to think about anything! I figure there is plenty of time for introspection next month. 🙂

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    1. Christie, I do recall my last 2 months of working and being busier than usual as I tried to finish up projects, transition responsibilities, and leave everything in its best shape. I encourage you to enjoy those last days… and yes, I do believe you’ll have time in a couple of months for more introspection!

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  2. Pat, I believe that ‘reinventing ourselves’ comes with the territory as the circumstances of our lives change. There have been times when I have resisted and times when I embrace new beliefs to acclimate to my surroundings. There was a time in my early retirement years that I went too far and the reinvention had little resemblance to my true self. My lesson then and how I live now is to listen to my intuition and recognize when I am loosing touch with my authentic self. As you have said, ‘the knowing doesn’t make the doing easier,’ but self-evaluation does at least provide a blueprint, or a baseline that we can refer to when we get lost. Even then, there are no guarantees for inner peace, happiness and authenticity. We truly are works in progress. Truly interesting and insightful post. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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    1. Suzanne, Interesting your comment “the reinvention had little resemblance to my true self”. I think that might have been true in my early retirement as well as I did what I thought I “should do”. And much of that did not “stick” as I pointed out in a recent post. You make me wonder if I’m being true to myself now with my current reinvention and attempt to be more intuitive. Hmm!

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  3. Hi Pat, a great post. I’m a bit of the opposite — I trust my instinct first on just about every decision, large or small, and have been trying to do more research, take more time to think things through, be more analytical. I love how you’re trying to find a mix too! I will only say this — that your intuition can come through really loud and clear and it’s a matter of trust to listen to it. I have often found I have disregarded my intuition in some instances, only to have it prove true in the end. Once that happpens to you, you’ll find it a lot easier to listen. Great post!

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    1. Judi, Thanks for joining in the conversation! I find intuitive individuals fascinating and constantly wonder “how do you just know?” Being the analytical planner, I think it’s harder to listen for my intuition – it’s buried! But I am trying to listen for it.

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  4. Interesting post with some food for thought. I do believe that retirement is a time — and great opportunity — to challenge and change a lot of our beliefs, especially about ourselves. We have new activities, new routines, new friends, and a new opportunity to reinvent ourselves. Personally, I’ve rediscovered some interests from my younger days, but also developed new activities and approaches that sometimes surprise me.

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    1. Tom, I completely agree about reinventing ourselves, and sometimes that requires us to shift how we think about ourselves. I was a highly critical, glass-half-full, that won’t work thinker. I didn’t believe I was creative, athletic, nor a good friend. I had a huge imposter syndrome belief. All that thinking was my story… and I’ve been working on changing it for a few years now. This recent book read once again helped me see that I can change my beliefs and be a compassionate, positive person, a good friend, and a highly competent individual! Change is possible.

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  5. Interesting post. That couldn’t have been me that you said wanted to keep her self-limiting belief because it keeps me motivated could it? LOL If I didn’t say it, I believe it because I do want to keep the self-limiting belief that I am fat to motivate me to stay on my diet.

    I love the intuition thing. I truly believe in intuition even though I consider myself on the intellectual side of most things. I don’t even tell most people that I have a good intuitive sense because I’m afraid they will thinks I’m nuts. And interestingly, I used to tell my daughter about it but kinda stopped because she thought I was nuts only to find out that she has realized that she has it too. My mother had it as well.

    I love the idea of working on changing beliefs. I totally agree that those self-limiting beliefs often hold us back, but changing them is really hard. I’m sure you remember that when I wrote my list of self-limiting beliefs and tried to rewrite them, I totally didn’t believe the rewrite. But I’m still working on them. Well, at least some of them.

    I hope you guys are having fabulous weather and I fabulous time. I get jealous when I see your postings about the all the things you are doing!!! I need my planner!!! I sure miss you.

    Candyse

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Candyse, Ah, yeah, you did say it. The fact you recognized it is important, because you are NOT fat! (So says the size 14 friend). Rewriting them and then believing them is hard. You do know that one of my solid beliefs was “I’m not a good friend”, right? Work on them!

      I never knew about the intuition… we’re gonna need to talk about it more – see all my questions about how being intuitive “feels”! So, when are you coming to visit? I’ll send some times for a long chat, at least!

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  6. Such a great post! I’ve been focussing on who I’ve been “hero worshipping” and deciding if I still need the as my heroes. My thinking is people rise in society at a particular time in history. Attitudes and values are at a particular place in time. But then society moves on. Also, my own skills etc improve so my old hero starts to become more of an equal or a colleague. If I keep rating my hero so far above me, then I am also devaluing the ground I’ve covered and possibly also the ground my peers have covered. So I guess I’m trying to figure out how to orient myself without “looking up” to and adulating the accomplishments of others as my starting point. It’s my decluttering project that has really brought this to the fore at the moment.

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    1. Fascinating thinking! I’ve never thought through my own “hero worshipping.” I recently had someone i admire (kinda a hero) hurt me, intentionally. The idea that putting a hero above devalues you is really an interesting thing to think about. I’m going to need to think about this more!

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  7. Hi Pat – I’ve often struggled with change and with stepping out of my comfort zone. My husband tells me I’m ‘risk aversive’ and I think he’s right (at least 90% of the time!) I’ve come to see that my values are entrenched and I’m happy with them, but there are a lot of beliefs that sit on top of those values that may not mesh well with them when I think about them more deeply. It’s those that I’m working on changing. Life is in constant flux and I’d like to think that I’m growing and deepening – and belief change comes with that process doesn’t it?

    BTW I’m writing a post on my take on glimmers later in May – with a lot of referencing back to your abandonment series – it certainly impacted me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, I’m looking forward to your take on glimmers. I’ve talked the topic with a few folks and it’s helped me refine my own thinking about it.

      When I was working, I was known to be “adverse to change”. But actually, I was usually wondering how we were going to get from point A to point B and seeing all the possible problems along the way. I do like to have a detailed plan, although I am also OK with modifying it along the way (at least I think I am!). Anyway, I have learned that some of my beliefs really did need to be changed. The insight here (in this reading) was getting clear on what I want to change to…and figuring out what’s preventing the change (if I really want it). One belief I’ve been able to shift over time is believing I am not a good friend. The belief still surfaces once in awhile, but these days I can tell that inner voice – nope, not true!

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