Most of us have our own versions of disempowering beliefs – our beliefs around the way we look, about our self-worth, about our relationship with money. These beliefs come from various sources: a bullying teacher; overhearing a conversation between our parents; or the attention (or lack thereof) from the people we attract in our lives. And as we believe these things to be true, they become true.

Various radical changes in my career, and later my divorce, all reinforced my early belief of not being enough. I can still hear my father responding to my 10/10 school results with “why not an 11/10?” I did – and sometimes still do – feel hurt or misunderstood in family situations or defensive in the business environment. Yet the real issue is not that someone is shooting down my idea, not listening to me or misunderstanding me. It all boils down to a deeply buried belief that I was and still am not enough. 

What might happen if I developed a belief that I am enough and have nothing to prove to the world?

The difficult part of this process is that our models of reality are often unknown to us. Some models we know, and some are deeply embedded within so that we are mostly unaware of them. What we know we believe is much smaller than what you we do not know we believe. How often does the answer of “I can’t do that” run through your mind? What is the belief behind that? Some of the beliefs might be “to be a great teacher, you have to suffer” or “don’t ask for too much because someone will get hurt if you do” or “do not stand out, it’s not safe to stand out”.

Much of the journey of growing wiser is about becoming aware of the models of reality that we carry without even realising it. When you replace disempowering models of reality with empowering ones, tremendous changes can occur in your life at a very rapid pace. Each disempowering model of reality is nothing more than a Brule (Bullsh*t Rule) we have set up for ourselves and like any Brule, it should be questioned.

A great exercise to rewrite your model of reality is what I call the “What I Love About Myself” Exercise. Think about a quality and/or action of yours that made you proud today. Maybe nobody else told you that they appreciated it, yet you can still affirm it to yourself. Think about what it is about you, as a human being, that you can love. You can practice this self-affirmation daily and add to it another great exercise of thinking of three things for which you are grateful.

Marisa Peer suggest that all of us have a child within who never received all the love and appreciation we deserved. We cannot go back and fix the past, yet we can take responsibility to heal ourselves by giving the love and appreciation we deserve.

Ask yourself these two questions around your model of reality. The first being: is my model of reality absolute, holding true for all human beings across every culture, or is it a relative truth? If your model is not scientifically validated, feel free to challenge it. The second question is: does this really mean what I think it means? Is this really true? Am I 1100% sure that this is what is really going on?

I believe that the best thing we can do with outdated models of reality is to let them go gracefully. Turn them into history. Let us celebrate our amazing ability to evolve emotionally, spiritually, and mentally throughout life, taking on new ways of being.

Mike Dooley writes: “True brilliance is not a function of understanding one’s view of the world and finding order, logic and spirituality in it. True brilliance is understanding that your view of order, logic and spirituality is what created your world and therefore being forever capable of changing everything.”

As a Compassionate Leader, have compassion for yourself and for those you lead. Look beyond the surface for the little child stuck in old beliefs and liberate that child with kindness and completion.