Last week, I examined why believing we will succeed is so important to our success in life. This week, in part 2 of this 4 part series, I will look at how beliefs can affect our lives in ways beyond our normal conscious control, and outline the 10 step self-belief process.

Beyond belief!

One of the reasons our beliefs are a force of such tremendous power is that they affect us at a level beyond our normal conscious control. In a study of 100 people who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer who were still alive over 10 years later, the one common factor amongst all survivors was not the type of treatment they had, but the belief that the treatment would work for them. The beliefs they held dramatically affected the way their bodies reacted to the cancer and they went on to defy the odds and survive.

Studies on the use of placebos provide more evidence of the importance of beliefs in healing. A placebo is fake drug usually consisting simply of sugar. When patients are given placebos, but are told that the placebo is a real drug that will have positive results, on average about 30% of patients respond favourably. Since all drugs need to be tested against placebos there is considerable research which prove they are beneficial. In one study of placebos used on cancer patients who believed they were having chemotherapy, a third of all patients lost their hair. So what is creating these changes? It's not the sugar pill. It's simply the patients belief of the effects that these pills will have.

Putting your inner friend to work for you

Our subconscious mind then will act to support our beliefs, even beyond what we normally think of as possible. It's important therefore to put it to work for us and not against us.

I like to think of our subconscious mind as an inner friend. He (or she) is not something you can tell to do things, he just responds to the beliefs you have. If you have beliefs which support what you are doing, your inner friend will be there to support you too, to motivate you when the going gets tough, to give you the determination to succeed, and as we've seen from the examples above, even to help you out in ways which are beyond any kind of conscious control.

On the other hand if you have beliefs which contradict the actions you are taking, your friend becomes an enemy. He'll be there saying things like ¡°you can't do this¡±, ¡°this just isn't you¡±, ¡°what makes you think this time will be any different¡±, and when the going gets tough you'll believe him and stop trying.

Is your subconscious your friend or your enemy? Take a moment now to ask yourself the following question:

For the goals you have set for yourself, in your heart of hearts, do you really believe you will achieve them?

If the answer for any goal is no, then you must, must, must, take the time to get that self-belief. If you do not, you may well find you are simply wasting your time, and everyone else's too! Before you attempt to achieve any goal in life, you must first make sure you believe that in all probability that you will be successful.

And what if you don't believe, does that mean that you have to give up on that goal? NO, of course it doesn't. If this was the case many of us would never achieve anything! What you do need to do though is take some time to develop that belief before you start working towards your goal.

Developing self-belief - The 10 step process

I have developed a 10 step process which will help you develop your belief to achieve a specific goal. The process will build up your belief step by step. In the same way a builder has to lay down bricks to create a building, we'll be building up your beliefs in stages so that by the end you will believe you will succeed. The steps are:

1) Be confident that the end result is possible.

You need to be able to say with total conviction ¡°it really is possible to achieve this goal¡± - perhaps someone else has already done this or something similar, or you are clear in your mind that it really can be achieved.

2) Believe that the end result is possible by you.

Just because something can be done, does not necessarily mean we believe we can do it. We all hold limiting beliefs about our own ability to achieve a goal, and we must face these, understand them, and then overcome them. At this stage, all I'm asking is that you believe it's possible by you, not probable.

3) Really want the end result

The more we want to achieve a goal, the bigger the hurdles we'll jump over to get there, and in turn the greater the self-belief we will have. Choose a goal you really want, and seek to understand the underlying values achieving your goal will fulfil. This will create a link to what's truly important to you, and ensure you are really motivated.

4) Believe that you deserve the end result.

Hidden under the surface in many people is a hidden belief that when it comes down to it, they do not deserve to succeed. If you do not feel you deserve success, your inner enemy will take control, you'll lose motivation, and stop taking the action necessary for success.

5) Achieving your goal must not contradict any other beliefs or values you have

An entrepreneur might on one hand want to make a million, but also believe that people who have too much money are greedy. If achieving your goal is inconsistent with your other beliefs and values, your subconscious mind will get in your way, creating doubts about whether you should succeed. Understanding and dealing with any conflicting beliefs and values ensures you move towards your goal with your whole being supporting you.

6) Create a plan

Taking the time to research and create a plan enables you to clearly see how your goal will be achieved. The better the plan the more confidence you will have that the goal is achievable.

7) The steps on your plan must not contradict any other beliefs or values you have

Having created a plan, you must be sure that each of those steps is consistent with your beliefs and values. If not your inner enemy will again flex its muscles and stand in your way.

8) Believe that you can do each of the steps on the plan

An end goal can often seem such a big target that it sometimes seems unlikely that you will ever get there. By looking at the small steps along the way and being clear that you can do each of them enables you to realise that your goal is not only achievable, but achievable by you.

9) Believe you will do the steps on the plan

Having a plan you can do does not necessarily mean you will do it. We often have other commitments in life which this plan has to fit around. You must therefore consider what barriers could prevent you from undertaking the steps on your plan, and work to overcome these. You must then commit to following through with your plan no matter what.

10) Believe you are likely to achieve your goal

You should aim to believe there is more than an 80% chance that you will achieve your goal. Spending time visualising yourself achieving the end goal and addressing any final doubts you have, will enable you to take action with the conviction that you will be successful.

In next week's article I will look at how to apply the first 6 steps of the 10 step self-belief process.

Author's Bio: 

Nick Best is an author, speaker and personal development coach. If you would like more information on the 9 step self-belief process and how to make it work for you, e-mail him at, and he will send you the full text of the relevant chapter of his book The Management Of Life. Other selected chapters of the book can be found on his website