The Power of Beliefs

Playing with some random thoughts recently, I wondered: if the Lefkoe Belief Method can eliminate deep-seated false beliefs from your subconscious mind, is it possible to install new ones that you’ve chosen?

It wouldn’t be as straightforward. Given the success of the Lefkoe method, the model of beliefs it proposes is very likely to be correct. By that model, beliefs are generalizations of events experienced many times over a long period, or experienced fewer times but accompanied by strong emotions or trauma. To create a belief that you don’t already have, you would need to vividly visualize something regularly and repeatedly. The subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between a vividly imagined scene and a real one, so if you can imagine such a scene vividly enough, often enough, that would presumably lead the subconscious mind to create new beliefs about it.

If something about that description sounds familiar, it’s no surprise. That’s exactly how people are told to use the Law of Attraction, best known for the last few years from The Secret. Rhonda Byrne, the writer and producer of The Secret, says that she got the idea from a book published in 1910, but it apparently goes back to at least the eighteenth century, and possibly much further.

Many such subconscious beliefs, for good or ill, are self-fulfilling prophecies. If you believe “I succeed at everything I do,” you won’t give up until you do succeed, but if you believe “I’m a failure” you’re not likely to try much, and not likely to put a lot of effort into the things you do try. If you can somehow use this method to convince your subconscious mind that you’re predestined to succeed at something, you’re almost certain to do so, given time.

The Secret has been widely criticized as being nothing more than wishful thinking, but this may well be the scientific basis for its successes. Its failures as well — many, many people hold strong subconscious beliefs from their childhoods that sabotage their success, and it would be practically impossible for most people to install a positive belief strong enough to overcome those, without eliminating the negative beliefs first. Fortunately, eliminating such negative beliefs is now easy, and much faster than installing positive new ones in this way.

It’s worth considering.