Excerpt From The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and
Improve Every Relationship in Your Life by Kevin B. Burk
If we want to change our lives in any way, all we need to do is to change our
words, thoughts and beliefs. When we change the words, we change the world.
Over the course of this handbook, you may discover a number of beliefs that no
longer support you. By following this simple, three-step process, you can change
your beliefs. By consciously creating beliefs that support us, we can change our
reality and enhance our lives.
The first and most important step towards changing our beliefs and improving
our lives is to become consciously aware of our beliefs. We must identify each
thought that shapes our experiences. We have to name our thoughts. We must
become conscious of the exact words that we have been using to create our
realities. This is the first step towards mastering our minds.
So much of our life is governed by our unconscious thoughts, beliefs and patterns.
We have lived with so many of these thoughts for so long that we believe that
they're actually real. We tell ourselves "that's just the way things are." Many of these
thoughts are beliefs about who we are and what we're entitled to-and almost all of
these beliefs deny the truth of who we are, limit our potential and cut us off from
the source of our happiness and prosperity.
We must become aware of our thoughts and beliefs. This handbook is designed to
support our awareness.
Once we've become aware of a belief, the second step is to own it. We must
accept it. We must take personal responsibility for it. We must recognize that the
belief belongs to us, and that it is a part of who we are. Most importantly, we must
accept that we created the belief.
This process is simple, but not always easy. We have to accept and acknowledge
that we are responsible for creating beliefs that are often negative, painful, and
limiting. On a conscious level we tell ourselves that we would never do this. Why on
earth would we choose to believe that we are unworthy, damaged, unlovable,
unskilled, unlucky, or any of the millions of other possibilities? Strange as it seems,
even our most negative, painful beliefs were created to serve and support us. Every
single one of our beliefs exists because the ego is trying to protect us from pain. As
painful as the belief itself may be, the ego believes that the pain that the belief
shields us from is infinitely greater. Just because these beliefs no longer serve us,
doesn't mean that they are bad or wrong.
It's often easier to own a belief when we are able to identify the origins of that
belief. If we understand that we created a belief to help us cope with a particular
experience, we can accept how that belief served us at the time. This process can
also help us to uncover beliefs we created because of things we were told as
While it's often helpful to explore where and when we first created a belief, we have
to be careful. Our egos will encourage us to deflect the responsibility for the beliefs
to protect us. It's one thing to recognize that we believe that we're not worthy of
being loved (for example) because our parents didn't spend enough time with us.
It's quite another to blame our parents for creating this belief and ruining our lives.
Our parents didn't create the belief-we did. We interpreted an experience, created
assumptions around it, developed expectations and created the belief. And until we
accept this, we can't change that belief.
Our egos can also interfere with the ownership process by encouraging us to
identify with the limiting belief. The ego can trick us into reinforcing our negative
beliefs, by turning those beliefs back on us. Essentially, we tell ourselves that we're
unworthy because we created a belief that we're unworthy. We beat ourselves up for
beating ourselves up. Without awareness, the ego has us coming and going.
If we become aware that we've fallen into an ego trap, we simply use our awareness
to escape the trap. We need only remember that every belief, no matter how
limiting, served us well at one time. Many beliefs were created to help us survive
difficult and painful situations in our past. However, we're no longer in those
situations. Our circumstances have changed, and we have more experience and new
skills that can serve us better now. We've simply outgrown the need for the old
beliefs. We can release them because we have more elegant options available to us
The third and final step is choice. Once we are aware of our beliefs and own
them, we have absolute control over them. We can now choose to alter our beliefs,
and change our reality. We have the power to change our lives completely in an
instant-we simply need to choose to do so now. I'm sure you've heard similar
motivational statements from any number of sources. While it is essentially true that
we can change our lives with a simple choice, it's also important to read the fine
print: We have to continue to make that same choice over and over and over and
over and over again. The now when we chose to change our lives is already in the
past. We have to keep choosing until our new choices, expectations, and beliefs
have become habit. We have to continue to choose until our new choices become
second nature to us.
Our past experiences certainly influence us. They shape our beliefs, and our
expectations. As long as we continue to let ourselves be guided by the past, we will
create similar experiences in the future. The past does not equal the future-unless
we choose to carry the past with us. The clich?, "there's no time like the present" is
not entirely correct. The truth is that there's no time except the present. The only
time that matters is now. The past is irrelevant; the future does not exist yet. The
only place where we can act, where we can create, where we can choose is now.
While the past does not need to influence or shape the future, many of the choices
and thoughts and expectations that we held in the past are old habits-and as the
saying goes, old habits are hard to break. This is the one arena where the progress
of technology has almost eliminated a perfectly good metaphor. Remember vinyl
records? Those big things that came before CDs? The groove of a record represents
our old patterns. Records could get scratched-that's one of the reasons that CDs
are so popular, actually-and a scratch represents a change or a break in the old
pattern. The only way to truly change the old pattern is to interrupt it enough times
that a new pattern starts to form. Our patterns are exactly like grooves in records.
The older the pattern, the deeper the groove, and the more interruptions it will take
before we make any permanent changes in the pattern. Each time we notice that we
have reverted back to our old, negative behaviors, we choose to take a different
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our old patterns that it seems like we can't
stop ourselves. It's essential that we do not beat ourselves up for not being able to
change old habits and behaviors on the first try (or even the second or third try)! We
may not have completely eliminated the pattern, but we did change it: The fact that
we were aware that we were acting out an old pattern is, in itself, a change in that
pattern. Each time we encounter the pattern, we will become aware of it sooner.
Eventually, we will also be able to interrupt the pattern. And when we can interrupt
our old patterns, we have the power to choose different, more elegant and
Kevin B. Burk is the author of The Relationship Handbook: How to
Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life.
Visit http://www.everyrelationship.com for a FREE report on creating AMAZING Relationships.