How to Change a Negative Belief About Yourself

Changing a Negative Belief

Have you been trying to change a negative belief about yourself for some time now?  But, no matter how hard you try, this belief still rears its ugly head at times?

Maybe you really want to achieve a personal goal you’ve had for years, for instance.  Or replace an unwanted habit.  A part of you knows you’re capable of overcoming it.  

But, there’s this little voice in the back of your mind saying, “I can’t.” 

It might even keep saying things like, “Why would you even try?  You know you’ve failed in the past.  You’re not smart enough.  You’re not deserving enough.  Who do you think you are?”

I know this sounds harsh.  But, it’s the unfortunate truth about how many of us talk to ourselves.  And it all stems from beliefs deep inside that have been cemented in over time. 

In this article, I’m going to give you one of the most overlooked reasons why we often don’t succeed at changing a negative belief.  And I’ll also offer you some simple tips on how to finally make some headway. 

A Simple Math Problem

There was a funny H & R Block commercial during tax season that went something like, “Thank God I learned so much about the Pythagorean Theory in school. It really helps during Pythagorean Theory season every year.”

Can you relate?

I spent a year struggling with Algebra in high school and never used it again in my life.

Meanwhile, this simple math that I’m going to share with you now I never heard once in school, yet it basically applies to every single one of us every day. 

And it will help you incredibly in beginning to turn around your negative beliefs.

That comment above is no disrespect to teachers and school administrators, by the way. It’s just the way things have been for a long time.  

All you need is a calculator. Ready? Actually, forget the calculator. We can figure it out without one.  Ok, let’s do this math problem:

Johnny is a little six year old boy who gets punished harshly often. He has concluded that because his parents punish him so much, they mustn’t love him. He thinks to himself, even without being aware of it, “I am unlovable.” 

As you can see in this example, I’m WAY oversimplifying things.  Johnny’s life is much more complicated than this.  And he’s forming all kinds of negative and positive beliefs about himself right now.  But, you get the point.

Each of us has over 60,000 thoughts running through their mind each day. (Researchers debate this number, but the consensus is that there are tens of thousands of thoughts streaming through our minds everyday.) 

Whenever Johnny gets punished, that statement, “I am unlovable.” plays unconsciously in his mind. It’s also attached to negative feelings that come over him at the same time. 

It’s getting so ingrained in him, that even when he’s not around his parents, he thinks it. Like at school, for instance, when he gets rejected by a classmate or scolded by a teacher. That statement, “I am unlovable.” can start playing over and over again in the back of his mind.

There are times when Johnny feels plenty loved by his parents.  And as he’s gotten older, he knows on a conscious level that he is, in fact, lovable. But, that program still runs often underneath – in his subconscious mind. 

Because first of all, he’s not even fully aware he has this belief – even now that he’s an adult. And secondly, because he doesn’t know how to refute it; how to heal from it; how to really gain his own deep down self love and self worth; and how to release it and replace it for good.

All this is what this website is about, by the way.  Showing you how to overcome your negative programming.  If you want to learn more about things like self awareness, self love, healing your past, gaining self worth, etc., there are plenty of articles here that can help.

So, let’s do the math. And we don’t even have to be exact. In fact, we can be off by thousands and we’ll still get it right. 

Say Johnny is 30 years old now. Say there are times when he feels good and that statement runs in his subconscious mind only a few times a day. Then there are days when it comes up more often. And on challenging days, that statement is most likely running a lot.

24 years  x  60,000 thoughts a day  =  Just imagine how many times that statement, along with those feelings, have run through Johnny’s mind!

Now, let’s give this math problem a visual. Let’s picture Johnny’s negative belief as a snowball. Let’s picture the start of that snowball when he was just a little boy as a little piece of snow. 

Let’s picture it increasing through the years with every single time he thinks that statement. How big do you think that snowball is right now at 30 years old?

What’s the solution to all this?  It’s a Numbers Game!

That huge snowball is what we’re all dealing with when we’re trying to conquer our inner demons, so to speak.

This might all sound obvious.  The problem is that it might be obvious – even elementary to us – but we’re not using this simple math to our advantage.  

There’s no doubt that if you have a negative belief about yourself that you haven’t been able to start really overcoming, you haven’t applied it in your life. 


The good news:  You can start today!  And it’s so easy.

Here Are 4 Tips to Using The Power of Repetition  

Start Getting Good At Self Awareness

This is so you can really start uncovering all the negative beliefs that are running your life.  Self awareness is powerful!

It’s like shining a light in a dark place. 

The easiest way to get good at self-awareness is to just start getting quiet.  Take time out everyday to do this.  Early morning when we first wake up and right before we go to bed at night are the perfect times.

Start asking yourself questions: 

  • Why do I feel this way? 
  • Why did I react that way today? 
  • Why does this still bother me?
  • What beliefs are behind this? 
  • Etc. 

Stay quiet and answers will come.  Journaling is great for this too.

I have a great article on self awareness here.

Start Becoming Your Own Best Friend 

Corny, I know.  But, I’ll take corny over unhappy anyday.

If a friend came to you and told you about all their negative beliefs, wouldn’t you have a sit down with her and tell her all the reasons why these beliefs are false? 

You’d give her the support and encouragement she needed from you.  You’d tell her how great she really is.

Start doing this very thing for yourself – often! 

Have a few words like this with yourself here and there throughout the day – everyday.  Like when you notice you’re feeling off and then realize it’s your negative self talk causing you to feel this way. 

You don’t have to have some strange conversation with yourself.  When I was younger, I used to see a guy at the bus stop all the time who held a bottle of ketchup up to his face and talked to it.  Not that kind of conversation;) 

Just start getting used to talking to yourself with kindness.  The truth is we talk to ourselves inside all day long.  Start turning that monologue around.

I have some great articles on things like finding out if you are too hard on yourself and changing self-criticism to self love.

Just remember:  REPETITION.  This can’t be an ‘every now and then’ kind of thing.  It’s got to be a new way of life.

Start Saying Affirmations

Hopefully you’re starting to see that affirmations are becoming more mainstream.  Not so ‘out there’.

I love it when glamorous celebrities like Jennifer Lopez come out and talk about how they use affirmations.  This is such a good thing.  J.Lo actually swears by affirmations.  I have an article here about it.  She’s so inspiring.

The more role models talk about affirmations, the more they’ll catch on.

And they’re not exactly a new fad. The great spiritual leaders throughout time spoke about this.

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

Affirmations are so easy to start using.  Just take a negative belief and turn it around.

“I can’t.”  can be changed to “I can!”  “I’m worthy!”  “I’m capable!”  “I’m gaining confidence in myself, little by little!”

Tell yourself what you wished you believed as a little kid. Tell yourself what you would tell your own child.

Then start installing these affirmations into your subconscious mind.  Over time, they’ll start replacing your negative beliefs.

There are a few secrets to affirmations:

1. Make sure you believe the new affirmation.  Make it authentic to you.

2. Affirmations don’t work if you don’t FEEL them.  If not, they’re just empty words. And they won’t stick.

3.  REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT.  I have all kinds of ways to ‘sneak’ them in all throughout your days. The thing is no one has to know. They’re your little secret.

4.  Get creative.  Always create new affirmations to add to your tried and true ones.  Say them in different ways.  Mix them up depending on what you’re feeling and needing that day and what you’re working on.

5.  Here is a great article on affirmations to get you started.

Start Tending to The Moments

You know the old expression, “Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.”?

We can apply this concept not just to our finances, but to our happiness – including changing negative beliefs.

If we start paying more attention to the moments, our days will start getting better. 

Think about when you’re at work, for example.  Do you find yourself in moods?  Frustrated?  Cranky?  The thing is – it’s not what’s going on outside of us that’s causing these moods.  It’s what’s going on inside. 

This is not an easy thing to accept at times.  But, if we can, our life will start getting so much better.

What beliefs are at play when you find yourself upset, worried, or fearful, for example?  Don’t keep letting these times go by without becoming aware of what’s really going on and then intentionally working on changing the negative beliefs behind the scenes.

It’s so much better than wishing and hoping people and things around us would change so we can feel better. Or always biding our time. Like, ‘Let’s just make it through this day, through this week, through this month.’

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
Omar Khayyam

Speaking of this, start caring more about how you feel. 

As Wayne Dyer used to say, “A change of feeling is a change of destiny.” 

Start doing what you can to feel better in the moments of your days.  This isn’t being superficial.  It’s how we intentionally create a better life for ourselves.

And keep using the power of REPETITION.

Thanks for reading!


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