How to Uncover Your Beliefs

Why is it so important to understand your beliefs? If you remember when we started our discussions about beliefs, we talked about the importance of knowing your beliefs and how they impact your life and success.
Let’s define beliefs are according to the Merriam -Webster Dictionary:
An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists
– his belief in the value of hard work
– a belief that solitude nourishes creativity

Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction
– contrary to popular belief, Aramaic is a living language
– we’re prepared to fight for our beliefs

A religious conviction
– Christian, Muslim or Buddhist beliefs, for example
– I’m afraid to say belief has gone
– local beliefs and customs

Trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something
– a belief in democratic politics
– I’ve still got belief in myself

Now that you see what they are, how do they impact your daily life? There are several things we can learn from this definition. Beliefs are the way we see and shape our interactions with the world. For many people, they don’t even consider how beliefs might be impacting their lives. Today, we’ll give you several short exercises to help you identify your beliefs. Then next week we’ll talk about where beliefs come from and how they might impact your life.

Let’s start with several quick exercises to help you identify your beliefs. This is a sentence completion exercise adopted from Nathanial Branden to help you uncover your beliefs. His thinking was that if you gave an individual a partial sentence and then asked them to give 20 responses, it would help a person uncover not only their surface beliefs but by having them do it twenty times, it would help bring to the surface more awareness of how they saw the world. I’ve adapted it to help clients identify their beliefs and also their core values. The other thing to remember, there is no right or wrong answers in the area of beliefs. You should complete the sentence twenty times and not worry about the answers you uncover. I typically have clients do each sentence completion on a different page so they can be compared and compiled afterward. You don’t have to share yours with anyone. Remember to make this stress-free. If humorous answers pop out, that’s OK. For many technically trained individuals we tend to want to know the deeper meanings to this exercise. The answers are just a way of quickly getting your thoughts on paper so we can explore them to help us increase your awareness of the world.

The first is sentence completion is I am… Now put this at the top of the first page and then begin writing your twenty answers as quickly as possible. Just write what comes into you head. Don’t worry about spelling or editing your writing. Keep it short between one to three words to complete the sentence. Let you imagination go.

The second sentence is I succeed because… Complete this and don’t worry about your responses. This may take longer than the first sentence completion but for most people the first several come quickly and then at about 7-10 you get a little stuck, it’s critical that you keep on writing. You will feel good at the completion of this sentence completion. These will be positive affirmations for your growth. For many of my best clients they feel incredible after they complete this sentence twenty times.

The final sentence is I respect others when they… Now take your time. You’re almost done. What do you really respect about others? This one is the most challenging but will help you better understand what you look for in other people. It’s not always easy to complete this one twenty separate times but its critical you do this. If you’re looking for ideas on how to complete the sentence consider the important people in your life. Try to remember a time when you really respected them. Then write it down. This sentence will help you appreciate the uniqueness of your friends, family members, and coworkers.

Great job today. Thanks for your hard work. I know this can be a difficult assignment and challenging but the results you get will be amazing. I know these have stretched out your thinking. Next week we will review your responses and help you see how they shape your beliefs. We will also dig in to uncover where these answers came from and how they might be shaping the way you see the world. If you would like to confidentially share some of your answers, feel free to send them to me at and I will use them as examples next week. I will keep your responses confidential but share how they might be impacting your life. I used to do this with my graduate students live and it was also informative and helpful for them.

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