A Coaching Power Tool By Sybelle Gielisse, Executive Coach, NETHERLANDS
How Self-Awareness Can Open Intuition When Coaching Clients With Underlying Beliefs
We are born without any judgments, opinions, or other beliefs. As a child you are open, you have a big fantasy, everything is possible, no hurdles to take, you are looking with an open mind to the world asking all kinds of questions just to understand.
Children are active builders of knowledge-little scientists who are constantly creating and testing their own theories of the world. Papert, 1999
Children all just follow in this process their intuition. No fear to look foolish. Intuition helps alert kids to danger, provides guidance in decision making, and helps in problem-solving, enabling youngsters to jump more quickly to a solution.
What a difference with who we are now; everything we do, the way we look to the world is based on our experiences, our beliefs, and the things we learned from others. These experiences, the things we learned when we were raised, are all translated in judgments, in opinions, in our current behavior, in our beliefs. We wear colored glasses and the problem is that we sometimes don’t know that we are wearing these colored glasses…..
We even think that everything we see from these glasses is all “true”. This is the moment that the Underlying Beliefs are alive and kicking!
In this complex world we sometimes don’t know anymore what is leading us; our (Underlying) Beliefs or our intuition. In some cases, we have even lost our intuition. And we just don’t realize. In the complex world of today we follow our beliefs, we are misled by our Underlying Beliefs and before we know we are living a life that is not the life we really want to live. We ignore our intuition (or we just lose it), we deceive ourselves, and we decide (all or not unconsciously) to deny ourselves the right to a great life, our own life.
How great would it be if we could stand in your Authentically Powerful Personal Presence (Alan Seale)? Just by following your intuition. Doing our thing, connected with our values. How simple would your life be? Above all how wonderful (and successful) would your life be?
So the central question here is, would you be blocked and frustrated by your (negative) underlying beliefs? Or live a fulfilling life by following your intuition?
What Is an Underlying Belief?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a belief is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.
So a belief is an assumed truth. We create beliefs to anchor our understanding of our world. We might believe something based on a fact, an opinion, or an assumption. As Larry Harvey says “Beliefs are thought at rest”. When we believe something to be true we will rarely question or think about the validity of that belief.
Man is made by his belief, as he believes, so he is. Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe
We form our beliefs from a very early age. These beliefs are based on our environment; what we were told, what we heard as well as what we observed and experienced. Our beliefs are also the conclusions we draw from these experiences. We form beliefs about our-self, about others, and the world around us. People hang onto their beliefs even if they are limiting or fly in the face of evidence to the contrary.
Why are we creating a whole belief system around us? There are two main reasons why we are doing this. First of all, it is for safety reasons. Human beings want to feel safe. So we create a belief system, a system that guides you in your everyday functioning. To be able to function.
Secondly, it is a time issue. We act based on our experiences, on the knowledge we gathered in the past which are translated into beliefs so that we can act fast and naturally. Without thinking, discussing with our-self, exploring the options, or other time-consuming thoughts.
The Impact of Underlying Beliefs on Our Lives
As already written most of our beliefs lay down below the surface; we can’t see them, but they are strong. Some Underlying Beliefs sit below the surface just like an iceberg. They are the core and strength of who you are. They are you. But you are not even aware that these are Underlying Beliefs. Or in other words; You just act on these Underlying Beliefs and in this case you are not aware of that, you don’t know if these are true and if negative formulated they can stand in your way and blocking you!
- I am not good enough. I am not worth it.
- I can’t do this!
- I have to be perfect and so on….
We talk about negative Underlying Beliefs if these beliefs continually sabotage our attempt to create a truly fulfilling life. That can lead that you don’t achieve one of your targets in life because you are more committed to one of your Underlying Beliefs. You just try and try and you won’t succeed. Very frustrated.
Summarized we can say that an Underlying Belief is just a thought we think is true, it is based on our experiences, sometimes we are not aware of them and in the worse case, they are blocking you from living your fulfilling life because they have a negative impact!
What Is Intuition?
According to the Oxford Dictionary intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
We shall allow our intuition to guide us. A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.
Hans Welling determined even 11 meanings of intuition:
I would like to see intuition as a process of feeling. The input to this process is mostly provided by knowledge and experiences, primarily acquired by associative learning, and stored in the LT (long-term) memory. It is processed automatically and without conscious awareness. The output is a knowing, a first impression, (gut )feeling, a sense which can be used for an action (decision, or behavior, or another action).
The positive thing about intuition is that it is free of fear and is connected with our inner self. It is always true! And that makes it so worthwhile.
To be able to use our intuition we have to be aware of our-self. Self-awareness is the key to intuition. By being self-aware we know what is important to us (values), we know our beliefs but also our negative Underlying Beliefs, we know our mind, our spirit, our body, we know what is blocking you, our fears, we recognize our patterns, our understanding how we think, what we want in life (desires), what our strengths are and so on. Based on these insights we can open ourselves for intuition and just trust our feelings/intuition.
Self-Application to Discover Your Underlying Beliefs
How can we recognize our Underlying Beliefs even if we are not aware of them? Below you will find some ways to recognize Underlying Beliefs:
- We don’t achieve our goals, how hard we try,
- we are frustrated because something doesn’t work in the way we would like,
- something is preventing you from getting what you want,
- you are using negative language that doesn’t support the belief of being positive
- can’t do this, I am not worth it, I have to..),
- it can be your gut feeling who is protesting against these beliefs, you may feel fear
- that is preventing you from moving forward or changing things.
After recognizing your Underlying Beliefs you can ask yourself some reflective questions:
- Where does this belief come from?
- Is this my belief or have I adopted it from someone else?
- How does this belief help me? How is this belief serving me?
- How does this belief hinder me?
- How do I know this belief is true?
There are many other questions you can ask yourself to discover the Underlying Beliefs. Another (positive) approach can also be using your intuition to discover the gap between what you really want and what is blocking you.
Self-Application to Improve Your Intuition
The more you are aware of yourself the easier it is to use your intuition or better to trust your intuition. You then just know when you are fooling yourself with your Underlying Beliefs.
To give intuition the space it deserves it is good to ask yourself some intuition-based questions. These questions are all based on feelings, they are no fear questions, but imagination questions, visualizing your dream questions. All positive and peaceful….
Here are some examples that may help you:
- If you could wish for everything, what would you wish?
- If you had no fear, what would you do?
- What gives you the most energy, what makes you really happy?
- What would happen if you could do magic?
- How would you like to look back later on, what would you like that would have happened?
- What do you feel, what kind of feeling do you feel? What is that saying to you?
- If I will guarantee you that nothing will happen and that everything will work out what do you want then?
- If you have all the money you need, what will you do?
Underlying Beliefs in Connection With Intuition
The power of this power tool is the distinction between Underlying Beliefs and intuition. As soon as you get more aware of your Underlying Beliefs you can even go further and open yourself for your intuition. You will transform from significance to lightness in a natural way. You will be aware when you are fooling yourself, your intuition will tell you. And also for this subject, it is substantial just to accept. To accept who you are, including all your Underlying Beliefs. It is no problem to feel fear, to think you can’t do it. It does matter to be aware of it, to have peace with it, and to decide what you want to do with it!
In my opinion, intuition can help you at the beginning of this process and the end. Your intuition can tell you that you are fooling yourself and at the moment you are aware of your Underlying Beliefs you can use your intuition to move forward; what do you really want?
As already said self-awareness is key. Without any self-awareness, there is a chance that you will follow your negative Underlying Beliefs and ignoring your intuition. With self-awareness, you will recognize your negative Underlying Beliefs and you can be more open to your intuition. If you can follow your intuition you will be authentic, powerful, and always leading your path. Let us be clear; it doesn’t mean that this path is without mistakes but it is at least your path of living your fulfilling authentic life!
Coaching Clients With Underlying Beliefs
This all said the Underlying Beliefs vs Intuition power tool could be very worthwhile for a coach. It can be used as a process to let the client make a shift from a significant feeling of “I can’t” to living you’re fulfilling authentic life by following your intuition.
This will mean peaceful, balanced, no wasted energy, open-minded, naturally, and no fighting against yourself.
How to Do This as a Coach?
As a coach you can support a client to explore one of the actual issues that are based on an Underlying Belief, for example, there is a wonderful job opportunity but she thinks that she will never get this job because she is not good enough. She will be second best.
Possible questions for the coach could be:
- What kind of feelings does she have when she thinks she is not good enough?
- Did she have these feelings before? When did she first have this feeling?
- What kind of a pattern does she see regarding these feelings?
- How can she be so sure that she is not good enough?
- Could she give one example that she was good enough? How does she know it is true?
- What is underneath this? How is this serving her?
This is the phase where you can create awareness of what is going on, what is the Underlying Belief that is blocking you. After exploration and reflective questions you can start with interpretive questions, like questions that are also connected with your intuition:
- What does this mean to you?
- What is going on here and above all what do you want?
- Imagine that you have no doubts that you are good enough or not; what would you do? What would happen if you could do magic?
- What gives you the most energy, what makes you really happy?
- If you would look back later on, what would you like that would have happened?
The coach can help the client to accept herself as she is but at the same time, the coach can help her to move forward by following her intuition and not her Underlying Belief anymore. It is decision time. This last phase is called the action phase.
What are you going to do, what can be the first step that is working for you? And so on. Most often it is just enough to get the insight. It is the moment that you will realize how you are acting in certain situations. With a better understanding of yourself, it will be easier to listen to your intuition.
Hans Welling, The intuitive process; The case of psychotherapy, Journal of Psychotherapy, Volume 15, no. 1.
Alan Seale, Intuitive Living
Alan Seale, The power of your Presence
Malcon Gladwell, Het beslissende moment, hoe je net het verschil kunt maken
Kay Zega; Freedom from self-sabotage; Fulfilling your potential. Listed in Holistic psychotherapy, issue 165
Francine Derks, www.werkenmetintuitie.nl