Editor’s note: From time to time I will be reviewing books related to conscious creation, self-development, law of attraction and other subjects of interest to my readers. I’ll note on each book review if I purchased the book myself or if I obtained a review copy from the publisher.
If you’ve read or studied conscious creation, you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “if you change your thinking, you can change your life.” These are great words, indeed, and heavyweight authors like Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer and Esther Hicks are models for living this profound philosophy. But if you’ve tried to change your thinking, whether through affirmations, meditation or mindfulness, and found yourself stuck in the same-old, same-old world, you begin to question the validity of new age thought.
I came to the same conclusion: if it’s so easy to change your thoughts and change your life, why can’t I do it? The answer is simple if the process is not: it all comes down to beliefs. Your beliefs dictate your experience of the world and trying to change beliefs can seem an impossible task.
Author Suze Casey offers her advice in a new book, Belief Re-patterning, released in April 2012 by Hay House. The book is a culmination of her years of personal coaching and introduces readers to the process of changing beliefs and thus, improving their lives. It’s a grand companion to the work of other Hay House authors and even pioneers such as Seth, Napoleon Hill, Charles F. Haanel, and Joseph Murphy.
One line of Casey’s book Belief Re-patterning caught my eye in particular as I flipped through it. “I had become frustrated with suggestions that I just change my thinking. That was the exact part that challenged me, and it seemed to me that books and workshop leaders just glossed over it,” Casey writes. That was enough for me to give the book a try.
If you’ve studied conscious creation or law of attraction in any form, you know the basic tenant of the teachings: you create your own reality. And you create your reality through your thinking, your emotions and your beliefs. I was originally drawn to the idea because it puts the responsibility for making personal change right where it belongs: with yourself. You are in the driver’s seat with your life, setting the tone and direction you want to go.
Like many beginner “conscious creators,” I approached belief work by making lists of things I believe in–good and bad. Then I set out to change those beliefs that were no longer serving me. During that process, I adopted the use of daily affirmations in an attempt to insert new beliefs into my psyche. But months of repeated affirmations felt like they were getting me nowhere and I began to wonder what was holding me back. Shouldn’t the process be simple?
Casey’s take on belief re-patterning grew out of her own personal history, which includes health challenges, teaching and coaching thousands of clients. The author brings a unique approach to belief re-patterning by integrating teaching and learning strategies into the process. She carefully observed how her students learned best and paired it with her belief patterning “formula,” a six-step list of statements designed to move both surface beliefs as well as deeply-planted core beliefs.
What it is
Casey’s approach to belief re-patterning is a process. In short, she teaches readers how to engage in an inner dialogue that helps direct the intellect, conscious mind and subconscious mind to work together to systematically change thinking and emotions. The emotional connection is important, as beliefs are a combination of repetitive thinking combined with strong emotion.
“Belief re-patterning works because the focus is on switching the emotion you are feeling rather than trying to change the thought,” she writes. This is a crucial distinction and one that’s often overlooked in other self-help books on changing thoughts. For example, many authors tout the benefits of using affirmations. The premise: say an affirmation enough times and you’ll begin to believe it. But many people have a hard time tapping into the emotions that underlie those repetitive thoughts.
Make no bones about it: this is a workbook and is best utilized when you actually do the exercises in each section. Casey readily acknowledges right up front that people will approach the book in different ways: some will read it cover to cover then go back and do the exercises while others will stop at each section and work with the suggestions. I did a hybrid of both, first reading the book and mentally performing some of the assignments and then going back and re-reading thoroughly and completing written assignments in sequence.
Please note: Casey makes available a printable workbook on her website that readers can use alongside the manuscript. This helps frame the material in a different light and may help some readers make concrete use of the techniques she offers.
What sets this book apart from other self-help books?
The biggest benefit to Casey’s book is by addressing the problem most people have with changing beliefs: the how. The author gives specific examples of how to engage what she calls your “inner critic” and “inner coach” in a dialogue that ultimately leads you to new thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
The process is somewhat similar to other self-help teachings and processes such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)/Tapping, Sedona Method and others. However, Casey’s in-depth explanation of each step in the process is a welcome change for readers looking for specific, practical techniques to move thoughts in a positive direction. She explains the why along with the how to help the reader intuitively understand the material.
Who should read this book?
Although the language is clear and simple, I’d more readily recommend this book to someone who is already familiar with the benefits of belief work: changing the ones you don’t like and enhancing the ones you do. It is general enough for novice readers but is better understood and utilized by those already familiar with conscious creation, law of attraction or affirmations. Understanding the framework of conscious creation helps crystalize some of the ideas she presents.
Having read hundreds of self-help books and worked with belief re-patterning over the past several years, I was intrigued with Casey’s premise but held a certain amount of skepticism about the results. Her promise that belief work can be effective and easy was the hook I needed to try just one more book on the subject.
Some of Casey’s process is vague, leaving the specific inner dialogue up to each reader. At first, this frustrated me but I hung in there and kept the overall concept in mind as I started in on a few practice sessions. Within a few days, I found myself tackling surface beliefs (such as something upsetting me at work) and applying the dialogue formula to the thoughts at hand.
Working with that process, I found I could identify deeper, more firmly held beliefs. When I listened closely to my “inner critic” for clues, I could hit upon areas that needed further work and development. This is a great benefit as beliefs are usually found in clusters and it sometimes takes multiple tries to get to the root of a problem.
As Casey promised, the process became second nature to me. I found myself looking at old beliefs in new ways and making headway on ones I wanted to change. Using the process, I can now see movement on several beliefs by taking a few moments to run the dialogue in my mind.
Still, this work is an ongoing process that doesn’t always lead to instant results. Like affirmations, belief work requires you to train your thoughts and emotions into the new desired position in your psyche. It takes time, but so far Casey’s suggestions have proved valuable in many areas. Core beliefs—those deeply ingrained thought and emotional patterns that run or ruin our lives—take longer to move. I’ll see in the months to come if the process is successful.
The bottom line
If you’re interested in changing your thoughts and beliefs toward new, beneficial and supportive ones, this book can start you on the journey. Like most self-help books, it’s important to find an author and/or a process that resonates with you and the way you learn. For me, it’s definitely a part of my suitcase of processes that I can use to actively construct the life I’m creating.
Disclosure notice: I have signed up to review Hay House books as part of the Hay House Book Nook program. However, I did purchase this copy of Belief Re-patterning on my own before joining the program. The opinions in this review are completely my own based on my direct experience with the book.
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