Is there a belief keeping you from change?

Heart health

Posted on February 2, 2012
Adapted from a Wellness Works Today article

February is American Heart Month, kicking off with National Wear Red Day. Are you procrastinating on changes that would make your heart healthier?

We all know that there are changes we should make that would improve our health. 

But like anything that takes work, it's common to just avoid making them—like quitting smoking, joining a gym or starting a diet. Even though steps like these can help us live healthier lives, we often put them off.

How to make changes 

This tool is something used by FCHP's Quit to Win smoking cessation program. No matter at what stage of change-making you're in, consider this: The “CB Cycle.” The "CB Cycle" can help us understand change and see more clearly what’s holding us back. The four steps of the CB Cycle are:

  • We all hold Certain Beliefs.
  • Something will Challenge our Belief.
  • We can then Change our Belief.
  • Then it’s possible for us to Change our Behavior.

What's at the root? 

What underlying belief is keeping you from beginning that positive change? 

Finding the belief that’s holding you back is an important first step. I’m not going to get sick from being overweight. .... I can always join a gym later. ..... Smoking is the only thing I do to reward myself.

Be fully honest with yourself. Take the approach that you would with a close friend if you saw her in need of a healthy shift in behavior. Can you detach from your own firmly held beliefs enough to challenge them?

Challenge your beliefs

As self-help author Byron Katie would say, Who would you be if you didn't hold a certain belief? By challenging what you think, you push yourself to make changes.

For example, if your belief is that smoking is a reward, challenge that belief by asking an honest question like: Is a lung full of carbon monoxide and arsenic a reward?

It's safe to say that your answer would be a firm "No!"

Keeping working to change

Whatever it may be -- smoking, weight loss, healthier eating -- find the false belief that’s holding you back. Keep challenging that belief until you change the belief.

It's not easy. That's the truth. But keep working on it. Once you've changed your belief, it's possible to change your behavior.

Then you’re on your way to a healthy change!

Blogged by Katie Crommett

Photo credit (Creative Commons)