Beginning with this post I will be offering my comments on the individual questions found in the Understanding Your Tendencies sections that are located throughout the book. Thus, what follows is my commentary on the questions from Lesson I: Perception and Belief.
1. Do you believe every problem has a solution?
Yes I know, this question is very broad. But few things can undermine a person's ability to solve problems in general more than believing that some problems cannot be fixed or remedied. Problems, whatever their nature, are often not solved or corrected quickly. Indeed many require a great deal of time and effort. But if you believe that a given problem has no solution or cannot be corrected, odds are that it never will be.
2. What do you believe about yourself?
Since our beliefs govern our actions and determine our potential, it is worth identifying the things we believe about ourselves. If you were to make a list of things that you believe about yourself, what things would your list contain? The purpose of this is simply to help you develop an awareness of the things you believe about yourself.
3. Do your beliefs build you up or tear you down?
Through analyzing the list of things that you believe about yourself, ascertain whether or not these things are beneficial or detrimental. The purpose of this is to help you develop an awareness of the nature of the things you believe about yourself.
4. How often do you say you can't do something?
Generally speaking, when I person says they “can't” do something, they probably don't believe they can do whatever it is they have said they cannot do. But such beliefs can normally be traced to a person's unique perception of a given experience, and often reflect a naive or baseless conclusion on their part. In other words, for most things, the reason a person “cannot do something” is simply because they don't believe they can.
5. If you succeed do you call it luck?
If you attribute your successes to luck then it is very likely that you believe very little in your own abilities. I am not denying the reality that things can happen which may be partially or wholly credited to “luck,” as it were. But to equate your successes to luck by default is essentially to deny your involvement in them. To say “I was just lucky” is akin to saying “I'm didn't do anything” or “I'm not responsible for my actions.” If you succeed in a given endeavor it is because you have acted in such a way as to result in success.
6. How do you perceive what happens to you?
When something bad happens do you react by thinking something like “oh, here we go again, this always happens to me”? Do you realize that this is a perception? Do you realize that such perceptions lay the groundwork for your beliefs, which in turn govern your actions and potential?
7. Do you believe in yourself?
Flat out—do you believe in you. Do you believe in your ability to learn? To grow? To improve? To adapt? To change? If not—why not?
8. Have you allowed other people to determine what you believe about yourself?
Many times people allow others to tell them how to perceive and evaluate things that may happen to them. Thus, a student labeled “stupid” or “dumb” by his or her peers will likely perceive such a label to be true. If they don't, it is because they do not allow other people to determine what they believe.
9. What have you done to change limiting beliefs?
A limiting belief is a belief that limits your potential (to hazard an extremely broad statement). If you want to do something, but believe you can't, what have you done to change this belief? Have you taken the time to identify and change the perception that has led you to believe what you believe? Is it really true that you are incapable of doing something, or do you simply believe that to be the case?
10. Why do you believe what you believe?
Another way of asking this question is “why do you believe what you perceive”? In other words, if you perceive something about yourself to be true, and it just so happens that this perception has resulted in your limiting your potential—then why do you still believe it? You will always believe what you perceive, but you need not always perceive things in ways that are limiting or self-defeating.