Dismantling limiting beliefs through the power of words

Dismantling limiting beliefs through the power of words

blocks of wood type

25 January 2023

Heather Day is a coach and an experienced Logosynthesis® trainer and master practitioner. In this post she shares her exploration of working with limiting beliefs using the power of words.

As coaches, we know that if we do not believe we can achieve our goals it will limit our chance of success. While I was training to become a coach, I was curious about how to work with limiting beliefs. From my own experience, I knew that certain beliefs and thoughts I held about myself were keeping me stuck. I could identify them, but then what?

One weekend, during my initial coach training, we explored the topic of our internal saboteurs – the messages that come into our heads saying things such as: ‘I might fail… I’m not good enough… I’m too slow… I’m on my own’. I wrote down my list and thought, how do I clear them?

During that weekend our trainer introduced us to Logosynthesis®, and I observed it in action for the first time. She gave a live demonstration where the limiting belief of ‘I’m not good enough’ was present. The trainer asked what the trainee was experiencing in her body. She described a tightness in her stomach like a knot, a feeling of slight nausea, and she noticed her breathing as shallow. This was followed by a wave of sadness and the thought that nothing she could do was ever going to be good enough.

The tutor asked: ‘How true is this belief on a scale of 0-10, where 10 means completely true, and 0 not true at all?’

The number the trainee gave was 9.

The tutor then asked: ‘What’s the level of distress you are experiencing with this belief on a scale of 0 to 10?’ This related to sum total of her physical and emotional distress in the moment.

The number the trainee gave was 7.

The tutor asked: ‘Now explore the space around you and find this belief. How do you know the belief is there? Do you hear it? Can you read it? Do you feel your vocal cords saying it? How distressful are these words when you say them?’

The trainee heard the words, ‘you are not good enough’ being spoken loudly in her right ear. The trainer offered her three sentences which she repeated out loud with a short processing pause in between.

It was noticeable as an observer that the trainee experienced a shift with each sentence. After speaking the final sentence, she fed back that the voice she had heard saying ‘you are not good enough’ had faded away. The strength of the negative belief was now 3 and the sadness had almost gone.

She was invited to drink some water. She said she felt calmer and noticed her breathing was normal. Her level of distress went down to 1. I was intrigued. Something had happened in this demonstration that I couldn’t explain.

I was left with a series of questions, including: How do the sentences work? Will this intervention have a lasting effect?

Curious, I travelled to Dublin later that year to learn more about Logosynthesis® from Dr Willem Lammers, a Dutch/Swiss psychologist and the creator of the system. He refers to it as a system of guided change. I learned to appreciate this, because rather than it being another tool to add to my coaching toolkit, it went deeper than that.

I learned how limiting beliefs, disturbing memories, and fantasies (our fears, wishes and desires) become activated when we are triggered. They appear as a frozen perception in three-dimensional space around us, in different locations, which are sometimes close by, and sometimes further away, and either outside or inside our body. These frozen representations can be cleared by saying a series of three carefully constructed sentences aloud. The frozen perception will appear in one of five ways: visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory or gustatory. I learned that beliefs are either written down or heard.

An interesting example to illustrate this surfaced in a client session one day. My client described the words of her limiting belief embedded through her like a stick of rock. This powerful description was more than a metaphor. The client had a strong image of a stick of rock running through her entire body with the words ‘I’m powerless’ embedded in the rock. After applying the three sentences, the stick of rock and its words faded away. The validity of her negative belief reduced from 9 to 2.

Core beliefs are formed at an early age from what others tell us about ourselves, other people, and life in general. We can form a belief as a conclusion in response to something we experienced. For example, we might decide early on that we aren’t good enough if we are rejected by a family member, or if we are told we will never achieve top marks by a teacher. Beliefs take time to dissolve. One session can’t clear a core limiting belief. Many layers can surface. I have learned to see beliefs as linguistic energy patterns that carry a frequency. The more we can clear limiting beliefs from our energy fields, the more energy we have available for the present, and for our life mission.

The modality of Logosynthesis® can be applied in psychotherapy, counselling, and coaching. Dr Lammers has written a series of books on the system. His latest book, Alone to Alive, is the most comprehensive book I have found on limiting beliefs, from exploring their origins to explaining ways to clear them. The linguistics of negative beliefs are unpacked, together with a range of different approaches to working with them, with practical exercises alongside theory. To this day, my journey of working with limiting beliefs deepens through the lens of Logosynthesis®.

Reading suggestions

Alone to Alive: Logosynthesis® and the Energy of Beliefs, Dr Willem Lammers with Raya Williams (2021)

Discover Logosynthesis: The Power of Words in Healing and Development, Dr Willem Lammers (2020)

Logosynthesis Healing with Words: A Handbook for the Helping Professions, Dr Willem Lammers (2015)

Image by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash