Are You Stuck? Change Your Beliefs to Change Your Life

Are You Stuck? Change Your Beliefs to Change Your Life - Alpha Doctrine

I’ll make a wager with you, let’s risk $10. My bet is that you have not consciously chosen the beliefs that are dictating your success, happiness and way of interacting with other humans. That’s unfortunate.. If you do nothing about it the consequences will be dire, a mediocre life! Thankfully it’s not that hard to make a change. This article looks at how beliefs work, an easy way to crowdsource better beliefs and how to adopt them.

Why We Have Beliefs and Where They Come From

Life would be too overwhelming if our brains didn’t filter our experiences through a set of beliefs. These beliefs allow us to make sense of reality, which would be too complex otherwise. Unfortunately, in most cases we have not chosen the beliefs that we use as filters to make sense of reality. This impacts every facet of our lives because the because our beliefs determine what bits of reality we focus on.

For example, when I was a young lad I held the belief that I suck with girls. Whether not it was actually true was irrelevant, that was just what I told myself. If I talked to a girl and it went well, that didn’t fit my belief structures and the experience was tossed aside. But if I talked to a girl and I made an ass of myself, I registered and internalized the experience. I continued to reinforce the belief by cherry picking evidence.

To break free of this shit cycle I had to make a conscious change. Instead of telling myself that I suck with girls, I began telling myself that girls love me. I still was not so smooth, however, occasionally a girl would like me and I’d amp that up. I’d mentally loop that good experience, using it to strengthen the reality that girls like me. After a while I began cherry picking evidence that girls like me and discarding all evidence to the contrary. A much better situation!

This works because beliefs are subjective. Our brains don’t care whether our beliefs are empowering or shit. The brain simply needs some beliefs, any will do, and so it picks the first ones that come in. Perhaps as a child you failed a math test and now you believe you’re bad at math. Maybe in Kindergarten you had a hard time making friends so you believe you’re shy. Or you had parents who belittled your efforts so you believe that you’ll never be successful. Two big problems here.

  1. You didn’t consciously choose the belief, a random experience instilled the belief in you.
  2. These beliefs are not based on reality.

Maybe if you had taken a different math test you would have aced it and spent your life believing that you’re good at math. If you had gone to a different school the kids would have been nicer and you’d always consider yourself an extrovert. If I’d hit a home run with the first girl I met instead of striking out, I might have grown up believing that girls love me. And so forth. The way beliefs get created is so subjective it’s ridiculous. So, what the hell can we do about it?

How to Change Your Beliefs

The first step is to pick one area to focus on. For me it was girls. For you, it’s whatever matters most. What’s your number one goal? Become better at public speaking, make more friends, be happier, write better, learn to play the guitar, what? Pick one thing and focus on that. Now, name the beliefs that you have about that thing. Let’s take the guitar, here are some beliefs that a person may hold.

  • I’m not good at music, I have no rhythm.
  • Learning the guitar is too difficult for me, I fail at most things I try.
  • I’ll never be as good as my friend, he’s so amazing!
  • I can’t learn to play the guitar, nobody in my family plays an instrument.
  • This is too hard and I don’t have any natural talent.

None of these beliefs will help you to learn the guitar, you have to wipe them out and replace them with a set of empowering beliefs. For example..

  • I can learn to play the guitar.
  • I can become as good as my friend, he’s only better because he’s practiced more.
  • Practicing is way more important than having innate talent.
  • If one man can learn to do something, so can I.
  • Every time I mess something up I learn a lesson. The more mistakes I make the better I’ll get.

After you’ve picked a skill and created a new set of empowering beliefs, you may want to write them down. Refer to them often, focus on them, burn them into your cerebellum. These beliefs will become your new reality, they are what your brain will use to interpret reality. However, change isn’t going to happen overnight. In fact it might take months or years to fully inculcate these beliefs. That’s OK. At some point this new way of thinking will become automatic.

How Beliefs Work

The strength of a belief depends on how much evidence you have to support it. For example, my belief that I suck with girls was strong because I had a lifetime of cherry picked experiences to back it up. It took me more than a year, and talking to ~2,000 women to reach the point where my unconscious belief is that girls love me. You can’t change a belief by repeating an affirmation. If you tell yourself affirmations that aren’t true and don’t get experience to back them up, you’re essentially lying to yourself! For example, if you tell a depressed person to do nothing but repeat the mantra that I’m happy and life is amazing, it won’t do shit unless they go and get experience to back it up.

On the other hand, a too-common problem is that people start practicing without changing their existing beliefs. This is a recipe for early failure. Imagine that you start practicing the guitar but, subconsciously, you still believe those unhelpful things I listed above. Odds are good you won’t practice long before giving up. However, if you inculcate the new beliefs and then practice, you’ll begin to reinforce a new set of healthy beliefs and the chances that you stick with it are higher.

How to Pick the Most Effective Beliefs

It’s not always clear what the best set of beliefs is. When I’m uncertain, I like to adopt the belief structure of someone who has “made it”. For example, I know of a guy who is top 0.1% with girls, a real genius at it. He’s written extensively and I’ve spent dozens of hours reading what he has to say. From that I’ve been able to build a highly refined belief structure which I reinforce when I go out to talk to girls. Some examples.

  • I don’t look to women for happiness, no woman’s validation can make me as happy as I make myself.
  • Sex is not a big deal, it’s just an expression of fun.
  • I am the source of fun and good emotions, if a woman rejects me she’s missing the opportunity of a lifetime.
  • I’m unique and amazing, a girl would be crazy to not want to be with me.
  • I have an abundance of women in my life, no single women is too important to lose.

And so on. These are subtle, awesome ideas that may take years to internalize. But once you have them you’ll have them for life. I don’t know what area or skill you’d like to develop. However, whatever it is, surely there’s already another guy or girl who you can model yourself on. Hopefully they’ve done some interviews, written a book, written blog posts or left a mark on the world. Use that information to determine their beliefs and then inculcate them. This is a great way to adopt the proper mindset that will bring long term success.

Andre Agassi on Radical Honesty and Success

I’ve written about Andre Agassi because of the radical honesty he displayed in his autobiography: OpenThe foremost example of his commitment to the truth is a recounting of his brief stint with crystal meth. Until the book was published there were a handful of people who knew about it. Agassi could have kept this incident secret and he still would have had a fantastic book. But he included the story of himself at his lowest and that took real guts.

Agassi voluntarily admitted his drug usage, knowing well the controversy it would cause

I love this example because honesty is something I strive towards. At every moment I seek to act and speak in a way which is in accordance with the truth. I’ve got a long, long way to go but this is the ideal. It’s amazing to see Agassi, a man with so much to lose, willing to expose himself to so much criticism in the name of honesty.

The Drive of a Winner

When you read the book you learn about a man who is driven to succeed. Agassi repeatedly states “I hate tennis” and people assume that he’s joking. He’s not, there is no passion for the game. But tennis is his best talent and he’s handcuffed to it. Without tennis Agassi would have no purpose, in every other area of life he admits to being average at best. And so he practices ferociously. He loses key tournaments and is harder on himself than the critics are. Even though he loathes the game he’s determined to excel at it. His attitude is similar to that of Muhammad Ali,

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’

Agassi repeatedly demonstrates that anything worth having is worth sweating for. In every activity, no matter the level of passion, there will be things you don’t like doing. This is natural. Agassi leads by example as he overcomes numerous obstacles in order to achieve his dreams.

Agassi After Tennis

Agassi with some of the children from his foundation

Agassi’s account of his final game of tennis is powerful. He plays like a young man trying to prove himself, as if the match will determine his entire tennis career. After it’s finished he lays in the locker room, incapacitated, in awe of the effort he gave on the court.

Having proven himself to the world, Agassi could have easily retired with his millions of dollars and awesome wife. Instead, he opened the Andre Agassi Foundation for EducationThe foundation is responsible for a beautiful charter school in Las Vegas and positive educational change around the country. That it’s raised over $180 million dollars speaks to its massive success.

Like everyone, Agassi is human. He had a tough childhood, he sunk low enough that he considered meth to be a viable option and then he blatantly lied after failing a drug test. However, in time Agassi grew and developed the courage to open himself to the world. This was a bold move and I have tremendous respect for him. Pick up a copy of Open or even better, get the audio book. It’s long but I found myself wishing it was even longer, it’s that good.

The Reading Habits of 10 Millionaires and Billionaires

The Reading Habits of the ultra successful

The correlation between reading and wealth is well established. Whether you’re a hedge fund manager or a YouTube celebrity, books can help you to reach higher and stay at the top longer. Let’s look at the reading habits of 10 millionaires and billionaires.

  1. M.J. Demarco is a self-made millionaire and author of the book: The Millionaire Fastlane. In that book he talks about the importance of reading and suggests that a book a week is a good target to set. He also hosts a recommended bookshelf on his website.
  2. The motivational speaker Zig Ziglar claimed to read three hours a day, despite his tight schedule. Rory Vaden talked about this on his podcast when he interviewed Zig’s son, Tom Ziglar.
  3. Brandon Carter, the internet celebrity of massive muscular proportions, says: “I read 2 hours everyday. This habit is responsible for the majority of my success. I don’t know many rich people who don’t read a lot, but every poor person I know has an “X-Box” on his Instagram
  4. Warren Buffet claims to read 500 pages a day. He’s stated that he devotes about 80% of his time to reading. Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that he’s one of the richest men in the world.
  5. Mark Cuban, another successful billionaire, reads 3 hours a day. That adds up to about 1,000 hours a year. Say the average book takes 5 hours to read, that means Cuban is reading 200 books a year.
  6. The man who unleashed Microsoft onto the world, Bill Gates, reads 50 books a year. The result? At the time of this writing he is currently the wealthiest person in the world with a cool $78,000,000,000.
  7. In an interview he did on his podcast with Ramit Sethi, New York Times best-selling author, Tim Ferriss, says that he reads 3 to 4 books a week. That adds up to 150 to 200 books a year.
  8. In 2015 Mark Zuckerberg pledged to a read a book every two weeks. While this may be less ambitious than other billionaires on this list, some books on his list are long and complex. Like Sapiens which has become a hit in Silicon Valley.
  9. Danny Gilbert, self-made billionaire and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, reads one to two hours a day.
  10. You may not have heard of Arthur Blank, but you’ve definitely heard of the store that he co-founded: Home Depot. Blank reads two hours a day and has amassed a current fortune of $1,300,000,000.

Not sure where to start? Check out my article, 33 Books to Read Before You Die. Personally, I read about a book a week. That’s less than these billionaires read but more than the average person reads in a dozen years. You can keep up with my current reading list here.

Wade Alters Teaches you How to find Your Passion

Wade Alters has had a lasting impact on my life. Back in the day he wrote a post,

How to Become an Avid Reader: Increase Your Brain Power By 1000%

This article marked a turning point when I stopped dabbling and started reading all-the-fucking-time. That was three or four years ago and the impact has been immense. Apart from that, Wade has influenced my life in two major ways.

1. Increased Confidence with Women

This must become your new reality

There are two words which can radically change the way you interact with women. Ready for it? They are,

I’m awesome. 

So simple, so effective. The idea is that you replace all of your negative self talk with those two words. In your daily life you should never say,

I’m so bad with girls” or “Girls never like me“.

Instead, say “I’m awesome“. Negative talk is self-reinforcing. If you tell yourself bad things then bad things will continue to manifest. If you cut the bullshit and replace it with positive self talk, positive things will start to manifest. You won’t change your mental programming overnight but you will change it eventually.

As that happens, girls will pick up on it and treat you better. This reinforces the reality that “I’m awesome” and perpetuates a beautiful upwards spiral. That’s the opposite of the unnecessary downwards spiral that most guys are stuck in.

2. Creating an Ideal Future 

Wade’s content is great because organized and extremely thorough. His paid material is full of pragmatic advice that really works. If you do the exercises and follow Wade’s instructions, you’ll have the opportunity to create an awesome life plan (discover your ideal future). With that plan you can put your heart into your work because you realize how your current actions take you closer to your idealized life.

While the content is dense the payoff is massive! In the last six months Wade has helped me to develop a clear plan for my future which is something that I’ve never had before.

Wade’s Background

Wade has made the transition from “player” to life coach

At 25 Wade was pursuing a masters degree and dating a woman he had met in high school. He was set to follow society’s standard path: get a good job, have some kids and retire at 65. Then his girlfriend dumped him and he had to figure out how to get laid.

He discovered Real Social Dynamics and quickly starting mentoring with a coach. Within a year he was hooking up with gorgeous women and working for RSD as an instructor. He traveled around the world for years, hanging out in clubs, sleeping with stunning women and teaching other guys to do the same.

Nearing 30, Wade transitioned into lifestyle mastery and coaching. I think this awesome background is the reason Wade resonates well with me. He started from the bottom, learned success with women, how to build a business, how to be an effective coach, and now he’s putting out fantastic content at an affordable price.

Lifestyle Development Content

This is a preview of some of the courses available in “The Syndicate”

The best deal is The SyndicateThis is a *large* collection of videos from Wade’s various programs, I think there’s 20+ hours of content available on demand. All of it is organized into various programs, I.e. networking, dating, building confidence, time management, discovering your passion, persuasion, etc.

All videos are meticulously laid out and the production value is high. There is a large difference between this content and what you can expect to find on the average YouTube channel. Hell, even a good YouTube channel. At $47 a month I think the price is justified. You can cancel at any time and Wade is always adding new content.

Get Involved with Wade

Wade has a number of videos available on his YouTube channel. These give you a taste of his style. However, if you find any of the content to be fluffy, don’t think that translate to the paid products. The free videos are the bread sticks. The paid videos are the steak, shrimp, salad, champagne and chocolate cake. Wade also posts on his website, including a regular podcast. If you take the time to learn from Wade I’m sure that you’ll get as much value from him as I have.