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The Influence and impact of Beliefs

The Influence and impact of Beliefs

A story which has left an indelible impact on me is of a baby elephant, which is tied up to a tree with a chain so that it does not get lost in the jungle. With time, the baby elephant grew up to become a full-size giant but the chain and tree remained the same.  The full-grown elephant continues to belief that the chain and tree are strong and it cannot run away by breaking them.

This story tells me that we all grow up with beliefs and carry that baggage along.  If the full-grown elephant wanted, the chain could have been broken; tree uprooted.  The belief system kept telling the elephant that the chain and tree are stronger.

We, as humans are no different.  As we grow, the belief system gets embedded and is formed out of our past experiences. Very often, the belief works as sub-conscious mind and keeps pulling us back every time we want to bring about any change.

Most of our behaviors emanate from the Beliefs.

Belief as a lens

What then is Belief all about.  Belief is described as a feeling of certainty, assurance and permanence leading at times to rigidity. It gets formed over a period of time by what experiences one goes through.  It stands on the pillars of Experiences, References and Interpretations.

The origin of Belief is more often from a logical understanding leading to a opinion through feelings and over a period of time leads to conviction.

A Belief is a feeling of certainty about something, that is how we see ourselves, others and the world.

In fact, Beliefs are one of the important filters and lens we use to interpret the world.

Types of Beliefs

We become opinionated many a times that the Beliefs are always negative, but the beliefs can also be positive as well.

  1. 1. Empowering belief: Explores and releases the potential and feels that it is possible; has sufficient references of success.
  2. Self-limiting belief: Controls potential, Gets influenced by social proof and belief, they hold you back from achieving what you are capable of.
  3. Conditioned belief: Conditioned beliefs are the thinking patterns developed at a young age, usually they’re solidly in place by the time you start school. They become the foundation for your future decision-making and problem-solving. The sneaky thing about conditioned beliefs, though, is that as an adult, you may not be aware you’re depending on them.


Belief system makes a person get into an auto-pilot mode and keeps rejecting any new inputs that comes their way.  However, new beliefs do get formed. The reflections and introspections in the Coaching conversations do lead to a shift in belief showing up transformations.

New belief gets formed due to re-wiring of references and experiences leading to new interpretations.

In the Coaching conversations, I have seen the behaviors which are just the tip of the iceberg. The deep dive leads to the beliefs which are exhibited while the Coachee is going through reflections.

The potential in the Coachee is unearthed as the shift in Beliefs takes place in the Coaching journey. As one builds the Coaching muscle, the ability to ask those killer questions makes the Coachee reflect into their references and experiences and change their interpretations.

While crafting this article, I was reminded of all those transformations the Coaching sessions have led to, basis the shift in belief.

What have you experienced in the shift of belief leading to transformations.

I look forward to learning from your experience.

About The Author

Adhir Mathur is a Trainer, with deep interest in Facilitation and Coaching. Passionate about bringing positive change in people’s life through Coaching conversations.  Loves to facilitate to harvest the wisdom of participants. A learning professional with a strong belief in life-long learning.

Twitter: @AdhirMathur

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/adhir-mathur-1b690a18




Rajat Garg
Rajat Garg
Rajat is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) with over 18 years of industry experience and over 2500 hours of coaching experience, helping people and organizations attain maximum effectiveness. His background includes working with CXOs, senior managers, managers and board of directors of small private companies to multi-billion dollar publicly traded organizations.


  1. Mahesh Mehta says:

    Beliefs die hard. Many fanatics, jingoists grow up in the beliefs they have been constantly exposed to. A miniscule world you are looking into. Change the mindset of today’s youth. Most of them remain in oblivious world. Don’t think from the angle how a youth with his belief shift can improve his performance think what he can do for the country. Well I feel that I allowed that small elephant to grow like that. From childhood he should have been taught how to break the chain. Let’s not experiment.

  2. Esha says:

    Your words reflect the rich experience and understanding you have in coaching people. Well done Sir.