218: How to debate your limiting beliefs into oblivion

218: How to debate your limiting beliefs into oblivion

Welcome to this episode of our short daily podcast - A Slice of Therapy.

Subscribe on : Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | YouTube | RSS Feed

.

With Alun Parry https://liverpoolpsychotherapy.co.uk

Automatically Generated Transcript

00:01
you’re listening to a slice of therapy
00:03
with me alun parry
00:06
[Music]
00:11
now let’s suppose that you’re back at
00:13
school or maybe even university
00:17
and you decide to join
00:20
the debating team
00:23
and so when you go to the debating team
00:26
what they’ll typically do is that they
00:28
will have a motion
00:30
and it’ll say this house believes
00:33
something or other
00:36
i don’t know this house believes that
00:37
the earth is flat or
00:39
this house believes the driverless cars
00:44
of the future whatever it happens to be
00:46
they’ll have a motion
00:47
this house believes something or other
00:50
and then what will happen randomly
00:54
is that you would be assigned a position
00:57
either
00:58
in favor of that or against it now the
01:01
interesting thing about
01:03
a school debating team or a university
01:05
debating team
01:07
is that it doesn’t matter what your
01:10
own personal opinion is the motion will
01:14
come forward and at random
01:16
you will be given
01:20
a position for or against to argue
01:24
now it might be that that it says this
01:26
house believes that the earth is flat
01:29
and you might think that’s a
01:30
preposterous idea and yet
01:33
you have to speak for the motion
01:38
or it might say that driverless cars
01:43
are the future and you think absolutely
01:46
they are
01:47
and yet you might be given the task of
01:51
speaking against the motion
01:54
and then what you’d have to do is
01:55
actually come up
01:57
with a really resounding argument
01:59
against
02:00
the belief that you personally hold
02:04
and do it so well that your side wins
02:08
because when you’re in a debating team
02:09
that’s how you win you win
02:11
by making really good arguments and
02:14
citing evidence on behalf
02:16
of those arguments and speaking
02:18
convincingly
02:19
for that particular cause but it might
02:22
not be the cause that you actually
02:23
believe in
02:24
you might actually have a completely
02:27
different belief
02:28
to the one that you’re speaking
02:32
now i mentioned this because in life we
02:34
have
02:35
beliefs about all sorts of things don’t
02:38
we
02:39
but crucially we have beliefs about
02:43
ourselves as well and sometimes those
02:46
beliefs
02:48
are harsh and sometimes they’re helpful
02:52
by the same token we have beliefs about
02:56
others and we have beliefs
03:00
about life itself
03:03
whether life is hard whether life is
03:05
easy
03:06
so there’s three things that kind of
03:09
form our world view
03:11
our belief about our self our belief
03:13
about other people
03:15
and our belief about life itself
03:21
now like i say some of these beliefs
03:26
are really helpful i might hold beliefs
03:29
about myself
03:31
that really pushed me forward
03:34
really helped me through difficult
03:37
situations
03:39
and yet at the same time i also hold
03:42
beliefs that get in my way
03:44
the certain beliefs that we all have
03:49
that stop us moving forward that limit
03:52
us
03:55
now what would happen if
03:58
on that debating team we had to take the
04:01
opposite side
04:03
to one of those unhelpful beliefs
04:07
let’s say for example uh i have a belief
04:10
that i’m terrible in job interviews
04:13
unless i have held that position all my
04:15
life pretty much
04:19
if i was on the debating team i might
04:21
have to
04:23
speak against that motion i might have
04:26
to argue that down and if i argued it
04:29
down not only would i have to make a
04:30
really strong watertight case
04:33
against it but i’d have to go and hunt
04:36
the evidence as well
04:40
in fact if i was about to write that
04:42
speech in seven days time my radar would
04:44
be completely on
04:46
for evidence to the country i would be
04:49
seeking evidence
04:50
all the time of how great i was in job
04:53
interviews or in
04:55
any kind of interviews that could be
04:58
applied across i would have to be
05:00
speaking to the motion
05:02
that i am great at job interviews
05:08
now that’s just an example of course and
05:11
so i’m curious
05:13
what are the beliefs that you hold about
05:16
yourself
05:17
that most get in your way it might be
05:22
i don’t have a right to give my opinion
05:26
i don’t have a right to impose my
05:28
preferences
05:29
i shouldn’t be important or whatever it
05:33
happens to be
05:36
so imagine if you took the role of the
05:39
school debater
05:41
and imagine if you were given the task
05:44
of arguing that unhelpful belief down
05:48
if you were given the task to not just
05:51
make the case
05:52
against it but to really hunt
05:55
for evidence that that unhelpful belief
05:59
simply isn’t the case
06:03
and so that’s my invite to you really
06:06
to take on the mantle of the member of
06:10
the school
06:11
debating team and to be given the task
06:16
of having to argue against
06:20
an unhelpful belief that you might have
06:22
had all your life but is really getting
06:24
in your way
06:27
maybe it’s something about you maybe
06:30
it’s something about others maybe it’s a
06:32
belief that you hold
06:34
about life itself but whatever it is
06:37
i’m inviting you to join the school
06:40
debating team
06:42
and i’m giving you the task to argue
06:45
against that unhelpful belief
06:50
now if you were arguing against that
06:52
unhelpful belief
06:54
you would do three things
06:58
the first thing that you would do is you
07:01
would
07:02
gather evidence
07:06
you would gather evidence that this
07:08
thing simply
07:10
wasn’t true and so you would switch on
07:13
your radar for signs
07:16
of the opposite being the case
07:21
the second thing that you would do
07:24
is you would discount
07:28
evidence that it was true
07:31
so that any moment that you notice
07:35
something which might suggest
07:41
that this belief this unhelpful belief
07:43
is actually fact
07:45
any piece of evidence that you find of
07:47
that you would find
07:49
a way to discount it you would find a
07:52
way to explain it away
07:55
so it lacked any importance because
07:58
after all that’s what you do in the
07:59
debating team
08:01
you notice what your opposition might
08:03
say
08:04
in support of that belief and you will
08:06
argue it down you will minimize it
08:09
you will put a case for why that doesn’t
08:12
really hold any strength or weight
08:16
so the first thing is you’d look for
08:17
evidence
08:19
of the opposite being true the second
08:22
is you discount any evidence to the
08:24
contrary
08:26
and then the third thing that you would
08:28
do
08:29
is you would put that case
08:32
with a fervent passion
08:37
and so that’s my invite to you to do
08:39
those three things
08:41
to look for the evidence look for the
08:44
times
08:46
that demonstrate that that belief isn’t
08:49
true
08:52
secondly
08:55
find any moments or instances that crop
09:00
up for you
09:01
that seems to suggest that the belief
09:04
might well be true and argue it down
09:06
just as you would in the debating team
09:08
and finally
09:10
put that case to yourself fervently
09:16
because when you do that especially if
09:19
you do this over a period of time like a
09:21
project
09:23
you will start to get to a place
09:28
where the old belief starts to crumble
09:33
and the old belief will start to crumble
09:35
for two big reasons
09:37
the first one is because you can see the
09:41
those things that you cling to
09:44
which confirm the old belief you will
09:46
have
09:47
minimized you’ll have discounted you you
09:49
will have battered that down
09:51
with alternative arguments but secondly
09:54
in the hunt for evidence that it isn’t
09:56
true
09:57
you genuinely will find a lot of
09:59
exceptions
10:03
i’m not a runner i might tell myself
10:07
and yeah i’ve run a half marathon
10:11
and i’ve run a 10k and i’ve run a 5k
10:15
and so odd then i might tell myself that
10:17
i’m just not a runner
10:20
but when i enter the school debating
10:22
team i find
10:23
those exceptions because that’s what
10:25
looking for evidence does
10:28
it finds exceptions to that belief and
10:32
so by discounting
10:33
and taking the weight out of those
10:35
things that support the belief
10:37
and then finding the exceptions
10:43
which discredit the belief we start to
10:46
hold it
10:46
a lot lighter and in fact by the end of
10:49
the debate
10:52
you realize that this
10:55
position that you’ve held all your life
10:56
this belief that you’ve had about
10:58
yourself that gets in the way
11:01
was actually a lot easier to knock down
11:04
than you ever thought so to recap them
11:08
we looked
11:09
at how in school debating teams
11:13
there’ll be a motion and no matter what
11:16
your belief is
11:17
you can find yourself either for or
11:20
against the motion you can actually find
11:22
yourself
11:22
arguing against a firmly held belief
11:27
and we saw too how we have firmly held
11:29
beliefs
11:30
about ourselves and others and life
11:32
itself
11:34
that can either be helpful or can get in
11:37
the way
11:39
and so when we notice something that
11:41
gets in the way we too can join the
11:43
school debating team
11:45
and we can argue the case
11:49
against our own belief
11:53
by finding exceptions by finding
11:56
discounts to those things that support
11:58
it
11:58
and by making the case strongly
12:03
in such a way that any audience
12:06
listening
12:07
would be convinced by it and we saw that
12:10
when we do that
12:12
the very act of going through that
12:14
process
12:15
makes that old belief a lot more shaky
12:20
helps us to hold that old belief a lot
12:23
more loosely
12:25
and hopefully even allows us to change
12:28
that belief
12:29
into the one that we’ve argued so well
12:32
in favor of
12:34
so thanks for listening if you found it
12:36
useful please
12:38
pass it on if you’d like to work with me
12:39
directly i’m alun parry
12:41
you can find out more at liverpool
12:43
psychotherapy dot co dot uk
12:46
and please subscribe to the podcast too
12:48
because it’s completely free
12:50
and you’ll never miss an episode again
12:52
so thanks for listening
12:53
and i’ll be back again tomorrow with
12:54
another one

For counselling and psychotherapy in Liverpool and online, find out more about The Liverpool Psychotherapy Practice