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Small businesses in Normal getting some financial help from the town’s small business relief program

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — $450,000 being split between 50 businesses, the funds are coming from the state’s CURE (Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency) economic support grant program.

67 businesses applied to receive funding since December 1st.

Cathy Olofsson with the town of Normal, says the town worked with business owners on applications to make sure they were eligible to receive funding.

“Our staff really worked closely with the applicants to ensure they were meeting all of the State of Illinois’ documentation requirements, and we were just really glad to be able to pass this money along to our local business owners,” said Oloffson.

Many of the businesses that did not receive funding from the town’s small business relief program, received funds through the State of Illinois’ business interruption grant.

Improve Your Investment Through Money

Investing with borrowed money can be a big win — for some

KEY POINTS

  • Professional traders have used leveraged money to invest in ETFs and other stocks for decades, but this tactic can be ruinous for the average individual investor.
  • There’s evidence that trades on margin are increasing as the stock market continues its bullish ascent, demonstrating investor confidence.
  • About $551 million in margin debt was reported to the NYSE in August, compared to about $471 million last year.

In a 1991 speech at the University of Notre Dame, Warren Buffett offered a few of what are now regarded as some of his wisest words: “I’ve seen more people fail because of liquor and leverage — leverage being borrowed money.”

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO told the campus audience they could make a lot of money without other people’s money if they were smart.

Still, the temptation now to use historically low-interest money from mortgages, personal credit lines and 401(k) plans to invest in the stock market is great, especially as the Dow is reaching historic heights at more than 26,000 — a milestone unfathomable in 2009, during the Great Recession.

Professional traders have used leveraged money from brokers and lenders to invest in exchange-traded funds and other stocks for decades, but this tactic can be ruinous for the average individual investor who is not careful, say investment and finance experts. Borrowing “on margin” — or using stock you already own to buy more stock — is one thing, but borrowing against your home to buy stocks is another.

“The decision to invest with borrowed money comes down to comparing the cost of borrowing versus the expected investment returns,” said S. Michael Sury, lecturer of finance at the University of Texas at Austin. “If the returns exceed the cost, then the transaction makes economic sense.”

Today the spread between the two is so wide that with proper diversification, it can still work. But because borrowing costs are fixed and stock market gains are variable and unpredictable, it is not a perfect formula, he said.

“Take an investment that offers an expected return of 15 percent, but with actual results that might range between 15 percent and 30 percent,” said Sury. “Even if the cost of borrowing is low, say 4 percent, the transaction is very risky.

 

“On the other hand, if a collection of diversified investments can offer a 10 percent rate of return with a narrower range of 9 percent to 11 percent, then the risk of the transaction has been dramatically reduced.”

More from Investor Toolkit:
Why some fear is good for investors
Advisors turn to life coaches and counselors
Retirees leave $100B in Social Security benefits on table

It’s a strategy that can win big but also lose big, said James Sinclair, a London-based manager of TradeFinanceGlobal.com, which helps trading companies around the world structure debt so they increase trading volumes at lower margins and grow.

In a 2010 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett acknowledged some people had become “very rich through the use of borrowed money,” while others had also become very poor. “When leverage works, it magnifies your gains … but leverage is addictive,” Buffett wrote. “Once having profited from its wonders, very few people retreat to more conservative practices.”

For example, if a $10 stock you purchased with cash rises in price by 10 percent, you have made a $1 profit. If the stock loses 10 percent, it is worth $9. However, a $10 stock leveraged with a 2-to-1 margin trade would make 20 percent, or a $2 profit. But if the stock loses 10 percent, the scenario can be bleak. After paying back the margin costs of about 5 percent or more, you lose $2.50 — or 25 percent — on the original $10 investment. To make matters worse, if the stock were to decline substantially, you could be subject to a margin call, where you may be forced to sell that stock at a loss, or potentially throw good money after bad, Sury said.

The same scenario can occur on a consumer level. Say you’ve used $10,000 borrowed with a home-equity loan at 5 percent to purchase $10,000 in stock. That stock appreciates 10 percent, or $1,000, in a year. You paid $500 in borrowing costs and made $500 in profit that year. But if the stock lost 10 percent, you actually lost $1,500 instead of $1,000 had you paid in cash.

That’s why only those with a track record should attempt leveraging debt to buy investments.

“If you understand your industry and you’re trading something of value, you should be able to use debt to trade more,” Sury said.

There’s evidence that trades on margin are increasing as the stock market continues its bullish ascent, demonstrating investor confidence now that prices are on the up and up. About $551 million in margin debt was reported to the New York Stock Exchange in August, compared to about $471 million last year. In 2010 about $236 million in margin debt was reported to the NYSE.

Whether an individual should borrow from one asset to invest in another seems to depend on their individual financial situation, age and goals, says Lyn Alden, founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy. Because there aren’t many bargain stocks out there, she recommends taking advantage of low rates on student loan and consumer debt to pay down slowly while investing with cash savings.

“These types of ‘good debt’ give far lower interest rates for people with good credit than the typical margin rates offered by brokers,” she said.

Robert R. Johnson, president and CEO of The American College of Financial Services, which trains financial advisors, said that “using leverage to invest either in the stock market or other marketable securities is a speculative play.”

“The key to building wealth is to consistently invest money, not to try and time the markets,” he added.

And if you’re close to retirement, it’s best to avoid borrowing altogether.

“Occasionally, I see clients borrowing 401(k) dollars or from their home equity to get a rental property going or a small business,” said Allie Petrova, founder and managing partner of Petrova Law PLLC, a tax- and business-law firm in Greensboro, North Carolina. “My recommended age cut-off would be 50.

“Creating debt instead of equity after 50, when you are closer to retirement, is a tough sell.”

No matter your investment choices, they should be for the long term, said Johnson of The American College of Financial Services. “If you have a 30-year horizon, the stock market isn’t really that risky,” he said. “It’s only risky if you feel the need to sell during that period” — and borrowing can force your hand to do that.

“It’s been about 10 years since the crisis,” Johnson added. “Some people forget how that felt.”

Isolate & Reframe Beliefs For The Future

“Dreamers fantasize, thinkers materialize” — William Ballard

In the year 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, that was around the time when Mr. King led the Montgomery bus boycott. And it was 1956 when the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the boycotters. A year later, Mr. King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which ultimately gave birth to the civil rights movement. But of all of this was just the beginning of Mr. King’s legacy.

Mr. King continued to lead a movement and organize civilized protest from the late 50s to the early 60s. It was in April, during the events of 1963, where he was arrested in Birmingham for refusing to honor a federal wide ban of demonstrations, which was an unconstitutional demand even in those days. During this time of public defiance, Mr. King began to experience heavy discourse among his fellow colleagues within the ministry. That was when he responded with one of his most important and unforgettable works, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

After that response, a few months later, he led the March that we have all come to remember on Washington, where over 200,000 people were present. It was the hundredth anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and where Mr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

It was that speech, and in that place, that launched nationwide support for civil rights. And earlier that summer, President John F. Kennedy introduced his civil rights legislation that has created the foundation of our civil rights status today.

Mr. King was also the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. At 35 years old he had accomplished so much in his first 10 years of ministry. But certainly, there was still even much more work to be done. What was his secret to success?

What Martin Luther King Jr. Did to Avoid The Trap of Limiting Beliefs

Mr. King’s ministerial colleagues believed his actions were “unwise and untimely,” and that they were so far removed from “common sense.” The difference between Mr. King and his colleagues was that they were operating from a limiting belief: they held a particular point of view that limited their possibilities. Instead of seeing Mr. King as, in essence, a pioneer in his own right, and paving the way for change, they saw his actions as not only counterproductive but also off the beaten biblical path.

They worried that his actions would ultimately bring disgrace or disfavor to the church as a whole. However, this is just one of many examples in life where so-called “common sense” is really nothing more than a misinformed understanding. And that is, essentially, what a limiting belief is. It is misinterpreting the present situation and thus shortchanging your future.

Mr. King was a visionary surrounded by limiting believers. It is a place where many of us find ourselves more often than not. But how was Mr. King successful despite these challenges? The difference between Mr. King and others that tend to let their limiting beliefs take control and overpower them is this: He made the logical and emotional choice to reject those beliefs and see them for what they really are, untrue or false.

Instead, he believed that, in his present time, the actions that he was making were essential to creating positive change and improving the quality of life for everyone. He believed that nonviolent demonstrations were the key to the change that he so desperately wanted to see in our country. These types of demonstrations are a freedom and right given to all of us in this country, and so he believed that there was no better cause to employ such a right than this.

He truly believed that racial reconciliation was possible and that it would start in the hearts of our fellow men and women. Instead of embracing limiting beliefs, he made the logical and emotional decision to embrace liberating truths. He assessed the same facts as everyone else, but he used a different frame (which we will talk more about later). And that was what his “I Have a Dream” speech was all about. He didn’t let his fellow colleague’s limiting beliefs blind him from the future he could see plain as day.

His frame allowed him to maintain the hold he had on his vision, and he knew in his soul that his vision would indeed come to pass, even if he didn’t live to see it happen in the natural. It was these liberating truths that freed him to act with determination and diligence — and here is a liberating truth for you right now: you and I have the ability and power to do the same.

You Can Reframe Your Thinking — And in So Doing — Change Your Beliefs

Now, your ambitions and aspirations, as well as mine, may never have national wide significance as Martin Luther King Jr’s, but they do possess a great significance within the world you live and with the people around you.

One significant example of reframing one’s point of view, or moving from limiting beliefs to liberating truths, can be found in a major study that was conducted on participants within the Alcoholics Anonymous community. The study was done by researchers at Brown University, UC Berkeley, and the National Institutes of Health.

What they discovered was that the main thing that helps people trying to stay sober was their belief in that they could. Instead of having the limiting belief that “they couldn’t resist a drink,” they changed that into a liberating truth that they actually could resit it. Or instead of believing that “they couldn’t make it through life’s hardships without a drink,” they exchanged that limiting belief for the powerful liberating truth that “they can manage life’s difficulties without needing a drink.”

Let me share a few examples with you from my own life. I use to believe that I could never get ahead in life because I could never seem to make enough money to meet my family’s needs. Something I would tell myself often would be, “Why would anyone ever want to recommend me for a prestigious, well-paying position?” I also use to believe that after several failed relationships, that I was doomed to ever find love.

When I recognized these thoughts as limiting beliefs, I was determined to replace them with liberating truths. I started saying to myself, “Why would they not recommend me for that prestigious position? I’m competent, skilled, and capable of going above and beyond what they are needing for the job.” I also began to believe that “I had all the money I needed to meet my obligations, accomplish my goals and dreams, and still be able to be generous with those around me.”

And instead of having the limiting belief that I was doomed to ever find love, I changed it into a liberating truth that while I was single, “not only was this time given to me to work on myself and become the man that my future companion deserves, but that the same was going on with her. That she was preparing herself to become the woman that I would deserve.” In other words, I began to believe that I was just as worthy to be loved and respected as she is/was.

Now, my feelings sure didn’t match up with my words at first, but instead of making the choice to operate from a place of scarcity, I choose to operate from a place of abundance. It certainly wasn’t some woo woo, magic kind of thing, but as I began to operate from a mental place of expansion rather than contraction, the more resources began to present themselves in order to help me improve my circumstances (which is something we will discuss more later).

And here is another example that I’m sure many of you can relate to. Because I was so exhausted for most days, I would tell myself, “I just don’t feel like doing that right now. I don’t have the energy for it.” I use to believe that my energy level was something that was out of my control. But then I began to realize that the exhausted feeling I was experiencing was something that was in my control because it was something that I was producing within myself because of the habits I had developed.

So I exchanged that limiting belief for the liberating truth that “I have more than enough energy to accomplish the things that I need to accomplish.” I began to repeat that affirmation to myself every time I felt exhausted. Reframing my point of view happened by repeating that affirmation, coupled with making some slight habitual changes. It wasn’t long before my reality began to catch up with my words.

With that said, everyone is different and unique. We all have our own collection of limiting beliefs. But from my experience in working with my coaching clients, I have found that there are two main limiting beliefs that we have all experienced at one time or another. The first is the limiting belief that we have no power to change our circumstances or situations, and the second is that we lack the resources to do so, which is something I briefly touched on earlier but we will talk more about it in the next few sections.

The Power to Create a Better Future For Ourselves

I don’t know if any of you all can remember this or not, but there was a movie that came out in 2007 entitled Freedom Writers, which I believe was based on the true story of Erin Gruwell and her class who wrote the Freedom Writers Diary. At the time, Erin Gruwell was given her first teaching assignment to a newly integrated high school in Long Beach, California. Her diverse classroom was made of many less fortunate kids, some of them gangbangers who hated school and learning, and their teacher just as much as they hated each other.

The majority of the academic community had already given up on these students. The administration that hired Erin didn’t even believe that she would be able to make much of a difference. And even her dad believed that she should seek a teaching job elsewhere. Based on the present circumstances, who could blame them, right? Well, fortunately for Miss Gruwell and her students, she believed that she could succeed with these kids where those before her have failed.

Her first step to fulfilling her mission was to get rid of the standard curriculum, and instead, “assign books about teens in crisis.” Something that they could relate to. We are talking about books like The Diary of Anne Frank and Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo.” Moreover, she required them to also journal about the experiences they were going through.

Through this process and her unwavering pursuit to improve the quality of life of the students she was given, the lives of her students had been transformed dramatically. She helped 150 students not only graduate high school, which was a significant accomplishment in its own right, but she also helped many of them go to college, and some even became teachers as well, viewing Erin as their mentor.

In short, we all have the same amount of power within ourselves to experience significant change just like Erin did with her students. In fact, according to a Standford University psychology professor, Albert Bandura, he believes that this internal power consists of four main elements.

The first is the power of intention. In other words, we have the ability to see a better reality than the one we are currently experiencing. The second element is the power of forethought. In other words, by seeing through the eyes of faith and by being able to experience our future before it happens, we are able to dictate our behavior in the present and give purpose and meaning to our actions.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” — Hebrews 11:1

“Faith without works is dead?” — James 2:20

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” — James 2:18

Finally, the power of self-reflection. With self-reflection, we are able to evaluate how we’re doing on reaching our objectives and then we are able to make adjustments or revise our plans as needed.

Erin Gruwell put all of these elements of “power” to work in her teaching, and her students became the beneficiaries of it. She started with designing a program that would assist her in her intent and then made revisions to her plan and strategy along the way. And in so doing, was able to change the lives of 150 students that would have otherwise been forgotten and left behind.

Whatever our current circumstance is, we have the power to create a better future for ourselves. However, some refuse to accept this truth. They would much rather believe that because they “can’t control everything, they aren’t able to control anything.” But by now you know this to be a limiting belief. And that by choosing to reframe our perspective and replace our limiting beliefs with liberating truths, we are able to control the outcomes we experience.

Your Best Resource May Be Your Lack of Resources

During the final and most difficult months of the bus boycott in 1956, Mr. King preached an encouraging message to his congregation about living hopeful lives of creative action. He encouraged them to pray

Lord, help me to accept my tools, no matter how dull they may beAnd then Lord, after I have accepted my tools, help me to set out and do what only I can do with my tools.”

Erin Gruwell’s story also reminds us not to limit our goals based on our current resources. Hear me when I say this: The resources we have or don’t have are never the main challenge in achieving our dreams. In fact, if you already have the resources you need to achieve your goal, then your goal is probably not big enough. You see, most people would rather make the choice to talk themselves out of something rather than talk themselves into something.

When Miss Gruwell first started out she didn’t have the budget for the books she needed to make her plan work. And the school’s administration wasn’t about to assist her in this area either. So, what did Miss Gruwell do? Well, she went and got a second job and bought the books herself. In an environment where most teachers believe that they are already overworked, Miss Gruwell went to take on even more work because she saw it as the least she good for her students, and that improving the quality of life around her was that much more important than what her fellow colleagues were able to acknowledge at the time.

And as her goals began to grow — her students wanted to bring in Miep Gies, the Dutch woman whose family hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, to the school for a lecture — of course, the school once again was not able to assist in this area because of the lack of funding. So the students decided to run a few fundraisers in order to make it happen. And that’s not all: they were also able to raise money to bring Zlata Filipovic, another author of one of the books they studied, to America.

The more they were determined to step out beyond what their limiting beliefs told them, the more the necessary resources began to appear. Their unwavering determination and diligence were the difference-maker. As Martin Luther King Jr. once stated

“There is no deficit in human resources, the deficit is in human will.”

It is the lack of resources that cultivates resiliency and confidence. The more we are able to overcome difficulties, the stronger we become, both spiritually and mentally; and the more we are able to overcome the next challenge, hurdle, or obstacle that comes our way.

In short, your best resource may be your lack of resources. It is our limiting beliefs that keep us from being able to notice that. But here’s a liberating truth to replace it: we truly live in a world of abundance, a world full of all kinds of resources that God has made available to us. That doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually require resources that you may currently lack. In fact, if your dreams are big enough, you will probably require resources that you didn’t originally think you would need when you first started out. But you should start with what you have and where you are at anyways. A lack of resources is never a good excuse to never start.

In fact, I’m sure many of you have probably heard that you should focus more on what you do have rather than what you don’t have. And resolve to make a meaningful difference with those things, rather than making the excuse that you are not able to make a difference because you don’t have what you think you need. Decide today to talk yourself into something rather than talk yourself out of something.

How to Transform Your Beliefs

“Dreamers fantasize, thinkers materialize” — William Ballard

If you have ever been inspired to something great, you already have it within you to fulfill it. You see, the word inspired or inspiration means to be in spirit. And as stated before, “Spirit has always been for greater expansion and fuller expression.” You can do this. Napoline Hill was right when he said, “Whatever the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.”

Now, I would like to take this time and share with you Michael Hyatt’s six-step process to overcoming limiting beliefs so that you can exchange them for liberating truths.

The first step is to acknowledge the limiting belief. Whatever the belief may be, wherever it may have originated from, and no matter how true it may seem, it is important to realize that it is just an opinion about reality and more than likely it is more wrong than it is right.

“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.” — Muhammad Ali

I’ll even personalize this a little more and give you little into my own life. Believe it or not, I’m not getting any younger, and I currently possess three degrees. Not too long ago, one of my limiting beliefs was that I was getting too old and that I was overeducated. And I thought that this was the reason why I was not being successful at finding work.

Well, what I did was I wrote those limiting beliefs down, and by writing it down I was able to externalize it, which then gave me the freedom to evaluate it.

Writing Causes Thinking

Thinking Creates an Image

Images Control Feelings

Feelings Cause Actions

Actions Create Results

In other words, usually, when it comes to those that are addicted to drugs or what have you, there is always one family member who acts as an enabler rather than a change-maker. Moreover, it’s important to bear in mind that many people are oftentimes “addicted” to their limiting beliefs. Maybe it’s because it gives them a sense of control, like they got the world figured out. Or maybe it provides a measure of certainty. The bottom line is that honest evaluation is the key to liberation and freedom.

The fourth step is to downright reject, or reframe the belief. Truth be told, where some people may believe they lack confidence, it’s really nothing more than a limiting belief, or downright lie from the pit of hell. I’ve observed numerous amounts of people, who at one time or another thought or believed that they were unconfident, but only to become some of the most confident people I’ve ever met.

You see, they realized that several of their beliefs were coming from somewhere else, and that they were taking ownership of something that really didn’t belong to them. Instead, they began to believe in themselves more and focus their energy on securing those positive, liberating truths just like you would secure something valuable in a safe or vault.

Reframing, on the other hand, is a bit more involved. But not as difficult as it may seem. You see, many limiting beliefs do have the size of a mustard seed of truth in them. That’s what makes them so convincing at times. But the fact is they are not the whole truth. And understanding that is empowering in and of itself. In other words, if something is not the whole truth, that still makes it a whole lie. And you don’t have to settle for a lie.

Take the news media for example. Sure, there is a lot of bad news out there, but that is only a brief part of the picture. Where the news media wants you to focus on cities like Portland, Chicago, and Seatle, and refer to these three cities as making up the nation as a whole. Well, clearly, that’s just silly. And where they want you to think that uncivilized riots or “peaceful protest” are spreading all over the nation, the truth is these small groups are only occupying certain isolated areas and not the nation as a whole. In fact, there are even more areas and larger groups of people that are committing acts of kinds than those you see acting out violence.

One last thing about reframing. Many years back I started what I call a Faith Building Journal. It started out as a Faith Building List, but now I have bookshelves full of these journals. The idea is this: What I would do was write down a list of at least 10 things that I wanted God to do on my behalf for the year. This was much more than just a prayer list. What I would do, as each request would be fulfilled or answered throughout the year, was to check that request off the list and write next to it the date and time it was brought to fruition. Creating these lists and following through with this process resulted in overflowing blessings. They became something to refer back to as well when times of discouragement or doubt and disbelief would come over me.

Just like you should write down your limiting beliefs in order to externalize them so that you can freely evaluate them, you should also write down your liberating truths so that you can come back to them when you feel like your limiting beliefs are overpowering you again, which helps to overcome them and builds confidence. In other words, when you begin to experience a liberating truth, and your circumstance and life begin to change based off these new perspectives, it’s hard to deny the facts. But sometimes we just need a little remembering every now and then.

The fifth step is to revise the belief. This goes beyond just a simple affirmation, although those can be helpful. What I am talking about here is, in essence, recalibrating your original belief. For example, if you are like me and have believed that you are “getting too old for a certain job” you might decide to revise your belief to something like “I have more experience then other candidates.” Or if you have the belief that “you are overeducated” you might consider revising it to something like, “I come to the table with more applied knowledge than other candidates.”

The sixth and final step is to reorient or recalibrate yourself to the new belief. Imagine this in the same way your GPS works when it recalibrates a new route for you to take in order to get to your destination. It may feel awkward or unfamiliar at first, but give it time and trust the process. If you keep telling yourself this new liberating truth it will eventually begin to feel familiar and you will become more comfortable with the new route.

And every time the old limiting belief decides to creep back up, reject or reframe it as we have discussed before. Repeat the process. The trick here is to start living your life as if the new belief is true (and here is the key point: it is true!). The more that we do this the more we bring our so-called reality into alignment with our desired expectations.

Now, I would like to take this time and share with you Michael Hyatt’s six-step process to overcoming limiting beliefs so that you can exchange them for liberating truths.

The first step is to acknowledge the limiting belief. Whatever the belief may be, wherever it may have originated from, and no matter how true it may seem, it is important to realize that it is just an opinion about reality and more than likely it is more wrong than it is right.

“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.” — Muhammad Ali

I’ll even personalize this a little more and give you little into my own life. Believe it or not, I’m not getting any younger, and I currently possess three degrees. Not too long ago, one of my limiting beliefs was that I was getting too old and that I was overeducated. And I thought that this was the reason why I was not being successful at finding work.

Well, what I did was I wrote those limiting beliefs down, and by writing it down I was able to externalize it, which then gave me the freedom to evaluate it.

Writing Causes Thinking

Thinking Creates an Image

Images Control Feelings

Feelings Cause Actions

Actions Create Results

In other words, usually, when it comes to those that are addicted to drugs or what have you, there is always one family member who acts as an enabler rather than a change-maker. Moreover, it’s important to bear in mind that many people are oftentimes “addicted” to their limiting beliefs. Maybe it’s because it gives them a sense of control, like they got the world figured out. Or maybe it provides a measure of certainty. The bottom line is that honest evaluation is the key to liberation and freedom.

The fourth step is to downright reject, or reframe the belief. Truth be told, where some people may believe they lack confidence, it’s really nothing more than a limiting belief, or downright lie from the pit of hell. I’ve observed numerous amounts of people, who at one time or another thought or believed that they were unconfident, but only to become some of the most confident people I’ve ever met.

You see, they realized that several of their beliefs were coming from somewhere else, and that they were taking ownership of something that really didn’t belong to them. Instead, they began to believe in themselves more and focus their energy on securing those positive, liberating truths just like you would secure something valuable in a safe or vault.

Reframing, on the other hand, is a bit more involved. But not as difficult as it may seem. You see, many limiting beliefs do have the size of a mustard seed of truth in them. That’s what makes them so convincing at times. But the fact is they are not the whole truth. And understanding that is empowering in and of itself. In other words, if something is not the whole truth, that still makes it a whole lie. And you don’t have to settle for a lie.

Take the news media for example. Sure, there is a lot of bad news out there, but that is only a brief part of the picture. Where the news media wants you to focus on cities like Portland, Chicago, and Seatle, and refer to these three cities as making up the nation as a whole. Well, clearly, that’s just silly. And where they want you to think that uncivilized riots or “peaceful protest” are spreading all over the nation, the truth is these small groups are only occupying certain isolated areas and not the nation as a whole. In fact, there are even more areas and larger groups of people that are committing acts of kinds than those you see acting out violence.

One last thing about reframing. Many years back I started what I call a Faith Building Journal. It started out as a Faith Building List, but now I have bookshelves full of these journals. The idea is this: What I would do was write down a list of at least 10 things that I wanted God to do on my behalf for the year. This was much more than just a prayer list. What I would do, as each request would be fulfilled or answered throughout the year, was to check that request off the list and write next to it the date and time it was brought to fruition. Creating these lists and following through with this process resulted in overflowing blessings. They became something to refer back to as well when times of discouragement or doubt and disbelief would come over me.

Just like you should write down your limiting beliefs in order to externalize them so that you can freely evaluate them, you should also write down your liberating truths so that you can come back to them when you feel like your limiting beliefs are overpowering you again, which helps to overcome them and builds confidence. In other words, when you begin to experience a liberating truth, and your circumstance and life begin to change based off these new perspectives, it’s hard to deny the facts. But sometimes we just need a little remembering every now and then.

The fifth step is to revise the belief. This goes beyond just a simple affirmation, although those can be helpful. What I am talking about here is, in essence, recalibrating your original belief. For example, if you are like me and have believed that you are “getting too old for a certain job” you might decide to revise your belief to something like “I have more experience then other candidates.” Or if you have the belief that “you are overeducated” you might consider revising it to something like, “I come to the table with more applied knowledge than other candidates.”

The sixth and final step is to reorient or recalibrate yourself to the new belief. Imagine this in the same way your GPS works when it recalibrates a new route for you to take in order to get to your destination. It may feel awkward or unfamiliar at first, but give it time and trust the process. If you keep telling yourself this new liberating truth it will eventually begin to feel familiar and you will become more comfortable with the new route.

And every time the old limiting belief decides to creep back up, reject or reframe it as we have discussed before. Repeat the process. The trick here is to start living your life as if the new belief is true (and here is the key point: it is true!). The more that we do this the more we bring our so-called reality into alignment with our desired expectations.

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