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Five Steps to Uncover and Clear Conflicting Internal Beliefs

Feb 27, 2008
Spoken or unspoken, the concept of integrity - what is right, what is whole, how we should be in the world - is passed to us from our parents and society. Our parents physically and energetically model this message, sharing verbally and psychically what they feel is appropriate. In many cases, their beliefs and their relationship with integrity have been passed down from their parents unquestioned.

It is the role of parents and teachers to teach us a moral code. Problems arise, however, when we get conflicting messages, when we twist or misunderstand what we were taught, or when we do not stop to examine our agreements and what integrity really means to us. Then things can get messy.

At our core each of us has clarity about what is in our integrity. This knowing is our own inner guidance. Yet we also have years and years of false beliefs built up over this innate knowing. Additionally, we each carry energetic threads from our families: fixed beliefs passed down through generations. These generational energy patterns can build up a heaviness that we carry in our being, even though they have nothing to do with who we are today.

Your inner voice of integrity is always speaking to you. The question is what other voices are also speaking. The voices of drama and fear are seductive and easy to choose over integrity. Sometimes they are so loud we have no idea they are not our integrity. Other times we know they are not true, but we don't have the energy or the willingness to make another choice. Sorting who is speaking can be tricky.

This article presents a method for gaining awareness of these voices, thus uncovering and clearing conflicting beliefs.

Identify the Voices

The first step is to be honest with yourself. When you have conflicting voices and beliefs churning in your head, stop. Clues that you are stuck are confusion, numbness, indecision, and fear. When you feel this way, take a breath and say to yourself, "I am not sure what is in my integrity right now." This pause will create some space. Then do the following exercise, designed to aid you in getting your beliefs up on the table so you can sort them out. Do it around any issue that makes you feel confused or indecisive.

Start by making a list of the thoughts that your mind is churning. Articulate all the voices. Do not be surprised if they are saying conflicting and nonsensical things. Do not edit; write them all down. Notice which ones conflict, and which ones have fear of loss or abandonment attached to them. Any thoughts that run along the lines of, "If I do this then that will happen" are suspect.

Clarify Your Intent

After you write all the voices down sit quietly and ask yourself, "What is my intent for my life right now? What outcome do I want in the long run?" Write this down. Then compare the voices to the outcome you want and see which beliefs are not in alignment and which are. You may also find there are voices helping you to get clarity by asking you to go deeper inside of yourself for answers.

When you are looking over your list from the point of view of your outcome, do not allow yourself to get confused. Stay with one point at a time, and do not think. Move from your heart. Imagine a wise teacher standing by your side, helping you to stay clear.


I have just returned from a five-day training on a new teaching method. I see how valuable it is, but it is new and I feel awkward using it. My mind is bubbling with opinions, so I write them down:

o I hate feeling awkward.
o I am great at teaching the old way; why change it?
o I am scared people won't like it
o What if I don't do it right?
o What if it does work and I am a more effective teacher?
o I am not going to be able to do this.

As I write the voices down I note the one that has the most charge for me: "What if it does work and I am a more effective teacher?" Then I write my desired outcome in this area, teaching to the public. My ultimate goal is to reach a lot of people, to create community, and to build a community center where we can celebrate, gather, and learn together. I feel really excited about this last outcome: to create a community center, so I note that also.

Now, holding the outcome or intent I have that has the most juice, I go back through my list and ask questions of each statement. My first one was, I hate feeling awkward. From the point of view of my desire for a community center, am I willing to feel awkward as I learn a new skill? Yes or no? If there is hesitation or fear, I picture my intent: community center. I call up the desired outcome and feel it as a reality. From this perspective, am I willing to feel awkward? I find I can answer, yes.

I repeat this process on the rest of my statements, noting each feeling and response I feel in my body to each statement.

o Am I willing to feel awkward to help manifest a community center? Yes.
o I am great at teaching the old way, why change it? I love a challenge.
o I'm scared people won't like it. I am willing to experiment and see how it works. I can always change it if it doesn't
o What if I don't do it right? I'm willing to make mistakes along the way.
O What if it works? Here there is a lot of energy for me, so this is a place for me to go deeper to find what emotion or fears are underneath.
o I am not going to be able to do this. I am willing to try.

My work is to take my energy out of the first statements and put it into the second statements I came up with. Remember, the second statements must be congruent with what you really feel at some level of your being. If you get stuck at a belief, keep lovingly questioning yourself: "Do I really need to hold on to this agreement? What would happen if it was or was not true?" Be curious and creative.

Reading over the list again, I see there is a theme about having to do it perfectly. This is an old core agreement that is a generational thread. My parents carried this same concern. Recognizing that this worry is an old theme makes me feel more relaxed and open. I choose to step out of that thread and be willing to make mistakes and try new things.

My next step is to explore the fear of it working. I can trace this back to two threads: (1) It might work and then I might screw up and do something wrong, and (2) I don't deserve it. Both of these fears are also core generational threads. I stop and ask myself, "Do I really want to keep these patterns going?" The answer is "No," so I feel into myself to find the part of me that feels she does not deserve it, and spend some time talking to and nourishing her.

From here I can do a ritual or say a prayer to set the new energetic in my being. I light a candle and set my intent to focus on my new beliefs and clear the old ones.


1. Write down all thoughts on the subject. Do not think or edit; just write.

2. Review what you wrote. Which statements have energy? Where do they conflict?

3. Sit quietly and feel: What is your intent? What do you want in your life right now in regards to this area? Keep going deeper into yourself. This may take some time. Again, do not think, feel your way deep into your truth. Write it down. Remember, you do not have to act on it right away if it is huge, but get back into congruency with yourself by being honest. If you get stuck, visualize yourself in a place you love that nourishes you. Then try again.

4. Once you have the feeling sense of what your outcome or intent is in the bigger picture, hold it and go back through your list. Make note of where you are willing. When you hit agreements that have a lot of energy, take the time to look for generational threads. Are you willing to break out of the heaviness of that energetic?

5. Do a ritual or say a prayer to set the new energetic in place.

6. Repeat steps 1 to 6 as often as necessary.
About the Author
Heather Ash Amara weaves powerful practices of shamanic traditions to help people reach their potential. She apprenticed and taught extensively with Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. She wrote Four Elements of Change and Toltec Tarot. She co-authored Spiritual Integrity and runs Spiritual Integrity Coaching with Raven Smith. Get more tools for living your integrity.
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