Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

We manifest what we believe, not what we want.

Beliefs are a curious and powerful phenomenon of our consciousness. Once we form a belief and hold it as truth, we are informing the universe to match the energy of the belief and to bring only events matching the belief into our experience. The brain does its part by ignoring and/or censoring out any data which conflicts with our beliefs.

Therefore, once we hold a belief about anything, anyone, including ourselves, the only information we will allow in is data confirming our conclusion. Think about this: Whatever you believe will play a big role in determining what possibilities you are capable of experiencing in life.

Here are three additional factors to keep in mind:

Beliefs may not be based on anything objectively true.

Most of our beliefs are not even conscious. They are buried in the subconscious mind where they operate automatically, and we are not even aware of them.

The emotions attached to beliefs also alter our biochemistry; some scientists say this can even change our DNA.

We believe what we tell ourselves

Every time we use the words "I am" we are instructing the subconscious mind what to filter out and what to allow into our awareness. Whatever follows the words "I am," especially when repeated often, informs the universe to bring into your experience the kind of people, events and circumstances that match the energy declaration of what you say about yourself.

Change your message

One deceptively simple way to upgrade your feedback loop with the universe and expand what's possible in your life is to choose wisely what you repeatedly say about yourself both out loud and silently. You can redirect your interaction with the universe to who you really are underneath those things you feel and tell yourself. Simply put, at the soul level we are pure awareness, pure love, pure intelligence, pure spirit. Identifying yourself at that level tells the universe to match that truth rather than the lesser stuff. You will still have plenty of feelings and thoughts; see if you can let them pass through like weather, and make the effort to consistently remember and affirm who you truly are.

Underlying beliefs: gathering a few clues

Beliefs which are running on automatic "behind the scenes" in your life are usually ones that interfere with what you may really want in life. They can often have their origins in messages you picked up from your parents and from others growing up, which worked for them, but are not for you. Enjoy reflecting on the following questions. They may reveal some things you might not have realized and can now change.

1.Reflect on/make a list of ideas about money, which you learned from your parents. See if their money attitudes/beliefs dominate your life. If you are content with your financial status and relationship with money, great. If not, however, now that you have identified the beliefs you unknowingly carry, you can update them to be congruent with your truth.

2. What did you learn from your parents about success in life? Are your actual, current ideas different from theirs? Or are theirs still defining success and keeping you from your version, from your vision? If so, now that you are aware of what you are repeating that does not fit you, consciously update to your version of success.

Concluding wisdom

The nature of life is that it's always expressing itself through new points of view and discoveries that reveal new possibilities. Somehow the ultimate life skill is to hold beliefs as only a temporary foundation of truth. There is always more. Being stuck in outdated beliefs locks you in and leaves you locked out of infinite possible discoveries and pleasures. PJH