The Power of the Placebo Effect Practice



Build Better Beliefs

Before you can rewrite your life’s story and see yourself in a new, empowering light, you must first believe that you can. What you think affects your actions which ultimately influences how you see life, others, and yourself -your mindset. So in order to change your mindset you must go back to the original beliefs. 

The following practice is inspired by a Coach Keelan activity called the Table Leg Method. It’s a way to examine your beliefs and identify which ones aren’t useful or in alignment with the new belief you want to believe. Then you can choose a new belief with new “legs” to support it. Once this new belief grows and strengthens, it becomes active and can begin shaping your new story.

For this activity you’ll need some paper, something to write with, and time to reflect on your current beliefs.


Begin by identifying a limiting, disempowering, or harmful belief you would like to change. This could be something along the lines of, “I’m not skilled enough to ask for a promotion”, “Nobody listens to me because I’m the youngest”, or “I’m a failure”. It should be a belief that’s strong enough to hold you back from taking action on something that does matter to you, thus you want to change it. Once you’ve picked a belief, list at least 3 pieces of evidence that support it. The evidence can be examples, additional beliefs, or self-reflections.


Next, create doubt in your old belief by identifying the emotional and practical reasons why you’re holding onto the limiting belief. Essentially, why do you want to keep believing this? How does it benefit you? Then reframe each piece of evidence you gave and ask if it could be untrue -is there more to the story? The goal is to dive beneath the surface of the belief to see what’s tethering it to your belief system and why you do -or don’t- want to cut the cord. Some questions to ask yourself are: Do the benefits outweigh the costs of keeping this limiting belief? What if the evidence is wrong, incomplete, or unclear? 


Finally ask yourself, “What if I believed the opposite?” and come up with a new, useful, and empowering belief. Choose a belief that’s believable -not impossible- so that it’s an improved belief. Then write down 3+ pieces of evidence that support it and keep the evidence coming! Make a list of everything you can think of that supports your new belief. If your old belief was strong and sturdy it’ll take time to rebuild one that you can trust in. So the more “legs” you create, the stronger your new belief “table” will be and the more confident you’ll be about who you can become. 

Street art on a brick wall of a boy stacking various colored bricks

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