The human system functions based on a purpose, from each cell to each belief.  When we can't figure out a purpose behind any belief, the default purpose can be assumed to be "safety" or "pleasure".  Another term that falls under safety is "survival", or protection of the physical body.

The basic core process:

It should be clear by now that the following is the basic process:

An occurrence --> a thought about the occurrence --> a feeling, emotion

One of the principles is that the occurrence does not cause the emotion.  A thought is always the cause of the emotion.  If you truly consider something to be neutral in meaning, you will not experience an emotion about it.  

The "rest" of the process:

However, since there is always a reason for something occurring, we can add to the process a belief about what we think we will get from the thought OR from the emotion.  If one studies, for instance, guilt, one will find that the reason the strategy of using guilt feelings is employed is because we think it gets us something - such as have us feel like we will be loved if we're a good person who feels bad about what he/she has done - and then we have the thinking around that all mixed up and never quite tested for correctness and functionality. 

The idea is to test the belief that is related to thinking you will achieve your purpose.
Does it work?  If not, a new one needs to be devised - one that works.

The process is, with this idea added:

Event --> thought/belief --> emotion --> the belief that we will achieve a purpose

Do those emotions and/or beliefs serve to get you what you want? 


Again, each belief that pops up is from an 'old file' unless a new corrected belief is substituted - if the latter doesn't happen, then one will simply do the same belief over and over, staying stuck in repeating the past.   The belief about what I think I'll get from the emotion or the first belief is also an "old file'.  Basically, to function well in life, one simply needs to look at each incorrect belief and correct it to what is functional/effective.

The sign that you have an incorrect belief lies in the results.  If you "feel bad", then there is an underlying false belief.  If you get a bad result, such as excess weight or other undesired outer world outcomes, then you have one or more underlying false beliefs that need to be corrected. 

Correct them, or you'll end up repeating getting the undesired emotions and other results.

Another principle to be aware of is that if you are simply constantly experiencing undesired feelings and you seek to relieve just the feelings in the short term, you are dealing with resolving the symptoms.  If so, you are doomed to keep on experiencing the undesired symptoms and having to cope with them to relieve them - over and over and over.  The best thing to do is to solve the cause or causes because that will get rid of the undesired effects.  Kind of an obvious thing, but one most people seem to not operate from, as they keep solving the symptoms in the illusion that they are solving the problem or making progress. 

THE PAYOFFS (Some people like to use the forms for Rackets, wherein we are consciously assessing the real payoffs and costs to decide what would work better.)

What we think we'll get is usually one of the following:

Safety (so we'll survive and/or not be hurt)
Love (so we'll "feel good" because of a belief we have about that)
Somebody to rescue us (to depend on another, eliminating doubtt and danger for us)

There are false surrogates, which we associate with survival, protection, etc.  These are:

Looking good (so we are acceptable, approved of, liked, proven strong or some
   other impression we want to make)
Being right and /or making others wrong (so we feel like we're ok or stronger or less
   vulnerable; can be related to trying to look good)
Avoiding blame (blaming another to avoid responsibility or being judged; avoiding
   looking bad by making excuses, justifying something)
Dominating someone (so we can feel safer or stronger, be protected against dangers
    in their behavior)
Avoiding being dominated/controlled by another (so we don't feel weakor out of


Principle:  If the symptom keeps happening, you haven't completed the solving of the problem.  Go back to discover what you've missed or not dealt with completely.

An example of completion:  (Using a format similar to the Rational Analysis Worksheet. )

Activating event

This person appears to think I am stupid. [Activating event, stimulus, trigger...]

Resulting emotion:

I feel hurt (actually "hurt" is a combination of a feeling and a thought, so I'll correct myself).

I actually feel sad. (The choices, though you can use subcategories, are mad, sad, glad, or scared.  Though you might initially just say "I feel bad.")

I also feel powerless.   (Oops that is not a feeling...)

Identify a belief, probably a surface one:

I believe that I am powerless whenever I think someone thinks I'm stupid. 

Trace the thinking and reasoning behind it all:

And the reasoning for that belief comes from my childhood and is similar to this: 

My parents were always telling me I was stupid (or at least, in my mind it seemed liked they were, so I believed it was true; I could benefit from re-looking at that later perhaps). 

What I made up was "if they think I am stupid, then that means they don't love me.  And if they don't love me (based on another belief from earlier in my childhood) that means that I may be left without anyone to feed me or take care of me, and that means I would die since I am powerless to take care of myself and totally dependent on them.  

Because of these beliefs, I would feel really, really threatened and bad if they called me stupid AND every time I even thought that they might be thinking I was stupid or might find out about something I am doing that would look stupid to them. 

I need to hide that from them and I need to give the impression I am not stupid.  I can't let them know how I feel or they'll think badly of me.  I am really scared most of the time." 

Oh, I thought I was sad because someone didn't think much of me, but perhaps this is actually something that results in me feeling scared! 

The purpose:

So, the purpose of me reacting to someone thinking I am stupid is for me to be protected from losing love and then I couldn't have anyone protect me from harm and from starving [don't be scared to use what seems like really way out thinking, as the primitive brain does that].   Of course, if someone won't rescue me or protect me or give me what I want, then my need for dependence is not fulfilled, which is frightening since I am powerless.  And I feel so bad about being powerless.  I am powerless and that makes me feel so sad and so scared. 

OK.  I think I might have unearthed enough to have sufficient stuff to process and correct if necessary. 

Underlying belief:

What is the underlying belief that the others one are based on?

Reviewing each belief and any differences:

In the childhood situation, I was frightened because I might not be fed and taken care of (and could die).    Is that true?

Then go through every belief above and correct them, using a selected Form For Changing Beliefs.

Finish by using the Brief Checklist For Changing A Belief so that you know you are finished and have a good plan to get there.


If we are in a particular real or figurative place and we want to arrive at a particular end goal, then we must do all of the parts and steps that get me to that end goal.

In this case, my end goal is to realize that I have sufficient power to assure I eat and have shelter, in some way, and that I am not dependent and I can take care of myself, even that I am self-sufficient.  I may also want to be free of the prison I've put myself in where I keep trapping myself with this false dependency belief.  I may also want to adopt the belief that I no longer need to be rescued, since I am self-sufficient and capable. 

If I repeat these goals in some way and affirm them (or that I am them, such as I am powerful), there is the positive effect of focusing on the intentiion (or intended goal).

However, most people who just do that find that they return to getting the undesired results (and the old files keep popping up).  Well, that means they haven't completed all the steps.  This is what the skill-set of problem solving involves to assure that everything is cleaned up and completed. 

Writing down all of what you think it will take to "get there" is necessary.   Replacing the old files is necessary.  Fully understanding and reviewing the reasoning behind the corrected beliefs will help shore them up - and reminding oneself of them, so that they are "installed" and usable, coming automatically from the memory.

In order to get to the Carnegie Hall Of Happiness, you will have to "practice, practice, practice" until you can play the tune (the new beliefs and the underlying basis) so well that you are a Master - and then you can be confident and just play your heart out and be joyful and fulfilled. 

Insufficient practice = No Carnegie Hall


There are already formats for belief modification and there is already a prototype plan for The Process Of Changing Beliefs, I should begin from there and create whatever else I think I need.  I might even use The Belief Pyramid format to assure that I've included the pieces, especially the foundational underlying belief; I see that blowing up the foundational belief will cause all the beliefs derived from it and dependent upon it to fall apart and loose their potency.  The latter is like a domino effect.  I "get it". 

I will read, in what order I believe makes sense for me, all the relevant writeups on this site about Beliefs, until I believe the process of how beliefs create emotions/feelings. 

I will follow the format for changing beliefs and look at the Brief Checklist For Changing A Belief and use a selected Form For Changing Beliefs

To test myself and to get in touch with some foundational beliefs, I will use the Barksdale Self Esteem Evaluation.
Examples of what some of the pieces of the plan might look like:

My goal is to be perfectly calm and confident even if someone thinks I am stupid or doesn't approve of me in saome way. 

My bigger goal is to see that I am powerful and self-sufficient, dependent on no one - and that I have complete freedom now and throughout my life.

The obstacles that may get in the way

Supporting resources that could help. 

   Promise on how I will use them (e.g. I will be honest and open and use them to refine and add to what I do, but I will do as much of the work and the figuring and thinking that I can so that I can use their time most effectively.

My affirmations will be
The supporting reasoning for this new belief is


Handling it when the stimulus comes up:  I will remind myself that if I feel bad it is based on a false belief and that it is not the outside stimulus that causes the feeling.

I will also have a card with the old beliefs, from which I will pick out what applies here, and then I'll review the new, corrected belief.