Belief inventory exercise for people setting goals

Example of a belief goal building inventory exercise:

Many people struggle when trying to identify and find the right goals to take on, but a belief inventory exercise can be helpful for identifying and setting goals. Because our beliefs can have a powerful impact on our thoughts, behaviors, and ultimately, our outcomes, So, we need to understand what beliefs are shaping our perception of ourselves, our abilities, and the world around us, which can either support or hinder our progress towards our goals.

By identifying and examining our beliefs through a belief inventory exercise, we can gain clarity on what we truly believe and how those beliefs are affecting our lives. We can then evaluate whether our beliefs are helping or hindering our ability to achieve our goals. For example, if we believe that we are not good enough to achieve a certain goal, we may be less likely to take action towards that goal. On the other hand, if we believe that we are capable of achieving our goals, we may be more motivated to take action and persist in the face of challenges.

Through a belief inventory exercise, we can also identify any limiting beliefs that may be holding us back and work to replace them with more empowering beliefs. By doing so, we can increase our confidence, motivation, and sense of agency in pursuing our goals. A belief inventory exercise can be a powerful tool for setting goals because it helps us gain insight into our beliefs, identify any limiting beliefs that may be holding us back, and develop more empowering beliefs that support our progress towards our goals.

Belief Inventory Exercise:


    • Take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns: “Good Beliefs” and “Bad Beliefs”.
    • Set a timer for 10 minutes.
    • During those 10 minutes, write down as many beliefs as you can think of that fall into each category.
    • Be honest with yourself and write down beliefs that you truly hold, even if they may be uncomfortable to acknowledge.
    • Remember, beliefs are ideas or convictions that you hold to be true, whether or not they are actually true. They can be based on personal experiences, cultural influences, or other factors.

Good Beliefs:

    • I am capable of achieving my goals.
    • It’s important to treat others with kindness and respect.
    • Learning from mistakes is a valuable part of personal growth.
    • Hard work and persistence lead to success.
    • Everyone has the potential to learn and grow.

Bad Beliefs:

    • I am not good enough.
    • People can’t be trusted.
    • Success is only for the lucky few.
    • I am powerless to change my circumstances.
    • There is something fundamentally wrong with me.

After completing the exercise, take a moment to reflect on your beliefs. Consider which beliefs are helping you live your best life, and which beliefs may be holding you back. Remember that beliefs are not set in stone and can be changed with effort and intention. If you identify any bad beliefs that you would like to change, make a plan to challenge and replace them with more positive and empowering beliefs.

Challenge and replace limiting beliefs

Here are some steps to make a plan to challenge and replace limiting beliefs with more positive and empowering beliefs:

    • Identify the limiting belief: Start by identifying the belief that you want to challenge and replace. Write it down and be specific about how it is limiting you.
    • Question the belief: Ask yourself if the belief is really true. Is there any evidence to support it? Are there any examples of times when the belief was not true? What would happen if you didn’t believe it?
    • Challenge the belief: Once you have questioned the belief, challenge it by finding evidence to the contrary. Look for examples of times when the opposite has been true. This can help to weaken the hold that the belief has on you.
    • Reframe the belief: Replace the limiting belief with a more positive and empowering belief. Make sure the new belief is believable and resonates with you. For example, if your limiting belief is “I’m not smart enough to get promoted at work,” reframe it to “I have valuable skills and experience that make me a strong candidate for promotion.”
    • Practice the new belief: Start incorporating the new belief into your thoughts and actions. Repeat it to yourself as a mantra, visualize yourself embodying the belief, and take actions that align with the belief. The more you practice the new belief, the more it will become a part of your mindset.
    • Monitor progress: Keep track of how the new belief is affecting your thoughts and actions. Notice if you feel more empowered and motivated, and if you are taking actions that align with your goals.

I often help my clients to identify limiting beliefs and challenge and change them, remember, changing limiting beliefs takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small successes along the way. With consistent effort, you can challenge and replace limiting beliefs with more positive and empowering beliefs that support your goals and aspirations. If you need more help, try booking a session of therapy.

Do you find it hard to decide what goals you can start to attain to change your life?

What makes it hard for you?

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