The Writings on Your Walls
The “writings on our walls” are the beliefs we picked up as children from those around us. When we asked for a new backpack for seventh grade and Dad said, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” we understood the principle of scarcity. Dad probably said that when Mom wanted a new dress or sister wanted to attend summer dance camp. We probably heard it from Grandma and Uncle Thomas as well. This phrase, written on the wall of our consciousness, became part of our worldview.
Perhaps we heard a high school friend say, “All the good men are taken.” We remembered when we overheard Mother and Aunt Peggy complaining about men, and about Peggy’s contemplation of getting divorced. Eventually, she decided to stay with her abusive husband because the other models of husband were equally flawed. After all, all the good men are taken.
The grass is always greener on other side.
There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
What goes around comes around.
Perhaps you’re laughing as you read that list of clichés, but they’re instantly recognizable as pieces of folk wisdom that resonate for many people.
But are they true? Very often, we have writings on our walls that have long outlived their usefulness.
The writings on our walls have a way of shaping the circumstances of our lives. We notice life events that validate our beliefs and dismiss those that don’t, a phenomenon that psychologists call “confirmation bias.” If you believe all the good men are taken, Mr. Right might be standing in front of you, but you can’t see him past your belief.
The people who instilled your core beliefs in you when you were a child likely meant well and were trying to protect you from harm. They were convinced that if they told you the dangers of the world, you’d become a prudent person and experience less pain than they had. They’d often had rough lives, had dysfunctional core beliefs, and shaped their reality accordingly. They’re convinced the external world is that way, when in reality it’s their internal world that is that way. They did their best to instill their sense of limitation in you, subconsciously hoping that you wouldn’t be damaged in the same way they were. Yet if they succeeded in instilling these beliefs, they likely produced the very result they feared.
The problem is that the world can be either a place of pain or a place of joy, and a great deal of the difference is created by the writings on your walls. If your head is filled with convictions of limitation and suffering, you’ll tend to reproduce those conditions in the outside world.
Notice whenever you use a cliché. Trace it back to where you learned it and all the events that validated it as truth. Rate how strongly you believe that truth. In the field of psychology, this rating of the degree of truth is called the Validity of Cognition (VOC) scale. It uses a 0-to-10 scale, similar to the SUD scale. In the case of the VOC scale, 0 represents no belief in the statement being rated and 10 represents unshakable conviction that it is true.
What is your degree of belief in the following statements?
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
No pain, no gain.
Life’s a bitch and then you die.
The world is a dangerous place.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world.
All good things come to an end.
True love never lasts.
Let’s try some positive statements. What’s your VOC score for these?
The world is a safe and nurturing place.
The universe conspires for my good.
Everything turns out alright in the end.
I am a spiritual being on a material path.
I am abundant.
Money flows to me easily.
I am vibrantly healthy.
Once you’ve identified the writings on your walls, you can find the underlying events that installed them. We do this in live EFT workshops and we find that even if participants have a very strong belief in a negative cliché such as “All good things come to an end,” their high VOC score changes after tapping. We help them find the childhood events that installed the cliché and tap on those. Once the events lose their emotional charge, the VOC around the cliché drops like a stone. The individuals experience a makeover in the writings on their walls, walking out of the workshop with a revised internal belief system. Limiting beliefs are replaced by empowering beliefs. This can soon begin to produce a very different picture in their external objective world.