Belanie Dishong is known in the entrepreneurial world as a mindset coach, and I think a lot of beginning entrepreneurs don’t realize just how important mindset is to the success of their venture. In this fascinating conversation we explore just how filtered our view of our own reality really is and where those, what Belanie calls, “core filters” come from.
Belanie: What’s been really interesting for me was I almost backed into becoming so focused on mindset. What I mean by that is it was in the mid-80s when I got into some trouble in my life — not with the law or drugs or things like that — but in trouble inside emotionally in regards to how I was dealing with, coping, and not coping in my life around relationships. That took me into a really downward spiral. It was pretty tough. Everything else seemed to work really well, but I was a mess when it came to relationships.
When I found myself in that place, I kind of heard a voice that said, “Belanie, you are the common denominator in all that there is in your life.” When I heard that, it was like, “What does that mean?” I was 35 years old and I didn’t know what that really meant to me other than yes, I could agree. I could see that, in every circumstance, I was in the center of all of it. But what did that getting that message really mean to me, and how could it take me out of the emotional suffering I was living in?
At that point, I started an inquiry process. I began looking inward at what was going on inside that made all of my common circumstances look the same around relationships. I just started some major transformation in my whole life. I called it my “downloads”. I was receiving information like crazy about how I was viewing my life. The messages said that major awareness and awakening is taking place. As that began to develop, people wanted me to teach them what I had taught to myself, so we began that process in 1993. From that, and building this whole elaborate system around how to take and manage control of your life, it trickled all the way back to the very basic place you must start: your mindset.
I recently spoke on stage at a conference in Las Vegas. A woman came up to me after I came off stage and one of the things she said to me was, “I want to tell you, when I first found out that there was going to be a mindset conversation coming from the stage, it didn’t have anything to do with you. I had made up my mind that I did not want to listen to one more ‘rah rah’ thing around mindset.” Then she said, “Lady, I chose to stay. Even though I didn’t want to stay, I stayed. And you have rattled my cage.”
There is a little hotter conversation, Jasper, and a lot of books and stuff on mindset. But you have to learn what it really is that’s happening, and why it’s happening, and the “how to”, because we’ve been bombarded with positive thinking and, yes, it’s great to be a positive thinker, right?
But that’s trying to operate on top of something that’s not positive. So what I’ve done is I’ve learned how to get underneath what’s driving the negative. When you get there and see that, then the management of your mindset becomes absolutely natural.
Meredith: And how do you do that, Belanie?
Belanie: We have incredible courses and systems and programs in place that teach you how to be quiet, hear, and be led through a series of questions that have you discover that internal source. It’s not external. Mamma didn’t do it, Daddy didn’t do it, nobody did it to us. They really didn’t. We’ve just been so wrapped up in the circumstances being this cause-and-effect of our lives, called our outcomes. In the system that I’ve created and grown since 1993, we use a series of conversations. And in those conversations, a person’s awareness just opens up and they can see what it is. I call it “core filter”. They can see the filtering they’ve made up that causes their mindset to be so dominant in an area or areas, where there are repeating cycles or delivering something in their life other that what they wanted. Mine was in 1985. I had repeating cycles of relationships: marriages and divorces and crushes. Now, I’m happy to say that I am the proud owner of a 30-year relationship and a marriage of 27 of those 30 years. That’s the distinctive difference between mindset having you instead of you managing your mind!
Jasper: Let me explore a bit further this idea that it wasn’t your parents, because it seems to me that a lot of the blame is put on the parents. We talk about this word mindset and, surely, a lot of those settings do take place in your childhood — that’s been the perception on the psychoanalysis basis. What are your thoughts on that? Is that setting come from your childhood and it just pervades until you catch it?
Belanie: Great question, and I agree with everything you’re saying. Now, here’s my answers to your questions. Number one, yes. The best I can tell through 30 years of my own life and 22 years and thousands of my clients’ lives, it is accurate. The first seven years of our lives form exactly how we’re going to live the rest of our lives. And I can prove it over and over and over. However, the issue is we’ve come away with a belief that those first seven years were sculpted by our outside influences, our parents. Sculpted by our parents and our teachers and where we grew up in the world and where we were born and the economic environment we grew up in. That’s not the problem. Here’s I how want you to see this, Jasper, if you’ll take a second with this. If that was the problem, every child in the ghetto would be in the ghetto the rest of their lives. If it were so, every child who was ever told they weren’t going to amount to anything wouldn’t amount to anything.
So there’s something there, and this is where my inquiry really had to get deep because of the things that were occurring in my life around relationships and marriages, crushes and divorces, and all the awful stuff around relationships with me. I grew up in a family that was pretty much free of divorce. Looking at the circumstances, I made up a belief called “Marriages Work!” So I was always trying to find the marriage that was going to work. However, the issue wasn’t whether or not marriages worked. The issues were something else, a core filter. We make up things about the circumstances around us, and when we do that, they become us. We make it up. We are the problem. The good news is that we are the solution, because all we have to do is discover what these filters are and it is solved.
Belanie Dishong, founder of Live At Choice™ and the Starfisher Academy of Coaches, is an accomplished author, keynote speaker, workshop leader, and personal coach. An expert on the topic of choice, Belanie has developed a proven process and tangible tools that lead people to critical self-discovery.
Belanie works diligently to provide the deaf community access to her programs. She has developed a team of American Sign Language interpreters certified in her courses, and programs are regularly held at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.
Belanie is the author of Roundtrip Ticket—An Exercise in Going Home to the Heart, giving readers insight into making changes to empower their success. Also, she is one of 50 influential women featured in the Amazon number one bestseller, Fearless Women, Visions of a New World, by author Mary Ann Halpin. A member of the eWomenNetwork, Belanie is also a contributor to the eWomenNetwork Foundation.
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