This post is for anyone who has ever felt the crippling effects of fear — or has ever griped about anything — and yet has the courage to do something about it.
Contained here is a technique for making fear your friend and using it to springboard yourself into whatever it is that truly excites you.
From the perspective of writing video games, this technique can make all the difference. It all starts with your mind and what you choose to believe.
Believe that it’s difficult to write a hit game? It sure as hell will be.
Beliefs are the weathered ruts of the mind, they guide thoughts and hence actions. Beliefs shape our entire lives.
No matter who you are there are thousands of beliefs at this very moment which control you. Much like strings of a guitar, these beliefs can be in or out of tune. When your mind’s strings are in tune there is a positive buzz about you, everything seems easy, and you will naturally head in the direction of your excitement.
Sometimes all it takes is a slight shift in 3 or 4 core beliefs to unlock massive potential in an individual.
For the purpose of this essay, we shall refer to beliefs that are out of tune as “false” and those that are in tune as “true”.
True vs False
Beliefs are like coins. On one side there is truth. On the other there is a lie.
False beliefs limit you, keep you static and safe, lead to boredom, apathy, regret and unhappiness.
True beliefs empower you, build courage, cause you to take action and lead to excitement, joy, bliss and happiness.
Back to the coin analogy. The beauty is that when you discover a false belief and then flip it over and truly see the other side, you are at that moment a completely different person with a new set of beliefs.
It is this process of identifying false beliefs and turning them into true beliefs that we will outline now.
Fear is your friend because it shows you clearly where you are holding to false beliefs.
Gripes are a great indicator of false beliefs as well.
No matter how seemingly large the fear, no matter how insidious the gripe, all can be tuned towards truth and so used to greatly benefit your life.
It all starts with the courage to list your fears, gripes, annoyances, being completely honest in the process. Any negative feeling, simply list them all out on a piece of paper or digital note.
By writing down your gripes you will immediately feel better. There’s something magical about getting things out of your head and into writing.
Dark to Light
With your false beliefs thoroughly and honestly listed, begin to systematically confront each.
The first question to ask yourself in regards to a false belief is “what benefit do I get from believing this?”
You are definitely getting something out of the belief, some sort of value. Otherwise you wouldn’t have it. So take the time to analyze it and thoroughly answer the question: “what does it benefit me to believe this?”
Now that you see clearly how the false belief is benefiting you, began to ask yourself “what definitions are contained in this belief?”
At the core of every belief there is a definition. There is some simple statement that sums up the fear / gripe / discontent.
By asking yourself “why” and thinking about the false belief, you will eventually arrive at the definitions contained. Definitions are usually simple, short statements that contain the words “is” or “are”. These definitions are also like coins. Flip them over and see the other side. Begin to redefine.
If the false definition represents something you do not prefer, what definition would be more like what you do prefer?
Now you are getting in tune.
Redefining things is your key to freedom. The moment you have redefined something and have thoroughly accepted the new definition as true, you are free.
The important part here is to take the time to thoroughly convince yourself of the new definition.
Go back and visit the original false belief and if you still sort of believe it, you haven’t finished. Keep at it.
When you can revisit the false belief and it seems completely false, when you can look at the new definition and know deeply that it is the truth, then your heart will be filled with joy. You will go on with a spring in your step. You have conquered.
A Real Life Example
I’ve been exploring this technique for quite some time and the first mistake I made was to hurry through the process. I found that it seemed easy to simply change a negative statement into a positive one and be done. Five minutes and viola. Little did I know that the false beliefs would crop up again later. I hadn’t taken the time to thoroughly convince myself.
I now find that it takes at least 90 to 120 minutes of focusing on the false belief to properly turn it to true. Your results may differ, just keep in mind to take your time and be thorough and honest.
For me, this technique works best when I am walking. Something about walking just puts my mind in the right zone. So my process starts with recording my gripes in a note on my phone, then going for a long walk.
Here’s a false belief that I recently flipped, word for word. In quotes you find the original false belief and the rest are my notes of working through the tuning process. Statements that are redefinitions usually end with an exclamation mark. (Note: misspellings are due to cold thumbs, but I left them as-is to show you exactly what I wrote in order to work through the false belief and into freedom.)
“I dont enjoy playing games very much as an adult. I wouldnt consider myself a gamer. It takes a special kind of game to hold my interest. If i dont love many games, then how can i become a successful game developer?”
What does it benefit me to hold this belief?
- i feel smarter, wiser, more evolved than i was as a child
- as a result i use my time more productively
- believing most games suck boosts my own belief that it will be easy to make a game that doesnt suck, or that if i simply just make a game that doesnt suck it will immediately and clearly stand above all the res
Games are simply entertainment.
I could say the same about movies, shows, plays, books. It’s just more dificult to entertain me as an adult.
Why is it more difficult to entertain me as an adut?
- Accumulated knowledge and experience has jaded me.
- its more difficult to suspend disbelief when youve seen behind the currtain
I dont know everyhig. I havent experienced everyhing. I havent seen behind every curtain.
Even though i have seen behind similar curtains, the magic still comes and whisks me away.
What definitions hide here?
- i am jaded
- i am so experienced and knowledgable that most things cannot entertain me
- there is no such thing as the magic of entertainment
- age makes one bitter and cranky and jaded and intractable
Just as there are exercises and elixirs and procesures for increasing the body’s youthfulness, so there are mental exercises and elixirs and procedures for increasing the mind’s youthfulness.
It’s possible to be more youthful of body at any age!
It’s possible to be more youthful of mind at any age!
Meditation cleans, clears, buffs up, polishes, invigorates and makes the mind more youthful and vivid, verdant!
Being outside, gettig some sun and earth and wind and water makes one more youthful!
Yoga makes one more youthful!
Playfulness makes one more youthful!
Playing with youths makes one more youthful!
Transmuting false beliefs makes one more youthful!
Smiling makes one more youthful!
Eating light, healthy, vibrant, whole foods makes one more youthful!
Age does not make one more jaded.
The accumulation of negativity makes one jaded.
One becomes jaded without exercising the youthfulness of mind.
Its not experiwnce and knowledge that make one jaded, its pessimism and ego inflation / haughtiness that make one jaded.
The consequence of no entertainment, no recreation, essentially not enjoying life, is boredom, apathy, and ultimately a living death.
Entertainment, recreation, joy is vital to life.
Day by day, the mind accumulates.
One must ensure that as much positive, playful fun is accumulated as possible.
One must excersice youthfulness to counteract the accumulation of pessimism.
Play, of all kinds, is productive!
One becomes smarter and wiser still by moving beyond cynicism and peasimism into playful fun, joy, recreation, positiviiy, happiness.
It’s smarter to play than it is to be bored!
Playing increases one’s youth magic!
Games, movies, book, music, all forms of entertainment are fun for me as an adult, and the more i practice my youth magic the funner they will get.
The spirit of accompliahment, conpletion, achievment, task ticking, is not playful. So next time i find myself thinking this way while supposeduly entertaining myself, i will flip a bitch and get playful.
You can see that I started with a false belief, took a look at how it benefitted me, found the definitions inside, redefined those definitions, then kept at it until I had thoroughly convinced myself of the new truth.
Now, instead of believing that age makes one cranky, I fully believe that it is simply an accumulation of negativity that makes one cranky. And there are clearly ways to reduce that accumulation, so I now believe it is possible for anyone of any age to free themselves of a jaded mindset and be more youthful. Seems simple when you look at it that way, right? True beliefs are simple and they resonate with your heart.
That’s all there is to this technique. I’ve found by using it I have smashed through several gigantic walls in my mind. Many of these walls would have stopped me from making games (like Songbringer) and following my excitement. In truth, many false beliefs have prevented me from full success in the past. I am now eager to write games with these new beliefs in mind.
By turning these false beliefs into true, I’ve cleared my mind of psychological blocks. Essentially I’ve taken my foot off the brakes and am now heading at full speed towards my dreams.
The Courage To Continue
Note that false beliefs will continue to crop up, especially as you begin the process. Sometimes they will even seem so daunting that you fear to face them. It seems unfair that directly after tuning a false belief another would reveal itself but that’s just how it works. Some of our deepest false beliefs are really, really deep. So deep that you are unaware they currently exist.
Be courageous. Continue the process. The technique works no matter how great the fear.
Continue creating true beliefs and you will become more and more free, creating your own unique flavor of success.
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