How to use "Authority" to change your limiting beliefs

I’ve noticed an interesting thing as a workshop leader and as a coach:

Sometimes I’ll simply tell someone that something is possible for them, and they’ll believe me.

And they won’t stop there — they’ll live from this new belief, and get awesome new results.

That’s because an Authority can change beliefs. My Authority is so strong for these folks, it overrides their own belief and allows them to be different.

An “Authority” can change your belief about yourself when you believe in that authority more than you believe your current, limiting belief.

An Authority can be a coach, a therapist, a guru, a friend… It simply has to be someone you believe in more than you believe in your own limitation.

An Authority is someone where you stop and say, “Wow, if they say it, it must be true.”

It’s also part of why a Guru-type can say something and people actually change from hearing it. If you have enough confidence in the Guru’s Authority, you’ll “make the jump” to the new way of believing.

And it’s also why, as children, we’ll believe what our parents say, even in the face of (sometimes) ample evidence that they are wrong.

They have the authority, and we believe in that authority — more than we believe in our selves.

Authority is a great way to change beliefs. It’s fast, thorough, and — if the authority is strong enough — it makes permanent changes.

The change is only as good as the Authority you consult

The thing is…

Authority is a great way to get changes — but the changes are only as good as the Authority you consult.

That’s why when I work with people I help them to discover their relationship to their Highest Authority. I help them see — and take on for themselves — what their true Highest Authority — the Highest and Most Beautiful Reality they can conceive of — really believes is possible for them.

It doesn’t matter what  you call that Highest Authority. You might call it “God,” or “Nature,” or “the Universe.” You might call it “My Deepest Heart,” or “Inspiration,” or “My Inner Knowing.” The name you call it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is this: Whatever you believe your Highest Authority believes about you, you will automatically believe about yourself.

If you believe that your Highest Authority has a positive future for you, you’ll believe you have a positive future for yourself — and act accordingly. You’ll take all the actions of a person who believes they have a positive future, and get the results those actions create.

And by the same token, if you unconsciously believe that your Highest Authority has a negative fate in store for you, you’ll live from that belief, as well. You’ll take the actions of a person who believes they have a negative fate, and get those results in your life.

This is important because if you haven’t thought much about the Highest Authority you are believing in, you may have unconsciously taken on discouraging messages you’ve gotten from your parents, or from your childhood, as your Highest Authority.

And that can make it extremely difficult to be happy and effective in life.

How to discover what Highest Authority you are believing in

The poet Rumi says “Everyone had turned their face in some direction.” Each person has a sense of what the Highest Authority has in store for them — even if it’s generated by childhood messages.

No one is exempt… Which is why I suggest you think about the question: What Highest Authority are you listening to in the most important areas of your life?

Here’s how you discover what kind of Higher Authority you are believing in:

  1. Get clear on a situation that is troubling you, then
  2. Discover what you really believe your fate is in that situation, then
  3. Ask yourself, “What’s the Highest Authority like in the world where that fate is true?”

The entrepreneur who had lost his motivation

Let me give you an example:
An entrepreneur recently called me for coaching because he wanted “some advice about how to be more motivated.” He had been sitting down to work, but couldn’t seem to get anything done. Most of his “work” time ended up being spend unproductively goofing off on Facebook.

Step 1: Get clear on a situation that is troubling him.

“I need help,” he told me. “I need to get stuff done. The stuff I need to do is actually stuff I want to do. It’s not like I hate it or anything — I actually care about it. But I just can’t seem to get myself to do anything.”

That was the situation that was troubling him.

Step 2: Discover what he really believes his fate is in that situation.

I wanted to know what he believed his fate was, so first I wanted to find out what he was up against.

“OK, I said. “So you want to be more productive. If I told you, ‘just go be more productive,’ what would you say was in the way of that? What’s the problem that you are up against in being more productive?”

“What am I up against?” he replied. “I’ll tell you what I’m up against: No matter what I do, nothing ever really seems to work. I’ve had some successes in my business, sure, but nothing has ever really ‘taken off’ for me. My hard work just doesn’t produce the results I want.”

“So,” I said, “When you find yourself up against the experience that your hard work doesn’t produce the results you want, what do you start to believe your fate will be?”

He thought about it, and said, “It seems like I’m fated to be the guy who has big dreams, and who wants to make an impact on the world, but who never actually gets anywhere. I’m fated to simply struggle in vain.”

“So,” I said to him, “You’re calling me for advice about how to be more motivated while you struggle in vain through life, is that it?”

He had to laugh. “Yeah,” he said. “Hearing that, I can see why I don’t have any motivation! If I’m fated to struggle in vain, I’d be a fool to do any work at all. It’d be pointless! I might as well goof off on Facebook all day.”

“Yes,” I said. “Advice isn’t going to help the guy who has already accepted it’s his fate to struggle in vain. We need to help you with your belief that you are fated to struggle in vain, no matter what you do.”

Step 3: What the Highest Authority like in the world where that is true?

I asked him, “What’s the Highest Authority like in the world where you created with a deep desire to make an impact on the world, but are fated to struggle in vain?”

“Wow,” he said. “That’s a very unfair and cruel god, to tell you the truth. It’s a Highest Authority who sets me up to fail, and who doesn’t care. Yuk!”

Yes,” I said. “That is the Authority you are paying attention to. That’s what you are believing in — that you are fated to struggle and fail. As long as you are facing that Highest Authority, you’re not going to have much motivation to get to work, no matter what else you do.”

He agreed that was true. The dark fate he was believing in had to be addressed.

Turning to the real Highest Authority

My client’s face was turned toward a Highest Authority who set him up to fail. And as long as he was faced in that direction, no matter how much great advice he got, no matter how many plans he made, it wouldn’t matter. His foundational belief that the Universe was setting him up to struggle in vain would always find a way to prevail.

Fortunately, just because you are faced in a direction doesn’t mean you have to keep facing that way.

There’s one more step to finish this process:

Step 4: Turn to the actual Highest and Most Beautiful Reality.

I asked him, “Look into your heart: is this Highest Authority who sets you up to fail really the Highest and Most Beautiful Reality you can conceive of?”

“No,” he said firmly. “Absolutely not.”

“So let’s turn to the actual Highest Authority. Take this part of you that believes you are fated to to struggle in vain, and turn with it to your best sense of that true Highest and Most Beautiful Reality.”

He did so, turning in his imagination to his best sense of his True Highest Authority, the Highest and Most Beautiful Reality he could conceive of.

Immediately he started feeling a lot of light coming into that place in him that was holding on to the belief he was fated to struggle in vain.

“Wow,” he said. “I’m starting to see that I not fated to struggle in vain… And also that, in a way, it doesn’t matter whether or not I get the results I want from my actions. What’s important is that I do what’s put into my heart to do! I can see that if I do what’s in my heart, I’ll eventually get the results I want… Or something even better!

As he continued to experience his best sense of that true Highest Authority, he saw even more. “I can see that when I’m doing something because my heart is called to do it, great stuff can happen. In fact, I’m starting to see that I actually have no idea what amazing things might happen in my business, or which of my actions might spark a miracle. I have no idea just how great this could get, actually!”

At that point the call was effectively over. “I’ve got to get to work right now,” he said excitedly as we said goodbye. His new message from his Highest Authority — That he had no idea just how great things could get — had him totally motivated to get moving.

Which way is your face turned?

As Rumi says, “Everyone has turned their face in some direction.” He continues, “The saints have turned in the direction without directions. In the direction without directions all is spring; any other direction holds nothing but the cold of December.”

When you are upset, you have turned your face to a Highest Authority that is the cold of December. Like my client, you have started believing in a dark fate that saps you of will and motivation.

When my client turned toward the “direction without directions,” he was freed from the chains of his dark fate, and shown the real possibility for himself.

He became motivated to work with the expectation that something good would happen. And he began to have the eyes to recognize, the heart to receive, and hands to touch that good thing when it did finally appear

No amount of advice or coaching, no matter how good, would have changed my client’s situation until he’d had this shift in what he honestly believed was possible for him. That’s why it was critical for him to examine the Highest Authority he was faced towards.

And it’s also why it’s a great idea for you to discover what direction you are facing, yourself.

Try it for yourself

Here are those four steps again:

  1. Get clear on a situation that is troubling you,
  2. Discover what you really believe your fate is in that situation,
  3. Ask yourself, “What’s the Highest Authority like in the world where that fate is true?,” and finally
  4. Turn to the actual Highest and Most Beautiful Reality.

I hope you’ll find this helpful. And, as always, if you’re in a troubling situation and would like help, I’m available through one-on-one phone coaching. Email me at db [at] and we’ll set up a brief call to talk about what you might get out of us working together.

About Dmitri


  1. Good one, Dmitri! The entrepreneur sounds like me with my coaching business. I’m forwarding to a client and will be trying this out for myself. Thanks!

  2. Guthrie Sayen says:

    Dimitri, elegant as always–simple, concise, practical–the smallest effort for the biggest result. Classic!

  3. noseotter says:

    Thanks Steve, Guthrie — let me know how it goes for you, trying this out!

  4. Thanks, Dmitri. This is relevant to what am up against lately. Very inspired approach. I’ll try it.

  5. Dmitri, I just totally love your articles! Thank you and congratulations on your new web site. YOU are an amazing teacher and so down-to-earth and wonderful in my opinion. I wish you all the success in the world doing what seems to come so naturally from your heart!

    Love & Blessings Your Way!

    Melissa Potter
    Lee, NH

  6. Thanks Melissa! Success to you as well! :)

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