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There’s a term in audio recording for a section of music or sound, edited into a short audio file using music software so that when it’s played end to end it will repeat seamlessly.  The repetition may be such that not only does the music make sense on some level to the listener, but also they may not even be aware of the repetition.

In computing, the same term is given to a sequence of statements specified once in lines of computer code, but which when run as a program are carried out either a specific number of times, indefinitely or until a condition is met.

So for example, if you were trying to fill in a form online, there might be a bit of code that gives an ‘error message’ until you enter your telephone number as numbers only.

The term is the same in both music and computing: it is a ‘loop’ and provides an interesting analogy to the way our minds work.

Mind loops

All of us have an internal voice, an inner dialogue going on in our mind in response to what we’re thinking and doing.  The subject matter of the messages communicated through this self-talk is based on the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world around us.

These messages are the mind’s equivalent of musical or computing loops, continuously playing in the back of our minds and influencing the way we think and the actions we take (unless something happens to interrupt the loop).

So where do our beliefs come from?

  • Our beliefs about the world and ourselves are built up through our experience and the things people have said to us over time starting from a young age; typically coming from significant others in our life – our parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, even the media.
  • They are statements that we have heard repeatedly, seemingly backed up by the evidence we find for them, until they become a version of our truth, ingrained in our subconscious.

Why are our beliefs important?

  • Our beliefs are important because they influence our thoughts and actions – for better or worse.
  • They are the lens through which we view the world and give us a framework on which we form our judgments and base our decisions.
  • They provide the subconscious mind with shortcuts to our actions.
  • Beliefs are a way of helping us to interpret and understand the world, but can sometimes limit us too.
  • Positive beliefs can motivate us and help us achieve our goals and enhance our sense of wellbeing.
  • Unhelpful negative beliefs can hold us back, making us reluctant to change and hindering us achieving what we want.

So what’s playing on your loop?

Last week we looked at how thinking about winning the lottery could uncover some interesting beliefs around money.  You might like to take this opportunity to discover some of your own beliefs and the effect they could be having on your life.Gandhi on beliefsDiscovering your beliefs and mindset – the what and how


  • Identify the ‘beliefs’ that have had the biggest effect on your life so far?
  • Recognise whether they have been helpful or unhelpful to you?


This is not always straightforward because our beliefs and mindset are often so ingrained that they seem like a part of us, and most of the time we are not aware of the inner dialogue going on in our minds every day, based on and reinforcing our beliefs and habits.  So the trick is to become aware of it for the purposes of this activity and here are a couple of ways of doing this:

  • Over the next few days simply listen out for what your inner voice is saying and note down any phrases or key themes that come to light.
  • Take a look at your life now and compare it with what you want to change (e.g. weight, career, relationships, finances, in other words your goals).  The probability is that the things you want to change most (providing it is something you can change) are those that you have the most unhelpful beliefs about. Listen for the reaction within you as you think about what you want to change; this will give you an idea of the sort of limitations that your inner thoughts are placing on you.

Hope you have some insightful fun with this.  Tell us what you discovered in the comments below or like our post.

What’s next?

  1. Listen to the Changeability Podcast, our show to help you manage your mind to make changes in your life and business.  Or subscribe to the show here on iTunes.