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4 Simple Keys to Achieving Success: Personal Philosophy (Video)

Updated on August 14, 2014
Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Hi, my name is Bill Tollefson, and I am a life coach who has been in the business of changing and enhancing people's lives for the better.

Dr Bill Talks about Personal Philosophy

Are you happy with You?

"Discover the root cause of your unhappiness. The content of your personal philosophy is keeping you unhappy and stuck. Shift the content of your personal philosophy and your mindset and identity will immediately change and your heart will be set free." – Dr Bill

My passion and intention over the last seventeen years was to find a way to help individuals to free themselves from their past and start anew. I achieved that by discovering what is keeping stuck in life. The content, beliefs, values and expectations from growing up is what hampers growth and keeps them unhappy, unfulfilled and scared to move forward.

I wanted to answer a question that I was asked by my clients for over a decade "What is holding me back from changing and stuck in bad situations?” At the time I did not have an answer, now I do. The answer is what is contain in their personal philosophy or known as identity or belief system.

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Personal Phiosophy is the Bridge

The key to change is understanding human Personal Philosophy
The key to change is understanding human Personal Philosophy | Source

Personal Philosophy

Psychology and personality structure is very complicated and confusing for most lay people but also for a lot of professionals. I wanted to be able to answer the question that is asked of me all the time "what is stopping me from changing?"

So I dedicated my work and myself to finding an answer. II worked long hours, got more education, and went over current research in many fields in all disciplines to gain more knowledge to answer the question. I also reviewed all my notes from hundreds of lectures i gave and groups I conducted over 20 years.

I really think I have discovered the answer. The answer was in the embedded content in their mind code located in his or her subconscious mind. It was the code feeding 4 key elements that govern what the person could do or not do, feel or not feel, what to think or not to think. These 4 elements I termed Personal Philosophy and are the basis of human identity.

The objective after that find a way to convey the answer in a common sense manner and the produce a method off of it to help people make a positive change in his or her life.

What is Personal Philosophy?

What is your personal philosophy? I have been asked that many times. No one could answer that. Personal philosophy is not social conversation material. Most people do not just sit around discussing their own deep personal views to others. Personal philosophy is a subject that is rarely addressed, yet personal philosophy is an integral part of how humans function in their lives.

Personal philosophy is a way of life. It is a mindset which sets a human’s attitude on all things in life. It produces, and directs how a person reacts to and interprets life situations. It is a complex subject as well as influences all actions (behavior), thoughts and emotions.

Let me share a story of a woman who I was coaching so you can understand better the concept of personal philosophy. She was facing extreme problems and her life was becoming unhappy, stuck and dysfunctional. She had just went through her third divorce and felt empty, lost and abandoned. She described her last marriage relationship as “he kept me trapped and I was his emotional hostage. I was stuck and unable to make a decision on what to do. I lost who I was and continually tried to correct my thoughts, behaviors and feelings. I felt like I had no control. He constantly said it was my fault and I was the reason for our bad marriage and his unhappiness. I gave into his constant berating of me thinking he must be right because I didn't even like myself.” In the course of coaching her she blurted out “I guess I do not deserve any better. I must be unlovable”. Once pointed out, she realized that she had been repeating the same pattern in all of her marriages and relationships. 'I was taught my whole life that I was not worthy."

When asked “what is your personal philosophy”, she stopped, thought for awhile, a glaze came over her eyes and she stated “I have no clue”. She had no idea what she believed in or stood for in herself or life.


As a human grows up, the human brain accepts and records a lot of self-messages. These self-messages includes beliefs, concepts, expectations, ideas, loyalties, principles, requirements, rules, standards and values. Over time these self-messages form in the subconscious mind without conscious awareness whether the self-messages are right or wrong, true or false. The person does not known whether these self-messages are his or her own or from others.

What makes up a person’s personal philosophy?

I would like to share with you my new theory of personal philosophy. Personal philosophy is the accumulation of all accepted beliefs, concepts, expectations, ideas, loyalties, principles, requirements, rules, standards and values. Personal philosophy is the foundation of identity. I believe that personal philosophy is what drives, motivates and influences your reactions (feelings, thoughts and actions) to self, others and life situations. Personal philosophy is the essence behind our life stories. Self-messages are triggered by life events, surface into conscious mind and then manifest into our reactions. It may also be defined as layers of accumulated information of recorded excerpts of a human’s experiences; a formed belief about self. Personal philosophy is a person's intellectual and emotional history after being filtered through perception.

4 Key Elements

There are 4 keys elements that make up a person's personal philosophy. The 4 key elements are;

1. core beliefs - beliefs that you form about yourself during each life event your experience,

2. core values - worth that you placed on each core belief,

3. programming - statements you hear in your head that validates each formed core belief, and core value

4. core expectations - expectations you accept that were taught or given to you about what the you should or should not do, be or not be, achieve or not achieve.

Each key element holds formed self-messages accumulated over a lifetime. These self-messages are recorded, embedded in your mind. Each key collected data stored over your lifetime. You are not aware of the impact these 4 key elements have on your behaviors, emotions, thoughts and reactions and how you respond in each daily experience.

Internal Structure

In an attempt to envision how the keys are structured and interact with each other think of a tower. All the keys are stacked one on top of each other.

The base or foundation is the core beliefs and ending at the top are the core expectations. Each key layer interacts with the others vertically.

Each life event and associated perception is filtered through each layer ending at the foundation at the bottom. At the bottom, a core belief is triggered, ascends until it surfaces into the conscious mind and causes a reaction. The core belief then governs and influences all actions, feelings and thoughts therefore ruling the reaction to that particular life situation.

The core belief is what drives and motivates you to do a certain behavior, to think positively or negatively and to feel a particular emotion in any given moment. So how you function in your life depends totally on the content embedded in each key element. These keys can be either a self-limiting barrier or a self-motivator depending on the content or mind code.

Gaining enlightenment into your personal philosophy can be helpful to you in understanding what is keeping you stuck or unfulfilled and what you need to shift in order to attain your desires.

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      wysley 6 years ago

      I know thru my work with Dr Bill I've been able to uncover some of my core beliefs and philosophies and see how they were holding me back from moving forward. By identifying and redefining and developing new ones they are now a source that helps me reach for and enjoy the life I truly desire.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Everyone deserves to reach their full potential. Achieving full potential starts with unlocking the core beliefs that have become rooted and a barrier to success.

    • profile image

      Suzanne Fasano 5 years ago

      Still working on trying to figure out who I am, what I like, dislike, really want to do with my life...after years and years of negative programming,it is not easy to uncover the real me..but I will get there...Thks Dr Bill...Suzanne F.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 5 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Suzanne - I believe it is possible achieve success and your full potential. I have been working with many that thought the way you do and they have erased their negative programming. It is due to core beliefs which you are not aware of and are triggering your negative programming. There is hope. Don't give up.

      Thank you for your honest comments.

    • MehreenM profile image

      MehreenM 5 years ago from Pakistan

      It was an enlightening read, Dr. Bill. Though I've come to understand what I stand for in life, there is still an emptiness on the action front. Would love to hear your input regarding this aspect. Thanks for such a wonderful hub!

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 5 years ago from Southwest Florida

      MehreenM - I really appreciate your comments. The more you understand what you stand for the stronger your Personal Philosophy will become and your confidence will increase. Read more of my HUBs for more self improvement tips. Keep growing.

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