To change what you feel, to change what you do, to change how you live, change what you believe.
Belief molds reality into its own shape and form. It is responsible for the meaning that is created around that reality. It determines how events and circumstances are interpreted.
What you believe also provides context for what and how you think. It directs your feet down paths to inevitable ends.
What you do, in other words, is a direct extension of what you believe.
How do you live your life? How do you treat others? How do you let others treat you?
Do you hold grudges or forgive easily? Do you tend to surrender in the face of difficulty or buckle in and hit the gas? Do you join gangs or service clubs? Do you work out or neglect your health? Do you accept abuse or refuse to be disrespected? Do you read and learn and grow or watch TV all day? Do you passively accept or assertively pursue?
I don’t care whether you are an advocate of democratic processes or terrorism, you’re a bank robber or a cop, you complain and whine or are a positive optimist, all such life styles and behavior is a logical extension of what you believe.
If, for instance, I believed that I was stupid, just plain dumb as a door knob, and couldn’t do anything right if my life depended on it, there would be no way I would bother studying for a test, or applying for a promotion or seeking new training. Why would I? I’m guaranteed to fail, after all!
Given my belief about myself, who I am and am capable of, it would not only be a waste of time to try doing what I already know I will fail at, but my beliefs about myself would make the decision to passively accept whatever happens to me in life the most logical decision I could make.
The only problem, of course, is that the belief is fundamentally wrong. But if I believed it was true, it would create my reality, independent of The Truth.
If I believe the government rigs election results or the rich control the outcome, why would I possibly bother voting? What difference would it make?
If I believe that I’m no good, unworthy, unlovable, undeserving, worth no more than spit, why wouldn’t I accept abuse? I would be getting exactly what I believed my life was worth.
The point isn’t to paint an exclusive picture of THE reason for such behaviors, but to demonstrate the obviousness of the role of belief in how we live and what we allow in our lives.
The only way behavior can deeply and permanently change is to knock your self-defeating beliefs off their feet and replace them with something better.
This can be done by questioning reality, or our interpretations of it – our beliefs. What you believe about reality shapes it. We don’t experience Truth. We experience our version of it.
The Truth doesn’t change. Things are as they truly are. But our interpretation of The Truth can change. The Truth has no impact on how we feel or live and behave. Only our interpretation of it does.
Here’s what I mean:
Suppose you walked into a party and saw your significant other leaning against a wall talking to a gorgeous blonde. Your husband or boyfriend laughs while touching her arm. She reaches out and touches his stomach with her finger tips as she laughs at something he whispers in her ear.
This gorgeous, sexy blonde hugs your man and kisses him on the cheek, very close to his mouth. He’s smiling as she hands him a piece of paper with her phone number on it. Then, just as you finally gather the courage to take your first step toward them, she slinks away as his eyes follows her lusciousness into the crowd.
How do you feel? Enraged? Destroyed? Both?
As it turns out, the blonde is a cousin your significant other hasn’t seen in years. She had updated him on all the goofy relatives and gave him the number of his favorite uncle who he’s lost contact with over the years.
Your husband or boy friend was hoping to introduce you, but you never showed up (you were too busy hiding in the shadows and misjudging what you saw).
But you see what happened? The Truth is completely unimportant and irrelevant to how you felt.
The only part of The Truth that mattered to you at that moment was the interpretation you gave it.
His protests may ring hallow and untrue if your belief system includes the “truism” that “men are liars and cheaters!”
Your beliefs about reality matter far more to how you feel and how you live your life than objective reality itself does.
So if you want to change your life, change your beliefs about it. Start there. Question what you believe about who you are, what you can do, how deep your potential goes.
Question the labels and limitations others have set for you. Shake the foundation of such beliefs at their very core. Let them quake and tremble under the hot lamp of inspection. Let their foundations weaken and crumble and begin to melt.
Then fill in the void with better, stronger, more powerful and uplifting beliefs.
- What beliefs do you think are most important to our happiness and growth?
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PS: How do you like the new look?
Flickr Credit: dailyjoke23