BELIEFS ≠ FACTS.
Beliefs are just thoughts.
And, they may or may not even be TRUE.
If you think the same thought over and over for a long enough period of time, to YOU, it becomes true.
But is it factually true?
Beliefs can be positive/expanding like, “I am worthy of respect”…
or they can be negative/limiting like, “nothing good ever happens to me”.
Most of the time, we aren’t even AWARE of our beliefs, positive or negative.
They just EXIST, and we don’t even question where they came from.
As crazy as it is, we make HUGE, LIFE-ALTERING decisions based on our beliefs:
– who we enter into relationships with;
– what we do for a living;
– how we raise our children;
– whether or not we even decide to have children in the first place…
Nearly every decision we make about our how we live is based upon our (mostly subconscious) beliefs!
Some of the things we believe about ourselves can be harmful, creating negative habits and patterns in our lives that make us stressed, depressed, or worse:
Why would a person stay in relationship with an abusive partner?
Perhaps they believed they weren’t worthy of a caring, compassionate partner, or that they weren’t interesting/attractive/______ enough to attract a better partner?
Why stay in a job you hate for many years, slogging through the days just counting down the minutes until the weekend?
Perhaps you believe you won’t find another job that provides the pay/benefits/convenience/whatever, so you stay in a job that makes you miserable.
Those kinds of beliefs probably aren’t conscious, or at least not fully, and they’re almost certainly not based on any FACTS… and yet, they often dictate the trajectory of our lives. (What I mean is, a person might be aware that they have a negative self-image, but not aware of the connection between their self-image and the situations playing out in their life.)
Can you think of any habits or patterns in your own life that indicate an underlying negative or limiting belief?
We all have them; don’t feel bad, because there’s good news –
Beliefs are just habitual thoughts, and you can CHANGE your thoughts.
And by proxy, over time you can change your beliefs.
Changing a belief requires PRACTICE, CONSISTENCY, and WILLINGNESS to let go of what you’ve known and trade it in for something better.
It’s an upgrade.
Think of a challenge you are facing in your life.
Maybe you’re unhappy in your job, or in a relationship, or maybe you’re struggling financially.
Now think about what beliefs you hold about WHY you have this challenge:
“I won’t be able to find a better job”
“Leaving this relationship would be too complicated”
“‘I’m not good with money”
Remember, those are BELIEFS, not facts.
What if you allowed yourself to think that maybe, just maybe, things can change? That you don’t know for sure that those thoughts are true, and you could be wrong?? What if things could change?
Choose one limiting belief – it can be a big, life-changing one or just something small – and CHOOSE to see it differently.
Decide to be open to the possibility of something else.
Think of a word or a phrase that describes your highest, most ideal value:
“I am worthy of deep, abiding love and commitment”
“My work brings me pleasure and deep gratification”
Or simply “Joy”, “Love”, or “Abundance”.
Now, here’s where most New-Agers leave off –
You just repeat your mantra or positive affirmation over and over and wait for it to become true.
You meditate on it, and write it on sticky notes and post them all over your house.
And it just. doesn’t. work.
Why? Because there needs to be action behind the words, energy to give it life and force.
Otherwise it’s just words.
The words are important. They serve as a reminder of what you’re working toward.
But you have to DO SOMETHING in order to get there.
Your mantra or affirmation should be used as a guidepost for your decision-making.
If you say yes to things that align with your ideal, and say no to things that don’t,
you will take consistent action in the direction of your desire.
Here’s a simple example. If your ideal is “perfect health”, you might choose NOT to eat an entire box of cookies, even if it’s super tempting.
Why? Because you know it’s not in line with your highest ideal, and you’ve committing to changing your beliefs.
Easier said than done? Absolutely.
You will mess up and make mistakes. But like I said, it takes PRACTICE, COMMITMENT, and WILLINGNESS to make changes.
If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up.
Notice how you feel, and if you don’t like the result, choose differently the next time you have an opportunity to choose.
Come back to center and re-commit to yourself that you are willing to change your beliefs.
Thoughts become beliefs, beliefs become habits, habits make-up your life.