It’s A Choice
We Will Change Our Feelings, Our Beliefs, Our Life, etc.,
When We Make The Choice To Do So
Remember the old saying by Ben Franklin, “ A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.” Most people are stubborn and resist change, especially, if someone else is trying to get them to change.
We all tend to believe that our ideals and philosophies are entirely true and correct. We all seem to have that stubborn sense that says, “Who are you to tell me what to do,” “Who are you to tell me I’m wrong,” “Who said you were right,” “Who died and made you God?” I’m sure most of you remember at least one or two of those phrases playing in your mind.
In my posts, I’ve been talking about how “we feel what we believe.” Many of us are unhappy with our life. We want a change, but, as in many cases, we can’t see the forest for the trees. We fail to see the obvious truth — what we are doing isn’t working. We fail to realize that what we believe about ourself or our world is not the truth. We tend to be blind to the truth that is right in front of us.
We Feel What We Believe
For example, you may be a very creative artist, but you tell yourself that it’s not good enough, so you redo and redo and redo. You can’t seem to get to the place where you feel it’s good enough to put it out for others to see, hear, or experience. Why? Because you believe what someone said back in your childhood — you’ll never be good enough. Even though others have told you time and time again that it is good enough.
Nobody is going to be able to change your mind. You could ask 100 or 1000 people if they thought your work was good enough and if 1 person wasn’t a fan, you’d go back to the drawing board and make some kind of change.
What comes to mind when you think about the project that you never seem to finish?
Connie Prepares To Meet James
Remember in the last post, Connie called James, who was sitting at Tupelo Honeys just a couple of blocks away, wondering how he could get in touch with her.
Several posts back, she revealed to her coach, Gary, that she had been asked out by James, but couldn’t make herself go, even though she wanted to. Instead, she moved away from Cincinnati to Knoxville because of a lie-based belief that she harbored inside.
After Connie hung up the phone, she sat quietly. Gary could see her body begin to tense up.
“You told him you would definitely be there,” Gary said. “Are you going to go?”
She sat for a while longer, “I want to…but.”
What Does “It’s A Choice” Mean?
Because of what we believe, we do what we do. It’s that simple. Because we believe something that causes us to feel something, we choose to act according to how we feel.
For example, our artist above in the introduction believes she is not a good enough artist, she feels like her work is not good enough for people to see, consequently, she keeps reworking the piece and it is never ready to show anyone.
The diagram below shows that every person is driven by their thoughts and beliefs, which create feelings and emotions, which result in behavior. There is always a reason why we do what we do. We never behave or take action without a cause. We believe therefore we feel, thereby, we act.
Our core beliefs, also known as heart beliefs, began to form before we were born due to our life experiences. They reside in the “seat of our emotions.” These beliefs continue to influence our feelings and our behavior moment-by-moment, which dictate our choices and decisions.
Our heart beliefs have much more influence over us than our intellectual beliefs or what we have learned, which do not produce any emotions or feelings.
Where’s The Choice?
We each make choices based on our thoughts and beliefs, even if our beliefs are lie-based. Because of what we believe we feel what we feel and we do what we do. It is that simple.
But, you have a choice to change what you believe. When you truly want to change your lie-based belief you can change it. It is a choice. When you are aware of the source of your lie-based beliefs and can identify them clearly, you can replace them with the truth, by choice, every time they pop up — SAY THE OPPOSITE, DO THE OPPOSITE.
When your lie-based belief is changed your choices change accordingly. Everything is related to what you believe, feel, and consequently, choose.
Because you believe _______________, you feel __________, and you choose __________.
“I am not good enough (belief), I’m ashamed to put my work out, it’s not good enough (feeling), I can’t put my art out for others to see (choice).” “James doesn’t really care about me (belief), He just wants to use me, then, throw me away (feeling), my mother told me about men so I have to protect myself (choice).
For example, The artist above says to herself:
Also, if you have a relationship with God and you ask for the truth He will lead you to the truth. It’s a choice.
Gary listened while Connie continued to talk, “I really want to meet him, but look at me. I’m not dressed for it. I’m too fat.”
“I have to stop you right there,” Gary said. “Too fat, are you kidding. If you got any skinnier you’d blow away. Let’s look at your heart belief, the one your mother planted in your heart years ago. Tell me what she said again.”
“She said that men were just users.”
“Take a minute and look at this. James said he’d been coming down to Knoxville to try to find you. Why would he do that if he just wanted to use you? Why would he go to all the effort? There are plenty of women in Cincinnati that he could use if that was his motive. Correct?”
Connie nodded, “You’re right.”
“So, can we change that belief? James has been looking for you for months. Let’s change that belief to it’s really romantic of James to pursue me so purposefully. Getting to know him is worth a try”
Connie gave a slight nod.
“It says on your paperwork that you are a Christian and go to church. Is that right?”
“Can we ask God to tell you the truth so you can replace that lie-based belief?”
Connie nodded again.
“The words need to come from you, so I say it and you repeat after me. Dear Heavenly Father, I really need your help. I need you to show me the truth. I am so scared of being rejected, used, and unloved. I need your help and strength, right now. Thank you. Amen.”
Gary sat quietly after Connie finished praying. She dabbed at her eyes again then her eyes met Gary’s. Gary pulled out his Bible and read two passages.
Romans 8:31 “If God be for me, who can be against me?”
Psalms 28:7 “ The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song, I give thanks to him.
“Connie, I also want you to do The Power Drill and Do The Opposite when you have negative thoughts. Here are the instructions.”
“Do The Power Drill. Every day take some time to relax and allow yourself to believe that everything you need to have a happy, successful life is already within you and that God is giving you the strength. Take a few seconds to imagine your new life. Say the verses I’ve given you and others several times. Accept it as true. Don’t fight it. Begin to feel it. The important thing is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized. It will get easier.”
“Every time you have a negative thought or feelings or behavior, DO THE OPPOSITE. So, when negative beliefs and feelings pop into your mind, you change it to the opposite thought which will begin to allow you to feel the opposite feeling. For example:”
“No, I am not thinking that! I am loved. I am trusting in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”
“No, I am not thinking that! I am thinking about how God is my supply. I have more than enough.
“No, I am not thinking that! I am so blessed.”
“No, I am not thinking that! I know, with God’s help, I can…”
Connie read through the instructions, “I think I can do this. But, what about meeting James?”
“You tell me,” Gary said.
“With God’s help. I can do it. Do I look okay? I didn’t dress for a date.”
“It’s just a meet-up, not a date. You can decide on a date or any future meetings at the time. Ask God to direct what happens.”
“Okay. With God’s help I can do this,” she said as she got up and slowly moved toward the door. “Can I call you later?”
Connie walked toward Tupelo Honeys about three blocks away saying, “The Lord is my strength and my shield. The Lord is my strength and my shield. The Lord is my strength and my shield.”
James sat reading a book facing the square. He didn’t see her walk across the square. He looked up as she approached the table area. His face lit up with a big smile as he saw her. He got up and walked toward her.
“You look fabulous,” he said as he ushered her to a chair at his table.
Connie gave a sigh of relief. He didn’t try to hug her. She wasn’t ready for that yet.
Step #1. If you feel emotionally blocked, stuck, shut down or anything else that makes you feel bad, your first step is to make the choice to find out why, if you don’t already know.
Step #2. Your second choice is to identify what it is that you believe that causes you to feel, do, and be where you are at the moment. The reason you are feeling bad or feeling something negative or not able to move forward or unable to change your behavior is because of what you believe. You will choose to do something different, to make a change, when your belief is resolved.
Step #3. Set Your Will. There is a difference between what you “desire” and what you “will.” Your desire is something you want to do, whereas, you will is what you do. You can want to move forward, to change (desire) and at the same time refuse to change (will) or refuse to take the steps necessary to change your belief so you can move forward.
If you believe that you are worthless and unlovable you will process everything in life through that heart (core) belief and the feelings associated with that belief. In turn, it becomes very difficult to accept love from others and from God. The bottom line, we create the reality we live in, whether true or a lie, based on our heart belief.
Many people try different methods to distract themselves from their negative feelings such as food, sex, entertainment, religion, relationships, alcohol, drugs, obsessive behaviors. Addiction or other destructive behavior may mask the feelings or the effects, but it does not change the heart belief.
Step #4. Determine the truth. Take some quiet time. Still your mind. Write down your heart (core) belief that is lie-based or is causing you a problem — “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t do it,” “Nobody will want me,” “I’m not pretty enough,” “I’m too fat,” “I’m too skinny,” etc.
Step #5. Ask God to reveal the truth to you. Write down everything that comes to your mind.
Ephesians 1:17–18 ESV “… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation… having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know…”
Romans 12:2 “… but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…
We often have a “Just Do It” mentality, which depends on will power to make things happen. It probably won’t work in identifying and changing your heart (core) beliefs.
Step #6. Identify the opposite of the lie-based belief, write the truth that God reveals to you. “I’m not good enough,” — “God gave me this talent, I’m going to share it.” Find a Bible verse that addresses your situation and says everything you now think about the lie-based belief.
“I’m not good enough” — “I am good enough. If God is for me, who can be against me?”
Romans 8:31 “If God be for me, who can be against me?”
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Originally published at http://www.denawarfield.com on July 27, 2019.