You Are What You Believe — Learn How To Change Your Beliefs To Create A Better Life For Yourself
Your beliefs are what define you as the person you are today. You are what you believe!Luckily though, these can be changed, if you recognise the need to change them.
The idea of what is correct or what is incorrect has shaped not just our lives but also world history. At one time it was believed the world was flat. It was thought that ships would literally fall off the edge of the world and disappear.Nowadays with our ability to fly all around the world, or even into space, the idea of the world being flat just seems ridiculous.
But that is the thing; it doesn’t have to be true! You simply have to believe it is to makes it the truth! The truth for you!Let me give you another example. Up until the 1950’s it was thought that no one could run the distance of a mile in less than four minutes.
At one point highly professional people such as doctors said that a mans heart and lungs wouldn’t be able to cope with that sort of work load.And so, athletes still competed in races but would not attempt to run the mile in less than four minutes.
Let’s face it, if the advice of highly intelligent people like doctors said you would not survive the attempt, you would have to be pretty stupid to even try.But one man did not hold this idea; It was his belief that it could be done!
And so on 6th May 1954, Englishman Roger Bannister, himself a medical student, went and did just that. He actually covered the mile in 3mins 59.4 seconds, creating a new world record.
Then the following month Bannisters’ running rival, Australian John Landy, completed the distance even quicker in 3 minutes 57.9 seconds. Since then countless athletes have run the mile in less than one minute.It just proves that once you change your beliefs the seemingly impossible becomes possible!
For us now, to look back on such ideas as the world being flat, and the four minute mile being unattainable, seems complete and utter nonsense because we know different. We hold different beliefs.
What beliefs do you hold?
Half the time you are not actually aware of your beliefs. They are ideas stored in your subconscious mind that get triggered in certain situations and events.
As ridiculous as the flat world idea is, could some of your beliefs be equally as ridiculous?
So what do you believe?
Has you life turned out as well as you had hoped or planned? Are you doing as well as your colleagues or old school friends? If not, why not?
Your beliefs are based on the notions you have about yourself, on others and how you expect events and situations to turn out. If you get-up in the morning and stub your toe on the bed you probably expect the day to only get worse. This then is the belief you have set for your day.
This in turn will affect your attitude to the day. When a few little things go wrong, as they do for everyone, your attitude will be to see this as confirmation that it is going to be a bad day.
If your idea is that you are naturally an unlucky sort of person, then every stroke of bad luck will confirm this. But more importantly, you will only begin to see the bad luck in your life and not even notice any good luck you have because your belief system will not recognize it.
For the person who sees their world as full of opportunities and possibilities, their beliefs will affect their attitude which will guide them to a better and more fulfilling life.
For the person who sees the opposite, then the opposite is what will happen! Life will be a struggle because that is the direction they are guided to.To sum up, the world can be divided into those who believe the glass is half full, and those who believe it is half empty!
You need to discover which one of these beliefs you hold!
How are beliefs formed?
You start forming your beliefs as a young child. None of us where born with a cynical or pessimistic attitude, a phobia or a distrust of people around us.These are things we develop through the years by events that take place in our lives. We develop these from listening to our parents and those around us.
How many people in their 50’s still have the belief that “money doesn’t grow on trees” picked up from their parents when they where young.
Some where given to you by your parents for the very best of intentions. But now you are grown up they still linger in your subconscious and can now actually hinder you.
Once I worked with a man who was racked with indecision and doubt about everything he ever did. The ideas he held from his childhood where that everything that could go wrong would go wrong, the world was a dangerous place, money was only for rich people and rich people where not to be trusted, and so on.
He was a lovely person, but it was no wonder he was suffering with such doubts and indecision. He couldn’t do anything without worrying whether it would go wrong, what would happen if it did and how would he cope.
The beliefs he gained from his parents that may, or not, have served him well while young where certainly having the opposite affect in his adult life.
Not surprisingly, his idea that everything would go wrong often proved to be correct. And the cruelest thing of all is that it only confirmed his belief in the first place. So his life seemed to spiral from one disaster to another in a self fulfilling prophecy.
Repetition of something enough times will make this become a belief. How often where you told when you where young, don’t build your hopes up or don’t count your chickens, and money doesn’t grow on trees.
So, by the time you have reached adulthood you have a fully formed belief that it’s best not to build your hopes up as they will only be dashed, so there’s little or no point in even trying in the first place.
It’s also true that you, out of love, will probably pass on the same thoughts to your children and them to theirs.But worse still is the fact that as you have had these beliefs for so long you no longer realise you have them at all.
When a situation or opportunity comes up in your life you may give it a passing thought, but as your strong belief is that’s it best not to build your hopes up as they will only be dashed, so there’s no point in even trying in the first place, your instant reaction is to think “I’ll give that a miss.”
Newspapers are also a constant source of forming beliefs. Over the last some years in the UK there has been a lot of coverage of fatal stabbings. You just can’t pick up a newspaper without reading about another teenager being stabbed to death.It is being reported so often that people feel they cannot leave their houses without risk of being stabbed to death.
Also, there has been so much coverage on how bad the economy is that even people whose circumstances aren’t that bad begin to believe what they read. The affect is they cut back on their spending, making the whole situation even worse as now there are fewer people pumping money into the economy.
Because people tend to believe the written word far more than the spoken word newspapers can often be the cause of false or wrong beliefs.
My advice is to choose carefully what newspaper you buy, and be even more careful choosing what articles you read.
How to change or create new beliefs
In theory this is very simple, in practice it is sometimes a little more difficult depending on how ingrained your belief is!To make a change you have to alter they way you observe a situation. But as this happens instantly in your subconscious, this is easier said than done.
But the point is, and it’s a very big point, it can be done!
Let’s look at something simple to begin with. Let’s say you want to learning a new language. You may have done languages at school and even the thought of learning a new language brings all the memories flooding back of struggling in vain.
“I’m no good at this, I can’t remember, oh I can’t do this!”
That’s the belief from your childhood summed up in one line. Failure! It’s all stored up there in your subconscious.
But now, as an adult, you push that to one side and start out with enthusiasm. At first it goes well, but then it starts to get a bit harder. Verbs, masculine, feminine — your mind begins to whirl and your subconscious begins to throw up all those old beliefs again.
Because your subconscious knows you’ve been in this situation before, it begins to travel along a well beaten path throwing up all the feelings of doubt and frustration you felt previously. Eventually it will lead you to arrive at the same place — failure.To try and explain this more, imagine you subconscious as being a field of corn. You stand on the edge of that field wanting to get to the other side.
You can see before you that people have crossed the field many times and have beaten down the corn to reveal a pathway.It’d be much easier and quicker to simply follow this pathway except that it leads to a different part of the field than where you want to be.
You have one of two choices, follow the existing beaten path to a place you don’t want to be, failure or spend the time and effort beating your own pathway to arrive at the place you do want to be, success.
To start changing your belief, beating your own path you have to change your inner thoughts from “I’m no good at this! I can’t remember! Oh, I can’t do this!” to “this is easier than I thought, I remember this, and I can do this.”
These are basically positive affirmations and the more you repeat them the more you beat down that corn to make a new pathway. Just as it takes time and effort to beat down the corn it will take time and effort to constantly repeat the affirmation and beat a new pathway in your subconscious.
This has been a simple example, but the same principle applies to change any belief. Use the positive affirmation along with creative visualizations to see whatever positive result it is you want.