How do beliefs affect us?
From our beliefs, we construct a narrative about ourselves, others and the world. Beliefs are the engine that drives our experience. Can you imagine how the experiences of someone may be if they held one of the following beliefs:
- The world is a safe place | The world is a dangerous place
- Life has meaning and purpose | Life is random
- People are essentially good | People are essentially not good
- Most people can be trusted | Most people cannot be trusted.
- I am capable of shaping my own experience | I am controlled by fate and have little control over it
- I am competent, and strong | I am vulnerable and weak
- Life is enjoyable, easy and satisfying. | Life is hard, struggle and unfair
- Work is about making money |Work is about fulfillment and satisfaction
Beliefs drive our actions at work, in relationships, as parents, as friends, as citizens, as consumers – every choice and decision we make is the result of the patterns of our belief system. Think about it – a person cannot be successful if subconsciously he believes that rich people are mean or that money is the root of all evil. What message does this person send to the subconscious mind over and over again?
Our brain continually scans every experience, searching for anything that could possibly match up with our existing beliefs. When a match is identified, the brain collects it and accepts it as truth; information that doesn’t fit is distorted or deleted.
Limiting or mistaken beliefs are nurtured and verified in the same way as good or helpful beliefs. If you believe, “I don’t deserve happiness,” then life will always seem to put happiness out of reach. Positive beliefs offer opposite results, where life seems to be handing out ‘good luck’. Life is doing nothing more than giving us what we believe, our beliefs are creating good or bad ‘luck’ by getting us to notice the information that matches our belief and discounting the rest. Our beliefs create our reality, so basically we are creating our own ‘luck’.
Your mind can be your best asset or your biggest enemy. If you’ve drawn inaccurate conclusions about yourself, your self-limiting beliefs could prevent you from reaching your greatest potential. To discover your self-limiting beliefs, spend some time thinking about you want and assessing the assumptions you make about yourself that keep you from living your dreams. It’s likely that your beliefs, rather than your lack of ability, are the biggest hurdle standing between the life you’re living and type of life you want to live. But the good news is, with a little time and extra effort, you can develop the mental strength you need to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back in life.