ave you ever wondered where your beliefs come from? Where and when did they form in your mind? Have you thought about how they affect your life and if it is more positive or negative to hold on to whatever beliefs you do have?
Beliefs can be considered to be an opinion in the mind that is repeated over and over many times before it becomes a belief.
We begin to form beliefs when we are little. Before the age of 6 or 7, we tend to take as truth whatever we hear from authority figures such as our parents, teachers, and other influences, such as television, friends, extended family members and church. We believed most of what we are told and, as we grow older, those beliefs become stronger, supported by the environment in which we grow up.
What we focus on expands, and what we put our attention to grows. When we buy a certain car, we suddenly notice them everywhere.
Can you think of some of the beliefs that you learned early in life? Take a moment to jot them down.
Some of these may sound familiar:
You have to work hard, kid; that is the way it is!
You have to work hard for money!
It is a tough world out there, so get used to it!
The more money you make, the more you will spend!
Easy come, easy go!
Most of us have limiting beliefs that we carry around, passed down from generation to generation, some of which we are not consciously aware.
Dr Carl Simonton, an oncologist who taught meditation and visualization techniques to his cancer patients created a method of determining whether a belief was beneficial or harmful, through a series of questions. To assess your own beliefs, you can use his list below. If you can answer 3 of the 5 following questions with a “YES”, it’s a healthy belief:
Is this belief based on facts?
Does this belief protect my life and my health?
Does this belief help me achieve my short or long term goals?
Does this belief help me resolve or avoid my undesirable conflicts?
Does this belief help me to feel the way I want to feel?
Beliefs can be empowering or debilitating. It’s possible to turn a belief system around, but you have to believe it before you will see it.
I came across a talk by a man named Dolf De Roos, mentor of Robert Kiosaki who wrote the book “ Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.
Dolf told the story of his mother’s strong belief that all men who wear hats are bad drivers. They would be driving around, and if a man not wearing a hat made a driving infraction, she wouldn’t notice, but as soon as a driving infraction was executed by a man wearing a hat, she would exclaim, “See, Dolf, I told you; there is a bad driver, and he is wearing a hat.” You may laugh, but there was no convincing her otherwise.
There is a true story of a young Chinese boy in the initial stages of learning a certain form of martial arts. The school he attended would often have an event for the families and friends of the students to celebrate their progress. The master told this one young boy that at the event, he was to break a certain type of brick. The task was a little bit unusual since he had never done anything like that before, and he wouldn’t actually perform it beforehand. He practiced like everyone else but only the technique, and not the actual breaking. When the boy expressed his concern, the master replied, “You will have no problems; you know everything you need to break the bricks.”
The event day came, and students performed brilliantly. For the finale, the young boy came out and bowed to everyone and attacked the bricks as he had practiced. To everyone’s amazement, the bricks broke easily under the boy’s hands. The master stepped forward, motioned for silence, and explained what the young boy did had never been done before in history. Not by himself, not by any of the great masters of the world. The master shared that the boy, while talented, had been able to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat not because of talent, but simply because he believed he could perform the feat, with no doubts in his heart. The breaking of the bricks was simply the physical manifestation of the boy’s internal beliefs.
It is never too late to change a belief right down to your cellular level.
How powerfully our thoughts and beliefs can affect the outcome of our lives. Consider the good we can do in the world by changing our disempowering or limiting beliefs.