Is Seeing Believing, or is Believing Seeing?
Several years ago I began to think about how my beliefs and thoughts affected my daily life and reality. How come two people can see the same thing and experience it completely different? Why is one persons fear another person’s pleasure? When I was five years old a stray cat jumped out from behind the bushes and hissed at me. I was startled and frightened. Since then I never felt comfortable being around cats. (My belief became cats are scary) You may see a cat and want to gently stroke it. How you perceive the world makes you, you. Thoughts that you accept as true become your core beliefs and determines how you experience life. It’s these foundations of our experiences that create our belief system. Our beliefs either limit us, or creates our success and happiness. Change your beliefs and become who you want to be. Oh, if it was only that easy. Oops, cancel that belief.
So to develop more positive, productive behaviors and life experiences some of our beliefs have to be explored, evaluated and perhaps even change. If our brain is similar to a computer, all we need to do is change the program. A We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we create the world. Buddha compassionately told us.
The first step for positive change to occur is to realize and acknowledge that our beliefs are controlling our reality and to feel a desire and the ability to change. Stephen Covey put it this way, “In developing our own self-awareness many of us discover ineffective scripts, deeply embedded habits that are totally unworthy of, totally incongruent with the things we really value in life.” For instance, the saying no pain no gain. That becomes true if you program it that way, but leaves no room for good things to happen from being in harmony and attracting positive experiences to yourself.
Beliefs create thoughts, thoughts create feelings and feelings create action. Guess what? What you think about you bring about. William Bridges, Ph.D. tells us that the skills necessary to turn change into personal opportunity begin with the ability to break free of the old way of seeing things and look at them in a new way.
It seems to me that we have the potential of having a blank white board in our mind (minus beliefs) and when an event happens we have the ability to view it any way we want. So how come we don’t always see things from a positive perspective? That’s because situations don’t fit the pictures we want for ourselves, yet we created and defined the situation by our beliefs. Yes, we set our self up. There’s that old Rolling Stone line, “You don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.” Is this a test? Are we supposed to always make lemonade out of lemons? Tony Robbins thinks so. “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that dis-empowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” Too bad. Now we can’t go around blaming others for how we feel. “We attract to us what we don’t want because our thoughts are on that.” Wayne Dwyer
We must also honor and respect other peoples beliefs even though they don’t match ours. Every one is entitled to their perspective and it’s our job to accept them and not try to change them. If you don’t agree with me read what Thomas Jefferson said, “I never saw an instance of one or two disputants convincing the other by argument.”
Another and perhaps the strongest and most limiting beliefs have to do with those that pertain to our self. I am not worthy of love, I have to prove myself, people don’t like me, I’ll always be overweight, I’m too skinny, I am not smart enough, something must be wrong with me and on and on. Unfortunately, events will occur to prove you right about your self. Remember, what you put your attention on, manifests into your life. Benjamin Disraeli states, Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go higher than you think. If obstacles show up in your life, don’t focus on the problem, give your attention to the goal.
Abraham Maslow suggests, “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” Are you willing to give up old beliefs about your self that do not serve you any longer. The stronger your desire to change, the better chance of changing a belief. We limit ourselves by blaming other people or situations for our circumstances. Situations don’t matter. It’s our behavior and reactions that matter. Although actions and reactions give us insight into our beliefs. So how do we change a belief.
1. Admit to and be aware of your current belief
2. Feel and identify your emotions
3. Feel and identify your body sensations
4. Take a deep breath and release you tension and thoughts
5. What deeper more vulnerable feeling are you experiencing?
6. Let go of all thoughts and feelings
7. Immediately focus on how you want to feel
8. Repeat an affirmation or your power word
9. What can I learn from this?
10. What can I do next time when this comes up?
“ Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This
power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs” Dr. Maxwell Maltz
A Fear is an opportunity and challenge to move through. “Face your fear and it will disappear.”
-Jeff Gero, Ph.D.