Do you believe in your beliefs? Here’s an example. ‘Ma, every time I get into a discussion with a teacher, I automatically assume a subservient role – this is quite a pattern with me’ – my eighteen year old said to me. I could immediately see my conditioning at play. This was what I’d been saying to my kids all their lives – ‘your elders, especially the teacher’s are always right’. While this might have been useful at a younger age to teach kids not to argue back – I wonder at the usefulness at a later age. Now, this very behavior prevented my otherwise confident and independent child to be able to put across his views or hold his own in a discussion in a self-assured manner.
This is how strong the hold of our conditioning is – we have to be very careful of what we’re feeding our minds; or the minds of the people who listen to us! These thoughts or views, fed again and again, take roots and become our strongly held beliefs over time. And beliefs dictate our behavioural patterns. We take beliefs to be near absolute truth and so, they become that much harder to shake.
It’s worth taking a close look at the beliefs we hold about various areas of our lives – what are our beliefs about family? Or health? Or success or money? About the possibilities facing us? What options do our beliefs give us? Are these beliefs serving us or are they coming in the way of what we desire? Are they ecological? Do we need to redefine them?
Confusing? Seems daunting? It doesn’t have to be – all we need to do is take some time out to really examine what we cling to in terms of our values and beliefs. Take an area of life that’s working well for you. Examine your beliefs about that area – chances are that your beliefs support you in that area. And now take an area that is not working as well. Examine the beliefs again. See what comes up!
Here’s how you can change your beliefs:
- Watch what happens when you are faced with a challenge;
- Find the belief or values behind it;
- Challenge it;
- Disrupt that thought;
- Replace it with a positive, reaffirming belief;
- Rinse and repeat!
Let’s take money – what’s your belief about making lots of money? If you have the belief that money ultimately leads to misery – do you think this belief must be supporting you in your quest for money? Do you believe that money is not something you really deserve – like an unattainable dream? Now ask why!
And it’s easy to redefine our rules and beliefs to make them support our desires.
Like always, all it takes is awareness, exploration and a will to work on it. And to make it easier, you could always get a life coach!