What is it that you believe about yourself? What do you believe about what it will take for you to be happy? What do you believe about your relationship? What do you believe about the role of men and women? What do you believe about what it takes to be successful?
The Cambridge dictionary defines belief as: The feeling of being certain that something exists or is true. It’s a FEELING that something is true – not that something IS true.
What you believe and what others believe can be very different, yet our thoughts, behaviours and actions are often driven by our beliefs.
Our beliefs have their roots in our childhood where we are influenced by our families, our culture, our religion, our education, our friends etc. Beliefs are thoughts that we have had repeatedly, which we have come to believe as true. They are not actually true.
Some of our beliefs are enabling – they are helpful to us, and some of them are constraining – they work against us. Some of them are both. Let me give you an example. For many years I had a belief that if I wanted something done, I had to do it myself. On one hand this belief is quite empowering, and I just got on with whatever needed to be done and developed resilience and skills in lots of different areas. I was a “can do” kind of girl. At the same time, I often felt unsupported and alone and that I couldn’t ask anyone for help. My belief was getting in the way of allowing others to support me and of me asking for help when I needed it.
It’s a very useful exercise to examine our beliefs and check in to see whether they are still working for us. So often, are beliefs are unconscious – yet they drive our behaviour, patterns and decision making.
I invite you to set aside 15 minutes and think about an area of your life that is not working. What are the beliefs you hold about that area? Are your beliefs useful? Do they support you? What are the impacts on you and those you love if you continue to believe that. When we have awareness about our beliefs we have the tools needed to make a different choice.