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Do Your Beliefs Empower You or Limit You?
What if it Just Ain’t True?
A few years ago one of my friends accidentally discovered that his dad was in fact not his dad at all. Ouch. At twenty seven years of age, he discovered that something he absolutely knew (not thought, hoped, or wished) to be fact, was in reality, not true at all. Let’s just say that his reaction wasn’t a totally positive one. It never occurred to him that his ‘truth’, may in fact, be a big lie. A well-meaning lie (his mum had tried to protect him). A noble lie (is there such a thing?). But a major deception nonetheless.A few years ago one of my friends accidentally discovered that his dad was in fact not his dad at all. Ouch. At twenty seven years of age, he discovered that something he absolutely knew (not thought, hoped, or wished) to be fact, was in reality, not true at all. Let’s just say that his reaction wasn’t a totally positive one. It never occurred to him that his ‘truth’, may in fact, be a big lie. A well-meaning lie (his mum had tried to protect him). A noble lie (is there such a thing?). But a major deception nonetheless.
What if you were to wake up tomorrow and discover that something you’ve believed (thought to be absolute fact) for years, simply wasn’t true? Completely and utterly false. You weren’t even close. How would you feel? Mad? Betrayed? Confused? Stupid? Maybe a little of each? Could it be that some of us hold on to certain beliefs in order to avoid the above feelings? After all, imagine having to unlearn something we’ve believed for decades? That would be quite the mental and emotional challenge, wouldn’t it?
We’ve spoken about beliefs many times here at me-dot-com but today I want to give you a little something to chew on, think about and discuss; if you feel so inspired.
Some questions for you:
- Is it possible that you’ve ‘learned’ certain things over the years that are, in fact, false? Is it maybe even likely?
- Is it possible that some of your (self-limiting) beliefs are the very things which stop you from fulfilling (or at least, exploring) your potential, making certain decisions, taking chances and possibly finding happiness?
- Did you consciously choose and develop your own beliefs, or did you simply adopt ”hand-me-downs” from somebody else? (Many people do this). But Craig, why wouldn’t I believe dad? He knows and I trust him, so his beliefs become mine – consciously or not. Intentionally or not. Besides, I wouldn’t want to offend him would I?
- Is it possible that you’ve believed certain things (seen the world in a particular way) for so long that the very thought of questioning some of your long-held beliefs makes you feel (1) uncomfortable, (2) anxious, (3) disloyal, (4) unfaithful, or perhaps even (5) overwhelmed?
- Have you ever been coerced, pressured or expected to believe certain things, and because of those imposed beliefs you have been compelled to adhere to certain standards, rules and behaviours? Even though deep down you resented it?
- Have you ever felt like questioning certain beliefs (to others) but held your tongue in order to keep the peace and avoid potential confrontation? (Why bother – it will only create problems?).
- For the most part, do your beliefs empower you or limit you?
Sometimes beliefs are like handcuffs or leg irons. They restrict movement, potential, exploration and of course, freedom. Freedom to learn, grow and change. They keep us in the custody of something or someone. You know what I mean.
One of the most liberating, empowering and cathartic things we can do as authors of our own lives is to question our beliefs. Not for the sake of being different, difficult or rebellious, but for the sake of learning who we are, what we are and what we really believe beyond the social conditioning, the weight of expectation, the years of mental and emotional programming and beyond the pressure of group thinking.
After all, our beliefs determine our choices and behaviours (for the most part) and our choices and behaviours determine the kind of results we produce in our world. So why wouldn’t we? Is it time for you to do a little unlearning?
Tell me about what you’ve unlearned lately.
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