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Do Your Beliefs Empower You or Limit You?

Do Your Beliefs Empower You or Limit You?

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.

    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?

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    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:

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    1. Is it possible that you’ve ‘learned’ certain things over the years that are, in fact, false? Is it maybe even likely?
    2. 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?
    3. 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?
    4. 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?
    5. 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?
    6. 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?).
    7. For the most part, do your beliefs empower you or limit you?

    Breaking Free

    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.

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    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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    More by this author

    Craig Harper

    Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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    Last Updated on May 15, 2019

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

    As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

    “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

    When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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    Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

    We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

    But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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    So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

    It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

    1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

    Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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    2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

    This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

    You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

    3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

    This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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    4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

    How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

    So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

    If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

    And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

    Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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