Have you ever taken time to examined your personal beliefs? Your belief system is how you view the world. What you believe, you become. How you view the world dictates how you act or behave in any given situation. Say for example, you believe everyone is trustworthy. When you are in situation with someone who is a liar and a thief, you just may be vulnerable to getting ripped off. Another example is, you believe you are not a worthy person, you are likely to believe people look down on you and don’t value your opinions. Your beliefs affect every major aspect of your life. If you take some time and think hard about it, you are sure to see certain patterns of your behavior are influenced by beliefs.
You do create your own reality. You are the main actor in a real-life drama you are taking part in. The cast includes your friends, family, students, work associates, the performers who are playing a role in shaping your life. They help you form your personal reality and in turn, you do the same for them.
A woman I know viewed viewed a subordinate who worked for her as lazy and incompetent. She decided to exercise her authority to get this employee to shape up. She called her at home one night and read her the riot act. The next morning, she was called into her bosses’ office and fired! It seems her boss didn’t think reprimanding her subordinate at home was appropriate. Her beliefs as a supervisor were not in sync with the other two actors in the drama. Hopefully, she will recast her role and adapt a new reality.
The Role of Your Self-Concept
Humans are the only animal species that has a self-concept. That is, a perception of themselves. Who am I? Your self-concept encompasses the knowledge of all you like, dislike, your attitude, fears and emotional disposition. An overriding influence is self esteem. When you have a high regard for yourself, you are able to handle the harshness of life. With inner-confidence and self esteem, one is better able to handle adversities that come along. All beliefs however, influence behavior. The creation of your personal reality is reflected in the portrait you paint of yourself.
As you change your beliefs, the perception of the world around you changes. And it works in reverse too. True case …There once was an experiment involving nursing home residents who were taken from the environs of their domicile and placed in a different setting. In the new setting they were only allowed to read papers and magazines from 30 years ago. They only watched TV shows from the same time period. In group discussions, they were only permitted to talk about issues in the news from that time. They were given comprehensive mental and physical tests before and after their four week residence. Tests revealed positive improvement in all areas. And to top it off, before and after pictures were taken with the latter pictures showed smoother looking skin and a more youthful appearance.
The Keys to Changing Your life
You are more capable of change than you believe. In fact, it is your current beliefs that are holding you back. When you change your beliefs you change your life”. If you have never carefully examined your inner feelings and beliefs, I urge you to start now. The keys to unearthing beliefs and exposing them to the light of day is self awareness. That is, understanding the situations that trigger specific emotions. The key emotions that reflect your belief systen are: love, sadness, anger and fear. These are the emotions that give rise to the development of beliefs.
Love is the strongest emotion and is fundamental to life. We all need it. Deprivation can result in the other three emotions mentioned. It can make one chronically angry, sad or fearful. Any of these negative emotions can result in maladaptive behavior at school, work, home or in social situations because it’s the filter through which one enterprets reality. It can undermine satisfying the basic need for love.
If you can accept and put into practice the ideas and truisms mention in this article, you’ll be equipped with the fundamentals needed to begin your journey to a better, more fulfilling life. It will take time and a dedicated effort but you will be rewarded with new and exciting opportunities for personal growth.
William Frederick resides in Red Bank, NJ.