Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are your beliefs serving you

Are your beliefs serving you

                       or sabotaging you?

We all have beliefs we have acquired over our lifetime.  Beliefs are simply our experiences and how we perceive them, or a thought we have made real.  We get to choose if we want to accept a belief or not.  How we perceive ourselves, our world, and our circumstances, will determine the end result.  Do you believe you will succeed or fail?  When challenges arise, do you stand strong and look for the lesson or opportunity in the challenge, or do you fall down allowing yourself to feel defeated?  Can you identify and accept what you can and cannot change; or do you fight to control the circumstances and people around you? Our beliefs can be either empowering or debilitating.  Perception can be used for clarity or distortion.  Therefore, a positive perception is vital to creating a positive outcome. 

The beliefs we have of ourselves are most important.  How do you view yourself?  Do you believe you have integrity and are a good person? Do you have a healthy dose of self-esteem and confidence? Do you believe you are worthy of being loved or deserving of success?  If the answer to any of these is “no”, then look for what experiences led you to deem them differently.  When you are able to see them for what they really are, you bring transparency and truth to the belief.  Most people with these incapacitating beliefs have been told by others, by either their actions or words, to accept these beliefs about themselves.  Someone else’s opinion or behavior does not determine who you are!  YOU determine who you are.  Take the time to prove it to yourself. Get a piece of paper and fold it in half.  On one half write “They said”.  Write down a list of what others have told you, to include what you perceived they said to you (verbal and non-verbal).  On the other side write “The truth is”. Now open up the paper and answer each “They said” with what YOU KNOW is true about you.  For instance:
                 They Said                                                        The Truth Is 

                  I am ugly                                                         I AM beautiful

                 I am worthless                                                 I AM worthy

We were never taught we have to believe in a lie! You know who you are and what is honestly true about you. The only two real judges whose opinion counts, are God and our own.

How you view your world is also very important. Do you believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket?  Do you lack trust for most people?  Do you feel “everyone is out to get you”? Do you believe there a far too few “good” people left in the world?  How you perceive your world, will in turn, determine your response to it. 

We are creatures of habit.  If we are exposed to similar experiences, we tend to re-enforce the same emotional reaction, further strengthening and engraining that newly created belief.   When that familiar negative experience arises again, unless you make a conscious effort to respond in a positive manner; you will auto pilot back to your previous negative reaction which you originally created from that experience. 

For example, your business of two years failed.  A year later a successful business associate presents you with an opportunity to go into business as a partnership.  Your emotional reaction would be anxiety with the fear of failing again, humiliation, and feeling crushed.  You will most likely decline the opportunity, as it feels like a safer decision.  We tend to remain in the safety zone vs. stepping back out in the minefield as we are expecting and fearing the same results will happen.  What you have done is taken your new opportunity and re-enforced it with the same negative emotion you did in your past experience.  Certainly this serves well the first time you touch a hot stove; you learn to never do that again!  However, in this situation, as well as many others, how do you know you are not turning down a potentially successful opportunity because your fear has created a barrier?  What if after your business failed, you honestly looked back and discovered there was a better strategy, a better marketing plan, or better time management that would have thrust your business into success?  With that approach you chose to learn and grow from your experience vs. becoming a fear filled victim.  Now when your associate offers you a partnership, you are eager to accept as you believe you can succeed!  Two very different beliefs; two very different outcomes. 

Take a look at some of your debilitating or limited beliefs and how they hold you back from where you want to be.  You don’t necessarily need to take the time analyzing how all of those beliefs came to be.  Just be aware that you do have the power to create them or disarm them.  Most of our self-limiting beliefs are fear-based such as; a fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of loss of control, fear of a lack of approval from others, fear of success, or fear of change. You have the choice to consciously decide you are no longer willing to hold on to a belief that is destructive or serves no purpose in your life.  The choice is yours in what you choose to believe in.

Brenda Slavin, Coach and Creator, Elements of Your Life

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