“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their life and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their life.” Anthony Robbins
Have You ever met a person that behaves in a different way than You? Have You ever met a person that seems to act as if everything was possible? And have you ever met a person who lived their life playing small, stuck in his own daily routine and never thriving for more? What is the difference between those people? What is that make a person achieve what for other people seems impossible?
Henry Ford answered this question in a very simplistic but profound way saying that: “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are right”.
Starting from these powerful quotes from Anthony Robbins and Henry Ford we can start to understand the impact and the role that our beliefs play in our lives. But before getting deeper into details is necessary to have a foundation about what they are and how they develop.
What is a belief?
The dictionary definition says a belief is: “A principle accepted as true or real without a proof . An opinion, a conviction”.
Anthony Robbins define a belief as “A feeling of certainty that shapes the direction of our life.”
Beliefs are the thoughts and ideas that are no longer questioned. They have the power to create or destroy, because every thoughts, expectation and action is a direct result of such beliefs, and they shape the direction of our life.
Beliefs are the lens, the filter through what we see our and other people’s life. They decide the meaning we give to our experiences.
Where do our beliefs come from?
They come from other people like parents, teachers, peer group, friends, family, media, religion and society. From anyone who had or is still having an influence over us.
They are mainly formed subconsciously during childhood and adolescence.
When we are children our brain is like a little sponge and our experiences are what the sponge take in. This sponge doesn’t have the capability to distinguish what is good or not for us, what is positive and negative. It takes everything in, growing and growing.
Sometimes the message we receive from the outer world, from our experiences, are not always empowering and encouraging, and maybe once we learned that we were clumsy, stupid, not good enough, not beautiful etch…. and in that moment, we made the decision, perhaps, that it is not safe to speak up, that we don’t deserve an amazing life, that we cannot do certain things because we are limited. We kept buying into our limitations repetitively, and that behaviour became so integrated into ourself that it became automatic, and we lost the awareness of it, accepting it as normal and setting it as our personal standard. Forgetting our reality, forgetting that the decision we made was based on somebody else’s belief about us.
Wow… so Who I am now and what I believe about myself has been shaped through years by other people…
Yes, and this is how we form our sense of identity. Our identity is just a set of beliefs we borrowed from other people. And I’m not saying that this has been always negative for us. Also the positive things we believe about ourself come from the same process. But behavioural scientists and child psychologist generally accept that children, under the age of five, receive ten or more negative phrases from their parents for every single positive one.
mmm… does it mean there is nothing I can do about it?
It is exactly the opposite! We have a lot of different tools that used all together can create everlasting results and positive changes in our life. In the following posts I’m going to share with You what I found most effective after several years of experiences.
When talking about beliefs, the most important thing we can do at the beginning is to be aware of them, without judgement. A belief is a thought that we repeat over and over again and that has an high emotional intensity.
One way to spot our negative beliefs is to have little notebook with us through the day and, whenever we catch ourself thinking a thought, write it down. In this way we create our Thoughts Journal.
Make the commitment for the next 3 days to write down all your thoughts you become aware of. If it is difficult to remember the task, write a note or set a reminder on your phone with the question: “What am I thinking now?”
You’ll be amazed by the result. And that will be the starting point to embrace your current limiting beliefs and change them with empowering ones!