Have you ever gone to a conference, read a book, or listened to a CD, and learned something you “knew” would help you, maybe even change your life … and then did nothing?! Would you say you’ve done this more than once?
Why do we do this? Because in the desire to implement what we’ve learned, we prematurely turn our attention to altering our “behavior” which is our automatic response instead of allowing our new-found lessons to transform our “beliefs” or our underlying foundation. Our beliefs drive and determine our behavior; the two cannot remain out of alignment. So, when we attempt to behave in contrast to our beliefs, we’re left with two options: continue to beat ourselves up for failing, or return to our original behavior.
So where do our beliefs come from? Each day we process an inordinate amount of information. To help make sense of this daily bombardment, we are forced to begin making generalizations to help speed up our processing time, and these generalizations ultimately become the foundation for our belief system. Once we “believe” something, our brains begin to operate on automatic pilot, filtering any input from the environment and searching for support systems to validate that belief. Our mind wants to collect information or evidence to support our beliefs. Often the evidence we collect is not supportive or empowering. In fact it can often be detrimental to our well-being. However, without this hardwired process, we would not be able to function or survive.
The subconscious mind is where the majority of our behavior is controlled. Once a new behavior has been consciously learned it is delegated to subconscious, such as, riding a bicycle, and driving a car. The same is true of the way we “process” information about the world around us – having acquired a set of beliefs and concepts we delegate them to subconscious control and then we automatically engage in thoughts, feelings and behaviors subconsciously – in other words not under our conscious control. Therefore, whatever you believe becomes your reality.
The downside to this is that regardless of where our beliefs come from, we begin to blindly accept them and no longer question their origin or truth. Once adopted, these beliefs become our foundational view of reality and become entrenched in our unconscious. Before we know it, we have limited ourselves solely to the past as a source for our beliefs.
Check out your foundational beliefs by filling in these blanks:
- I am _______ (intelligent, athletic, a failure, a success, hard- working, lazy, etc.)
- People are _______ (friendly, caring, selfish, power-hungry, mean, kind, etc.)
- Life is ________ (a joy, short, thrilling, boring, hard, a struggle, etc.)
You might ask yourself:
- “What negative impact has this belief had on my life?”
- “What will it ultimately cost me in my future emotionally (as well as in my relationships, physically, financially, etc.) if I continue to hold this belief?”
Beliefs, both conscious and unconscious can arise out of direct and indirect experiences. Beliefs that arise out of direct experiences are those developed from what we see and experience in person. Beliefs can also be based on indirect information, for example information conveyed to us by another person. We make decisions everyday based on information gleamed from many sources such as broadcast news, articles, teachers and professors, the internet and the list goes on. We take this information in in the form of beliefs which are often based on this subjective evaluation of facts. In addition, each of us brings our past experiences, filters, perceptions and beliefs with us into every new situation.
To determine what you really do believe, you might ask yourself:
- “Is it true?”
- “Is this belief ridiculous or absurd?”
- “Was the person I learned this belief from worth modeling in this area?”
- “Is this belief based on accurate interpretations?”
Basically conscious beliefs and less conscious beliefs direct our lives, providing the framework for emotional responses, initiating our actions and conversations. Most of us know that if we could change the way we think we could change our lives. So how do I do that?
There are different methods for changing beliefs the one I recommend is Change Your Beliefs – Change your Life! It is the process I use to assist my clients in identifying the conscious and subconscious beliefs that no longer support you. Using various techniques, I’ll guide you in resetting your beliefs and creating new beliefs that support your life today.
You deserve to have the life you want!
Diana Rinkoff ■ dianarinkoff.com ■ 713-503-9104.