The amount of blogs about believing in yourself is so vast (did a quick check…type “believe in yourself” into Google & you get 395,000,000 results) that it’s astonishing that we continue to write them…as I’m about to do.
Why is that? We’re all just trying to find answers. We’re comparing ourselves. Even if we’re not comparing ourselves to others, we’re comparing ourselves to previous versions of us, as well as to some standards we’ve set in our mind.
We continue searching for, and writing this stuff, because we need it. We’re not done with ourselves yet. Until we hit that fully enlightened point (LOL), we’re going to have an innate need to fill our minds with stuff that makes us discover more of ourselves.
In a recent stream of consciousness journaling session, where it’s ten minutes of writing and no matter what comes out, or doesn’t, I don’t stop until the time is up, one line stood out more than the rest:
I don’t hold on to beliefs that I’ve proven to be false. Including ones about myself.
Beliefs. Those things that you think are true about yourself and the world. Common beliefs that humans create are ‘the world is getting worse’, ‘the world is getting better’ ‘I deserve (X)’, & ‘I am not deserving of (X).’ Funny how you could be sitting next to someone right now who holds the exact opposite belief in their head – and has proof to back up their belief, which is directly contrarian to proof you have that backs up your belief.
That’s ‘beliefs’ for you.
We often carry into adulthood beliefs that we set as children (and more likely, that were imprinted on us by the adults around us at that time). Beliefs become such an ingrained part of us that we rarely think about them, but they affect the way we think and interact with the world every moment of every day. Words, actions, and perceptions are three places where you’ll see your beliefs most clearly.
When was the last time you took stock of your beliefs and compared them to what you actually know to be true? When was the last time you took a full-frontal look at exactly what you believe to be true, and compared it to what you’re actually experiencing? If the belief “things never work out for me” lives in your head, but you realize you actually can’t think of anything that hasn’t eventually worked out in the last several years – you’ve got a mismatch.
So which will it be? Your belief or your experience? The trick then is to be in a place where you’re ready to accept the new reality of what you’re experiencing and release the old beliefs.
In our minds, beliefs are often all tangled up in emotions. It may be challenging at first, but taking an objective view of your beliefs that is free from the cloud of the emotion is one way to start reviewing your beliefs.
You’re not dismissing the emotion from the belief, you’re just setting it to the side for the moment. This way, you can make a logical appraisal of things, and then overlay that with your emotions, and start re-aligning things from there.
For now, do this: on paper, or your computer, wherever is most natural for you – take stock of your beliefs and what proof you have to back them up. This is not a new idea I’ve come up with; in fact, Byron Katie’s “The Work” is monumentally helpful in removing old beliefs, laying down new ones, and putting yourself into a more peaceful existence.
*update: I found a therapist who treats using Byron Katie’s “The Work”, taking you on a two hour journey through your mind, and it was one of the most helpful things I’ve ever done. I highly recommend finding a trained practitioner of “The Work”.