In our quest towards achieving any goal of significance, the impact of belief is powerful. This is an area I’ve discovered to be poorly understood in general. I recall that when I was defending my final project for my first degree, one question posed to me by the panel was my vision on wealth. Back then, all I truly wanted was to be comfortable, period. I always imagined great wealth to be associated with stress, sleeplessness and insecurity. I was looking forward to a life of freedom, to just be able to afford the basic necessities of life, devoid of the perceived negative images associated with the rich and famous.
Growing up in a modest, middle-class family, I never imagined it was possible to be mega-rich without scandals to go with it and so it was that for several years, I was essentially able to stay within the limits I imposed on myself in relation to my belief about wealth. Now I know better. Today, I shall share with you five common beliefs that I have discovered to be strong inhibitors to achieving life’s objectives. Firstly, let’s examine the concept of belief.
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe; it can achieve. – Napoleon Hill
Your beliefs are the result of the things you witnessed in life that made you believe them to be true. Beliefs are habitual in thought pattern and so powerful that they actually stay at the very root of our existence and unless you can de-code what beliefs you hold on an unwanted outcome, it’s pretty easy to fire blanks. Take the internet access that has made it possible for me to communicate this to you in minutes; it was only just once imagined. Without a belief in that dream, we would just have stayed with our good old post and telegraph that ruled the world for so long.
Walking the manifestation process backwards summarily; every outcome is preceded by action; which is in turn preceded by emotions; then preceded by words and eventually preceded by thoughts powered by belief. Even when everything is in place, wherever your belief stands contrary to your desire, I’m afraid not much can happen for you. How do I know?
Beliefs are the determinants of what one experiences. There are no external causes.- David Hawkins
Watch this; anytime you doubt the positive outcome [negative belief] of a process, either of two things happens. If it works, you are surprised [as if failure was a standard]. If it doesn’t, you aren’t disappointed [at least you are spared the agony of dealing with failure]. You can’t escape your beliefs because they underline the conscious workings of your mind, so it’s important to identify any counter ones and choose those that fully support your visions and dreams.
Beliefs are the foundations of your dreams and you can’t hope to build your dream on faulty foundations. Your beliefs ultimately then define the boundaries of your experience. Since your beliefs operate within the realm of the unconscious, whenever you are double-minded your reality will surely reflect it accordingly. When your beliefs are however in harmony with your desire, manifestation becomes effortless and fun; the dream-size notwithstanding.
You are the source, not the subject, of your reality.
Accompanying belief are emotions that act as its signature. The stronger the belief, the more profound the emotions will be that surround it. Your beliefs certainly affect your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and actions, which literally shape and dictate your reality at a very fundamental level. These are the blueprints and constructs of your world. When faced with a potentially dangerous situation, you momentarily take a fight, freeze or flight decision. If your emotional energy is strong on the belief of surviving the ordeal, your actions are quickly aligned for victory or successful escape. Otherwise, you simply surrender once you are strongly attached to the belief that there’s no way or no use trying. Here, you practically don’t have the luxury of rationalizing with your conscious, logical mind.
How do you identify negative beliefs?
When it comes to identifying negative beliefs, your emotions are good allies. Whenever you are feeling low, confused, fearful, demoralized, upset, angry, depressed, incomplete, defeated, hurting, blaming or hopeless, for instance, do some introspection to see what thoughts and beliefs are underlying these emotions. Look for the fundamental assumptions that are generating these negative vibes? Don’t blame anybody or anything else. Don’t fight your feeling but simply honor your emotions and listen to what information is being conveyed to you about what’s going on inside of you – your internal processes, beliefs and attitudes. These can be really deep especially if you’ve had them for as long as you can remember. What thoughts or beliefs are they pointing to that may need changing? Express and release your feelings rather than deny, repress, control or judge them.
The good news is that beliefs, liberating or limiting, are yours to make or break. Even if they’ve been with you for decades, irrespective of the source, every belief has been a construct of what you believed to be true for or useful to you. At some point, it was just convenient to hold onto them, especially when playing the role of the victim attracted soothing sympathy or attention from your loved ones. But as you become more responsible and accountable for your outcomes in life, the reality of the need to dump these negative beliefs slowly dawns on you if; you must succeed. This becomes clearer later when we go into specifics.
When you change, so does your world; it can’t but be so.
Changing the beliefs that limit you requires awareness and identification of those hidden agreements that you made and stored so long ago, that are still impacting your life today. Because beliefs are resident in the subconscious, often acting as your comfort zone’s protective mechanism, changing your beliefs at a purely intellectual level won’t work unless you address the emotions that surround and compound those beliefs.
The starting point is the knowledge that you have a choice once you are aware and convinced of the need to change the belief. Some of your beliefs, as you will discover, tend to run as rings and programs in your life and simply deciding to choose new beliefs that serve you can create a whole new world. If you are experiencing persistent negative results in some areas of life, in spite of sincere efforts to make things work, here are five of some limiting beliefs that are fairly common drivers, that can stand in the way of the fulfillment of dreams, together with the liberating contrary beliefs that may fire new insights into where adjustments might be useful.
LIMITING BELIEF #1: This is just who I am.
Nothing burns me more than hearing this statement when I deal personally or professionally with people who choose to remain in their rut. Variants of this statement include: “this is just me”; “there’s nothing I can do about it”; “I can’t change who I am”; “this is how I am made” etc. If this is just the way you are and wish to remain so, then you should be completely satisfied with what you already/will ever have. Otherwise, you cannot remain the way you are and hope to change your outcomes. That’s the definition of insanity; simple.
If you reason exactly the way you did five years ago, I’m told that you’d just wasted the last five years. So, if you have dreams to fulfill, which calls for dexterity and versatility in terms of dealing with people and resources, then you’ve got to consistently re-invent yourself. A problem is never solved at the level of thinking that created it. All these sum up to need to quit casting yourself in concrete, which once set is not re-moldable. It’s unfair to expect people to shift when you are static; especially when you’re the one hurting. Yes, character is constant but behaviour is not. A few of the values that define my essence for instance include – I love organization. I insist on a neat, orderly environment. I have little patience for mediocrity. But when I look back, I notice how far I’ve come on behavioural changes. Here is a belief I embraced:
LIBERATING BELIEF #1: If it’s going to be; then it’s up to me.
Years back, I was overly critical, in an attempt to create and earn the respect of my territory in terms of my defined values; but not anymore. Do I still love my organized space? Yes, of course; cleanliness remains essential to me while I’d still rather do without a mediocre spirit. However, I now understand that I need to work with people such that they are comfortable with/buy into my values because of the qualities they add to life’s rewards. Surely, I can influence people around me to positively key into my values without being an irritant. If I want to comprehensively and consistently enjoy the fellowship of God and man, then it’s up to me.
How do you conduct your affairs with people you come into contact with? Do you take responsibility for everything that happens to you? Are you humble? Are you personable? Are you respectable and respectful of others? Are you disciplined in all ways? Are you considerate? Do you consider fairness and equity essential? Are you firm and ethical? Do you plan your affairs in small and big ways? Are you courageous? Do you give your best in all you do? Are your interactions with others value-adding?
Therefore, if ‘this is the way I am” means the contrary of the qualities listed above, then you’d need a shift. Motivation is required to start the journey but commitment is the fuel that keeps you going. Are you committed to renewing your spirit and skills to meet changing demands of the times? It’s my practice to daily ask for divine understanding on how I can be a better person still, because one, I have many more miles of achievement to cover and two, it is my belief that if it’s going to be, then it’s surely up to me. What about you?
LIMITING BELIEF #2: Money is hard to come by.
Beliefs about wealth are some of the most powerful I’ve come across. They are also subtle because of linkages to spirituality. Central to this belief system is the pervasive lack mentality. Variants of this belief include: “there isn’t enough to go round”; “someone has to lose for me to gain wealth”; “money doesn’t grow on trees”; “money [the love of it] is the root of all evil”; “wealthy people are shady”; “it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than……”; “you need money to make money” etc. Does anyone of these resonate with you? Very likely I’ll imagine; which could have been imbibed from your parents while growing up, the press, your colleagues or even your place of worship! Irrespective of how success is defined by you, wealth is a subject that is colour blind.
We all need it for several purposes and in varying quantities. The tragedy however is that most people cannot connect the absence of wealth to the belief they hold about it. Consistent with how beliefs subconsciously operate, you cannot believe something is evil and hope to attract a quantum of it at the same time, because energy follows your thoughts. When I was young, I recall that very rich people used to be referred to as “filthy rich” [riches and filth?].
Continue to Part 2