At the beginning of his book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz explains how we are trained into our beliefs when we are young. He points out the influence that our parents, teachers, community, and culture have on what we accept to be true about ourselves and the world around us. We are even taught that questioning those beliefs is wrong.
What we believe about ourselves and the world shapes our experience throughout our lives as well as how we cope and what we can achieve. Our expectations guide our perception and limit or open us to what we can even see as possibility.
Research has shown that when we have no words to describe an experience or object, meaning it is so far out of the realm of possibility in our minds, we cannot even see it when it is right in front of us. If we are closed off to new possibilities and experiences, we are quite effectively protecting ourselves from ever having them.
Because we live in a scarcity-focused culture, we are taught to believe that when it comes to anything that we deem as good, there is not enough for everyone and that we risk the chance of losing the good things in our lives if we help others also achieve good things. This fear-based training shows up in how people will go to extremes to protect what they believe in and, at times, attempt to force their beliefs on others.
Our beliefs are a construct that guide how we live our lives. There can be as many different beliefs as there are people. Being open to what others believe can help us to connect, learn, and grow. New perspectives and possibilites may present themselves that change how we show up in our lives and relationships.
Many of the beliefs that we have been trained into may have been passed down for generations and may not actually support who we want to be or how we can best tap into our unique gifts in our lives. We may have been taught to believe things about the world that put us at a disadvantage, things that limit what we try, things that are dysfunctional, or things that don’t make sense to us. And these beliefs may be running in the background without our even noticing.
Our beliefs drive our thoughts, emotions, and actions. If our beliefs are not our own, we will be living a life constructed on what someone else believes or wants us to believe. When we show up in our lives from a place of living in alignment with the beliefs we have formed for ourselves and open to shifting those beliefs throughout our lives as we evolve, we can fully live OUR lives. We can experience more satisfaction, meaning, and joy in our lives.
This week, I invite you to observe what you believe and to ask yourself if the belief you observe is yours or if it is one that you were trained into. Next ask yourself if the belief is helpful and if it is one that you want to hold onto or one that you want to reassess and maybe shift.
I will be practicing right along with you.
Chat again soon,