Throughout recorded time there have been examples of men and women who in the face of incredible odds have succeeded in achieving their dreams. Conversely, there are equal numbers of examples of those who have had a relatively easy time and what seemed to be a straight path to success and yet failed to realize their aspirations. It seems that the thing that made the most significant difference was the strength of their belief.
Our beliefs are powerful. In being diagnosed with a terminal disease a doctor may give a patient six months to live and sure enough six month later they die. You may argue that the disease simply ran its course but there have been countless of others who refused to take the doctor’s pronunciation as a death sentence and have gone on to live for many years later. In cultures that practice voodoo or witch craft, (in my own, we call it obeah), the witch doctor will give a subject a certain time to live and because of their powerful belief in the witch doctor’s powers they die at the end of the allotted time.
Reality is in the eye of the beholder
If the potency of our beliefs has such powers over our physical realities can you imagine the effect it has on our mind, how we perceive things and ultimately our ability to succeed? As human beings we can see wavelengths of light only between about 400 and 700 millionths of a millimeter. This represents only a tiny portion of the vast band of electromagnetic waves to include X-rays, infra red, microwave, radio wave and so on. This means that most electromagnetic information simply passes us by. In addition to our senses we also see the world through our personal history and our innate prejudices. We cannot help how we see things. However it is how to chose to interpret what we see that in end determine what we believe.
Although we may not realize it because the work is done automatically, it is much harder to maintain our beliefs than it is to maintain a car. Once we hold a belief to be true we hold onto it for the rest of our lives with the tenacity of a bulldog unless we challenge it. Our individuality and our sense of power are so wrapped up in our beliefs that e will do almost anything to hold on to them.
Our selective interpretation of the past and our selective vies of the present both support our beliefs. As Dr. Richard Gillet writes:
Belief creates action
Action creates reaction or results
Reaction or results confirm belief
If you believe that someone doesn’t like you or doesn’t care you will take the action of keeping away from that person or at least severely restricting any involvement you may have with them. More than likely they will react by keeping away from you as well. Subsequently your belief that the person doesn’t like you is confirmed.
Maybe your belief is that “I am unlucky”, “bad things always happen to me”, “I cannot seem to find a job I really like”, “I am no good at business”, the list goes on. If they are strong enough, you will subconsciously act in ways and seek evidence to support them and they will eventually they will materialize.
Change your beliefs, change your life
William Shakespeare said: “For there is nothing good or bad But thinking makes it so”
We may not be able to always determine the things we see and experience but we can always choose how we perceive them and ultimately what we believe. That is the beauty of being human. Unlike any other animal in the kingdom we have the power of choice. This means that you have the power to change the disempowering beliefs that are preventing you from living the life of your dreams.
Here is a simple three-step process to change your beliefs and thus change your life:
1. Identify the limiting belief. Let’s say that you are a salesman but you are shy. It is clear that this belief is going to leave your children starving and barefooted.
2. Imagine yourself as a confident person engaged in a friendly, comfortable situation. See yourself sitting with a prospect as you skillfully tell him about your product. Imagine this scene in vivid detail, not as it has happened in the past but as if it were true and actually happening now. As William Blake said “What is now proved was once only imagined. ”
3. After you have practiced your imagination and fully experienced your new belief within, it is time to practice it in the real world. Failing to take action will mean that our practice in imagination would have been a complete waste of time. Your first steps of converting your imagined experience into real world experience can be filled with trepidation but do it anyway. Feel the butterflies buzzing around in your stomach, the weakness in your limb, the sweaty palms and DO IT! That is what they call courage-acting inspite of the fear.
In the case of our shy salesman I would not suggest that he set an appointment to land that big account that he has always wanted. The key is to set small, easily achievable goals. You deliberately do this so that you can guarantee success. Each little success along the way will strengthen your belief.
As Brian Tracy said “the potential of the average human is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good”. One of the keys to unlocking that potential is understanding the power of your beliefs. By rejecting limiting, disempowering beliefs and embracing powerful ones you will be able to go as far as you can imagine.
Copyright (C) 2005 Devon Harris
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