Are You Living Your Own Beliefs, Or Someone Else’s?
“Your beliefs can be a prison system created by your mind for yourself. But the door is not locked. If you are aware, you can always come out of that.” ― Amit Ray
Who are you? Where did your opinions come from? Your experiences? Perhaps parents, friends, stories, books read, world events, maybe even hearsay on occasion? Have you ever asked yourself why are your filters (ideas/beliefs) showing your world in a certain way, how did it happen? Your values and core beliefs, are they yours or do they belong to someone else? Just questions to ponder, because your values about family, money, relationships, how to cope, how to communicate, what is rude, what is polite determines how you live your life, and the way you act.
It’s very important because these ideals that you live every day create your world. The physical world and your mental world. You can create vast networks of ideas and scenarios in your mind that can be detrimental, especially if you are living in a belief system that is negative and does not serve you.
Your personal belief system
I attended a class regarding beliefs, one topic was money. A couple questions were: “What is your belief about money?” “Where did you develop this belief?” and “Is this belief true to your experience?” To my surprise, my belief and my experiences with money didn’t always line up, but my belief produced my attitude about money. I saw that my idea about money was actually hurting me, and it wasn’t even based on my interactions with money, it was based on my parent’s experiences with money and what I heard and witnessed growing up.
Just to put this in perspective my belief about money was “We don’t have enough money, so it’s for bills and not for frills” So, I believed and acted on the notion that there is not enough money for me to live adequately, and also, I am not to buy anything for myself that is not a necessity. This belief let me connect with, and encourage others who had the same belief, “we never have enough money”, “No, I can’t get that, it’s too expensive”.
This actually leads to resentment towards people who appeared to have lots of money and had nice things. I had friends and family all around reinforcing my negative beliefs because they had the same ones, not helpful. My belief kept me in the dark, thinking I could never be like the people who had enough money to thrive, I could never have money work me, I could only work for it. So, what are my experiences with money, truly? Money has been around when I needed it, it was there for me when my car got towed. It was there for me when I needed lunch and forgot it at home, it was there to buy people presents and it was there when I needed to get gas. Sure there have been times I didn’t have enough money, but instead of concentrating my whole belief on those times, I am taking time to focus on the many, many times money has helped me out of a jam and been there in times of need.
I have changed my belief to include the good times with money, and all that money has provided me, it shifted my feelings towards it. My revised belief is: Money provides for me and is my friend. Now money is not the topic of this article, it is just serving as an example of an ingrained belief I had based on other’s opinions and not my actual experiences. I put my original belief and then my new belief based on my experience after reflection.
Ideas and influence
“So few people listen to their own voice because they are taught not to trust it. We are encouraged to adopt others’ ideas, thoughts, beliefs, all the while never developing and believing in our own. We inevitably give up our personal power in favor of one less than our own.” ― Tripsy South
Have I, or you even lived one whole day seeing out of our own eyes, with our own ideas? I don’t know, and we might not ever know, as a society we are so influenced, look this way, be this way, be funny, not boring, buy the newest stuff and on and on, it never ends.
There are a lot of ideas going around this world, and that is a great thing- we are all unique and that is why we must make sure our core values and beliefs are our own. If we don’t check ourselves we could seriously be steering our lives in the wrong direction and make it into retirement age just to find we never lived a day in our own damn shoes.
This is so important for many aspects of our lives. To reflect and question yourself. Are you really living your passions, your beliefs, and your values? Or did your parents want you to have a certain career or tell you it’s not okay to show your feelings? Are you basing your style, your manners on someone from YouTube? It’s good to have role models, but just remember to check your beliefs especially if they make you feel bad, maybe they are wrong or need some new light shed on them.
Just some ideas of other areas of passed down belief systems that might need some adjusting:
- Body belief examples: We have terrible genes in this family. Everyone is fat, you better be careful what you eat or you’ll end up like the rest of us. You have to be attractive to be successful. Beliefs like this turn into things like: I’m not good enough, I can’t eat that, I’ll get fat etc.
- Relationship belief examples: Women just want to control you. Men will only like you if you’re quiet and cute. Beliefs like this also turn into things like: No one wants to be with me, maybe there is something wrong with me, there are only bad men/women out there etc.
- Health belief examples: You must have allergies, we all get them in this family. We have bad teeth in this family, expect lots of cavities! Beliefs like this turn into you expecting to have things wrong with you, and then subsequently passing this same info along to others in the family if you’re not careful.
I don’t blame my family or parents for my beliefs, the same thing happened to them. The well-intentioned parents passed down their ideas about life, down and down they go. Until we break the cycle, stop, reflect, redirect and make our own way and make sure we don’t do the same things to our kids, friends, and family.
Be your own advocate. You have to as you are your responsibility. I lived so many years with a plastic smile on my face when I was so unhappy inside. Trying to do all the things my beliefs made me think I HAD to do. Be quiet, don’t bug anyone, don’t spend any money, be a good worker, make sure everyone else is comfortable. For what? All these things, I was doing to appease someone. I don’t even know who, I just know it wasn’t me. I found I was living in a small box of expectations and subsequently frustrations and failures. I had to start being more authentic and questioning my beliefs and motives. I wasn’t living my own life.
Make sure you are not living someone else’s life please, this world needs YOU. when you are living your values and ideals are you truly shining, and loving your life. You bring passion and flow and enchantment into this place when you are in balance with yourself. Check yourself out so you can have the best life possible, by your own terms. You can start by asking yourself some questions and really taking some time writing it down and reflecting. It’s a process, but you are worth it!
Belief reflection exercise:
- What is my belief about X? Insert any topic here, relationships, the world, myself, money, my body etc.
- Where did this belief come from?
- Is it true?
- Can I make an accurate and helpful change to my belief based on my own experiences and expectations?
Thanks for reading this and I hope you get something out of it. My life really has changed for the better, piece by piece, as I change my beliefs, which lead to new actions, which leads to new outcomes. Don’t forget a belief is just a thought you keep thinking.
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