As human beings, we all have our own beliefs, values, and ideas. Our family, friends, community, culture, and experiences throughout our lives contribute to our sense of self, who we are, and how we view the world and reality. Beliefs are one way our brain tries to make sense of and bring order to the world. Our beliefs and attitudes towards life impact how we act and behave and ultimately create in the world.
However, many of us barely think about what our beliefs are and where they come from, let alone how they impact every aspect of our life and experience.
What Are Beliefs (And Thoughts)
A belief is a thought we take to be true. It is a state of mind in which confidence is placed in something. We create beliefs about ourselves, other people, the world we live in and the reality we experience. But since beliefs are thoughts that we hold as truth, we need first to understand thought and truth.
A thought is an internal representation of an internal or external condition or energy. It is one form of internal perception of something in our external environment. Here’s why…
Everything is energy, vibrating at particular frequencies and creating the form of physical or material objects, including you. Your five physical senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch allow you to perceive and sense physical objects and the external environment internally. In addition to physical senses, we also have the mental sense of thought, the heart-based sense of emotion and the spiritual sense of intuition. This is a total of eight senses that our body uses to perceive external information and process it into a form we can experience and recognise internally.
Thought is a mental sense that allows you to internally perceive and sense the external environment. We experience the energetic frequency or vibration of the eternal environment, situation or conditions internally with a thought of the same energetic frequency.
Thought is an internal reflection of the external realm, vibrating at a particular energetic frequency.
If the external conditions feel good and safe, our thoughts reflect a sense of good and safety. If the external conditions feel bad or unsafe, our thoughts reflect a sense of being bad or unsafe. Your internal experience of the external environment is merely a perception of a temporary condition.
Beliefs, Thoughts And Truth
A thought is a temporary perception of an external condition. Once we experience thought, we have two choices. We can either allow it to pass or choose to hold onto it and explore it some more. We can do this consciously with awareness of our choice. However, most people are not consciously aware of their thoughts or the process of sensing, perceiving and experiencing them. Most people either hold onto thoughts as their own or are so disconnected they are entirely unaware of the thoughts going through their minds and react unconsciously and automatically.
When we observe and let go of a thought, we can move on to a new experience.
When we hold onto a thought and take it as our own, we create a belief.
Again, a belief is a thought we take to be true.
Truth is a verified or indisputable fact, state or condition.
A subjective perspective is a mental position or attitude from which an individual views and judges things.
Objective truth is the sum of every subjective perspective or view, which, considered together, forms and reveals the actual truth.
Most people take their thoughts and beliefs as true. They fail to understand that often, they are just one singular perspective of how the world and reality are and not necessarily the objective truth.
Core Beliefs, Limiting Beliefs And Belief Systems
A core belief is a belief that is the very essence of who you are and central to your identity. Bringing it into question would mean that you question the core of your being.
A limiting belief is a belief that limits us in some way, prevents us from moving forward and achieving goals and keeps us stagnant and stuck. Maybe you see a dream job and think, “I am not capable,” or “I do not have the skills.” Maybe a teacher once said you were bad with numbers, so you do not even try to manage your money. Maybe you got hurt in a relationship and decided you are unlovable.
A system is a set of interconnected elements that are organized in a way to achieve something according to defined rules.
A belief system is a set of mutually supporting beliefs that interconnect and support one another to achieve some sort of goal.
Examples of belief systems include religion, politics, culture or an overall worldview of reality. They can also include ideologies about money, relationships, career or status. These beliefs and belief systems define who we are and become core beliefs. They can also become limiting beliefs when they keep us trapped in one small perspective. They stop us from questioning, critiquing or seeking a broader, more objective view of the world and reality.
Belief systems are usually structured around a moral code of what is right or wrong, or good or bad. They are polarised in that if someone does not believe the same as you, that is wrong. However, belief systems become limiting beliefs based on a singular perspective that may fail to objectively consider a range of alternative, subjective views in search for truth.
Belief systems strive toward maintaining unity between the elements of beliefs.
A change in one belief will upset the entire belief system and bring into question everything you hold to be true. Suppose, over time, you are exposed to specific new thoughts and ideas contradicting your belief system. You may start to question some of your existing beliefs and world views. You may begin to consider what is more objective truth. For some, this results in an opportunity to grow, expand, consider new information and reconfigure our belief systems, world view and way of life.
For others, this results in cognitive dissonance and fear or resistance to change, expansion and growth.
Changing Beliefs And Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance occurs when a person holds two or more polarised or contradictory beliefs, ideas or values or participates in an action or behaviour against one of their existing beliefs. Stress and mental tension are experienced as a result of this. It is a psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes.
As a result, many people will fight to maintain their belief system and reject or avoid new ideas. They will justify their beliefs and convince themselves no conflict exists or reconcile the conflict by adding new beliefs that explain the conflict. Cognitive dissonance is a process of holding onto limiting and core belief systems and a subjective perspective rather than considering a broad range of perspectives and finding objective truth.
Beliefs create our reality. The thoughts we hold to be true determine create an invisible boundary of what is possible in our life. We act, behave and create in the world only to the extent our beliefs and beliefs systems allow us to. We stop creating at the boundary of our beliefs. A limiting belief about money is that “money doesn’t grow on trees.” This will hold you back compared to a more open belief like “money is energy, and there is an infinite supply.”
A limiting belief like “our people have always been suppressed” will cause you to act like a victim. A belief like “I can achieve anything I choose” is more empowering.
You can either start to become aware of the thoughts that pass through your mind, the beliefs and beliefs systems you hold onto and drive your life, or continue blindly.
You can start to choose which thoughts and beliefs serve you and you want to keep. Or, you can continue to limit yourself that keep you small.
You can choose to consider, question, analyse, observe, consider new information and reconsider your belief systems to find objective truth. Or you can stay stuck in a limited, singular, subjective perspective.
You are the creator of your life, and you have the power to expand, evolve, grow and change. Or not.
The choice is yours…