As human beings, we all have our own beliefs, values and ideas about the world. Our family, friends, community, culture and the experiences we have throughout our life 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 the way we act and behave and ultimately create in the world.
However, many of us barely give a thought to 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 perceive and sense the external environment internally. We experience the energetic frequency or vibration of the eternal environment, situation or conditions internally with a thought of the same 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, Thought 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 wit 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 completely unaware of the thoughts that are going through their minds and react unconsciously and automatically.
When we observe and let go of a thought we can move onto a new expereince.
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.
What most people fail to understand is that thoughts and beliefs they take to be true are often just one, singular perspective of how the world and reality are, 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 and so you do not even try to manage your money. Maybe you got hurt in a relationship and decide 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 world view of what reality is, but can also include ideologies about money, relationships, career or status. These types of 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 and stop us from questioning, critiquing or seeking a broader, more objective view of the world and reality.
Belief systems are usually structured around some kind of 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 are become limiting beliefs when they are based on a singular perspective that may fail to objectively consider a range of alternative, subjective views in search for truth.
Belief systems strive towards maintaining congruence between the elements of beliefs.
A change in one belief will upset the entire belief system as a whole and bring into question everything you hold to be true. If over time, you are exposed to certain new thoughts and ideas that contradict your belief system, you may start to question some of your existing beliefs, world views and consider what is more objective truth. For some, this results in an opportunity to grow, expand, consider new information and reconfigure our beliefs systems, world view and way of life.
For others, this results in cognitive dissonance and a 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 that goes 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 being held simultaneously.
As a result, many people will fight to maintain their belief system and reject or avoid new ideas, 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 choosing to consider a broad range of perspectives and find objective truth.
Beliefs create our reality. The thoughts we hold to be true determine create an invisible boundary of what is possible for 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. Limiting beliefs about money such as “money doesn’t grow on trees” will hold you back compared to beliefs such as “money is energy and there is an infinite supply.” Limiting beliefs such as “our people have always been suppressed” rather than a belief like “I can achieve anything I choose” will cause you to act like a victim.
You can either start to become aware of the thoughts that pass through your mind, and the beliefs and beliefs systems you hold onto and drive your life, or you can 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.
PS… If you have any questions or thoughts about beliefs, let me know in the comments or at lizwatt.com/askliz.