I never realised just how important they were in my daily life when I was younger. Now, looking back, from a very young age, beliefs have played a massive role on how I behave, the decisions I make, the options I choose.
For anyone who isn’t feeling it…remember to when you were 5 or 6…if you are like me, you believed in Santa Claus…and the week leading up to Christmas, boy did my behaviour change!
I saw the fantastic article earlier this week, originally posted back in February this year. Written by Dr Raymond Comeau.
“As long as you believe something, your brain operates on automatic pilot, filtering any input from the environment and searching for references to validate your belief, regardless of what is it.” – Anthony Robbins
Our beliefs are sacred. Some people will accept to die for their beliefs; others will ruin their own life and the life of others for their beliefs. Wars are started for beliefs. Religions are about beliefs. Beliefs hold communities together. People are loved for their beliefs. Others are hated for the same reason. Yet, for all its importance, most people have never taken the time to find out what a belief truly is.
First let us say that there are three levels of beliefs and that each of them has different levels of emotional certainty and intensity. We have: opinions, beliefs, and convictions. Opinions being rather fragile and easily changed while convictions are cast in stone.
It does not matter what level of conviction a belief holds, it’s definition is always the same. A belief is nothing, but a notion supported by evidences. This is so important that it bears repeating. A belief is nothing, but a notion supported by evidences.
We tend to believe that our beliefs are some kind of universal truth; something that is manifestly evident and that cannot be disputed. No so. Even our most fundamental beliefs are nothing but notions that are supported by evidences.
The more evidences that we have regarding a particular belief and the more emotionally charged those evidences are, the stronger the belief gets to be.
Anyone doubting the veracity of this definition of beliefs only has to consider for a moment some of the beliefs that are held by people in other religions. Some of those beliefs seem to be so odd to us that we are inclined to think that only ignorant and uneducated people could give credence to such outlandish notions.
That is far from being the case. Highly intelligent and educated people have beliefs that we can only consider to be absurd. That is the nature of beliefs, notions supported by evidences.
Now, the importance of understanding the nature of beliefs lies in the fact that if we personally have beliefs that are disempowering, it is possible for us to radically change those beliefs and replace them with beliefs that are empowering.
Let us say that a person believed that because he or she was born in the wrong side of town he or she had no chance of succeeding in life. That would be a very limiting belief and changing that belief could positively transform a whole life.
A belief is a notion that is supported by evidences. So, all that is needed to change that belief is to find enough evidences to support an opposing belief and a new reality is created. If that person finds enough evidences to support the notion that wherever a person is born matters little in the chance of succeeding in life, the disempowering belief will be replaced with a new and inspiring new belief.
We used to believe that the Earth was flat and that the sun revolved around our little Planet. Highly intelligent people used to believe that. The references were changed, so was the belief.
Understanding the nature and the anatomy of beliefs may be one of the most important contributions that the science and art of self-improvement has given us. Let us use it wisely and judiciously. Our whole future depends on it.
For me…that is interesting and something worth thinking about.
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