Have you ever watched two people arguing about what they believe? Both could be sincere and adamant that they are right, both pulling out facts and examples to validate their opposing points of view.
How is it that we can have differing beliefs about the same event and be certain that we are right?
Today we will look at what beliefs are and how they impact the way we interact with the world. They impact our success in business, our relationships and our happiness.
Just recently I was walking my dog. The sunlight was filtering through the trees ahead and on the path I saw a black snake. Immediately my physiology started to change. I slowed down, checked my grip on the dogs leash and started to look for another route, all the time keeping an eye on the snake.
As I got closer, plotting my new course a funny thing happened and before my eyes the snake transformed into a strip of bark, fallen from the gum trees above. I relaxed again and continued on my way. This got me thinking about how our beliefs affect what we think, how we feel and how we act.
We think and act on what we believe to be true. But what if it isn’t? How does this work and how does it affect our outcomes?
Our brains receive two million bits of information per second through our senses. The only way our minds can cope is to filter and delete most of this information. How we interpret these signals creates our reality. What is even more interesting is that our brains then filter future inputs to reinforce our beliefs.
The Beliefs you have about the world can create the thoughts you think.
The Thoughts you think lead to your behaviours and actions.
The Behaviours and Actions you execute lead to the experiences you have in life.
The Experiences you have in life lead to the quality of your life and how you feel.
How you feel and your experience feed back into strengthening your beliefs and creating new beliefs.
So what is a belief? One definition I like is that a belief is a feeling of certainty about what a thing means.
Let’s take an example of two people with differing beliefs about people. One believes “I can always find the best in people, they will filter in data to validate their version of reality. They will see and hear every instance where people display good traits.
Another believes “Others aren’t to be trusted”? Over the years they will filter in data to validate their version of reality. Over the years they will think, feel and behave in ways which reinforce their belief. Can you see how these two people by seeing life through a different lens will get markedly different results? Imagine how it will influence their business, their relationships and their sense of wellbeing?
So who is right and does it matter anyway? I’m not sure who is right and either belief could be right about specific instances, but I am sure that it matters what one believes. The important point is that one belief is empowering and the other is limiting.
Why not explore your own beliefs, identify those which are limiting you and replace them with empowering beliefs. Beliefs that would serve, support, nurture and challenge you.
I’d love your comments on how you go and to see what type of limiting beliefs you can change for empowering ones.