The 12 Thrive Days of Christmas – Day 2 – Belief Systems
A series of 12 articles, published daily from 25th December to 5th January (The traditional 12 days of Christmas). See how you can learn to Thrive by reviewing your Belief Systems.
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The importance of your belief systems
It is our underlying ‘belief systems’ that drive the way we think, feel, and behave. But what are belief systems? They are sets of personal viewpoints that provide us with principles and ‘ rules’ for our thoughts, words, and actions. All our different experiences are fitted together so we can create an understandable representation of our world. We have hundreds of belief systems built up from our many lifetime events.
So how are they created?
- You need to see something in a certain way, so you adopt a belief you believe to be true.
- You view new experiences through your belief system and expect events to happen in line with it.
- This leads to you being far more likely to see events that confirm your belief system.
- Your belief system is, therefore, proved correct, it becomes reinforced and stronger.
eg. You buy a new dress or car and you suddenly see similar ones everywhere simply because you are ‘tuned in to them.’ This leads us to the belief that they have suddenly become more common. This is known as confirmation bias and, thus, we are proved right.
What colour are your Spectacles?
We all view the world around us in accordance with our belief systems and confirmation bias. We do not realise we are wearing spectacles so we think our view of the world is genuine. Some people still genuinely believe the world is flat despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Their views are dictated by their belief system tinted specs!
I used to think that the weather dictated my mood! I would look through my window and on a nice sunny day I was immediately in good spirits. The following day, it is overcast and I feel low and miserable. I was viewing the weather through my belief system spectacles and I was then dictating my own response and mood!
Many belief systems are useful and empowering but others can be severely limiting causing suffering. Any belief that doesn’t help you achieve the life you really want is a limiting belief.
Below is an example of a limiting belief system based on low self confidence/ self esteem:
- ‘I’m not academic – therefore I’m bound to do badly in my exams
- I expect to fail.
- I imagine how nervous I will feel and how hard the exam will be.
- The exam goes badly – anxiety results in forgetting things I knew how to answer.
- I process, interpret and store the experience, fitting it into my belief system.
- I believe ‘I was right to think I’d do badly, I’m not very bright.
My limiting belief system has contributed to me doing badly, but has thus been reinforced by the result!
i In conclusion, if you allow limiting beliefs to regularly distort your perspective on life, you will not thrive. This can lead to anxiety, stress, phobias, and even mental and physical illnesses. The Thrive Programme will teach you how to change limiting beliefs and develop healthy, helpful belief systems.
Tomorrow we will look at our inner voices.
Ian @ Thrive With Ian www.thrivewithian.com