“Keeping faith in something over a period of time becomes our belief.”
Our unshakable faith gives us the strength to believe in the supreme power, something we haven’t seen or experienced before, and having faith keeps us going every single day of our lives.
But, hit one wrong curve on the road and everything seems to fall back on what is embedded deep in our brains, our beliefs about ourselves:
Am I good enough?
Is it worth trying?
Such thoughts influence our behaviour and these beliefs manifest in how we act in our life. So, if you are passionate, and the only thing that is stopping you is your self-doubt, then this article will make you think twice.
How to Identify Your Belief?
Before understanding the science of beliefs, let’s explore – “What is a Belief?”
Something you don’t know and accept as truth is a belief. You may believe something because of a fact, an assumption, or an opinion. When you believe something, you may not have immediate knowledge of it, but you are certain that it is correct. Your behaviour is driven by your belief system.
There are two types of beliefs:
1. Core Beliefs
The ones we deeply and strongly hold onto are the core beliefs. We develop these beliefs in our childhood. There is no right way to say that all core beliefs are right or wrong. Good experiences can produce healthy ideas about ourselves, others and the world. We are here to deal with them as beliefs play a role in steering the boat of our life.
If one of Sonia’s core beliefs is that “No matter what I do, it is never enough.” So, whatever she does in her life, she believes that it is not enough, and slowly she sinks into that emptiness.
Sonia might have developed this belief from her childhood, through the experience of certain life events. She now has a tendency to focus on the grain of information that supports her belief and ignores everything that contradicts her belief.
2. Peripheral Beliefs
These beliefs vary from person to person, every individual has their own set of peripheral beliefs. For example, if the cricket match is not going in favour of Aman’s team, he turns off the TV and waits for a miracle shot. It somehow works for him, doesn’t mean it will work for others. Since this happens Aman repeats this action over a period of time and it gets ingrained in him as a belief.
The environmental side of the coin includes belief systems. Throughout our lives, we develop hundreds of beliefs about all parts of life. We pick them up from what other people say to us, what is our takeaway from the news, what we read, and any other external influences to which we are exposed.
If you are not sure about your beliefs then we recommend taking a pause here. Spend five minutes with yourself and reflect on what you believe in and make a note and continue reading.
How beliefs are formed? [Psychology]
Our beliefs are like seeds in our brain, both good and bad. If we water them daily, they will surely grow into big trees, digging their roots deep into our subconscious, from where there is no coming back. Let’s learn about how we form beliefs in the first place.
Nothing is more effective as a learning tool than actual hands-on experience. According to a 2016 Business Insider article, there are 30 scientific ways that your childhood influences your adult prosperity. “If you experienced any trauma as a kid, then it might still be bothering you.”
There are so many examples of beliefs that we are told since childhood, and they might be the reason we find the constraint in taking a bold step later in life. If you were trolled for playing badly in school, and you stopped playing. Then there are chances that you will have a fear of trying that game again for the rest of your life. Till the time you counter-attack your own false belief system, you will be caught in the loop.
The education system helps us get along with our society. We absorb cultural standards and norms via our professors, textbooks, and classmates, all of whom reinforce them. In third grade, you may recall learning your multiplication tables as well as the social conventions of taking turns on the swings at the playground. Schools make sure that the students are adapted to be compliant, they can think outside of their families and the cultural nuances into which they were born while also giving way to their unsaid social roles.
Does religion impact one’s beliefs? Religion, like education, accommodates importance in the socialization process. Humankind has spent millennia attempting to comprehend and explain the “meaning of life.” Since the dawn of civilization, religion has existed in some form or another in all human communities.
How to change your belief? [If You Have To!]
Change doesn’t come along so easily, it makes its way to you through the damage, through the failure. When you experience negative emotions for a long time, make rash decisions, blame others for all the bad things happening in your life, lose the health of your relationships, and top of all, your peace of mind, it doesn’t have to be an indication that you have a problem.
It might be the result of external factors which have made you question some of your beliefs, which have created turbulence in your belief system. It is best to give time to let this new information sink in, where it connects with your belief system. Your existing beliefs will make a shift and rearrange themselves to make you reach the next level in your life.
That is when you acquaint yourself with actual personal growth. When you begin to transform into someone who is entirely different from who you were earlier. When your thinking shifts so dramatically that those around you begin to question why you have changed so much in such a short time.
Follow these steps to live a life around your set of beliefs.
1. Identify Your Fears
The first thing that creeps in while we are the most vulnerable is the fear, fear that hides behind every situation or circumstance.
- What if I don’t get a job? Maybe I don’t deserve a high-profile job.
- What if people do not appreciate my efforts?
A trail of what if’s never set us free of our own created fears. This is where we need to make positive affirmations to give ourselves a paradigm shift. We can start with changing our fearful sentences into positive ones, like instead of “maybe I don’t deserve a high-profile job,” say, “I am made for a better job, that is more fulfilling and accomplishing.”
Now that you know the process, make a list of all your fears, write them down on a piece of paper, tell yourself that these are just my fears, and they have no control over me. Finally, tear that paper down.
2. Make Yourself a Priority
You have to start with believing in yourself. You cannot appreciate any other person till you know the art of appreciating yourself. Admire the person you see in the mirror everyday, and your perspective towards life will change, in a positive way. You can begin the journey of knowing yourself by investing time in doing what you love to do, and by being grateful for all that you have. Always remember, “Your attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards you.”
3. Change Your Perspective
Look at your current state as a challenge, a stepping stone, that this situation made you meet your higher self. You have had to go through it to grow through it. The experience you have had will go a long way with you, you own it, and you will become a better, and bigger person. Manage your sail by holding on to the good things, positive things, and all that you are thankful for in your life. They will work as your anchor in life.
4. Let New Thoughts Sink In
There are reasons you believe in the things you believe. Once you set yourself free of the fears, and you move past your challenge as a warrior. You are new as dew, it is when your inner voice will communicate with you, becoming your guide-light. This is where the voice of possibility says hello to you, and you become capable of doing bigger, and wondrous things in life. You will have a new flow of thoughts, a new way of looking at things and life. As if you got yourself a brand new pair of glasses, and you will be able to see beauty around you.
Whenever you find yourself surrounded by self-doubt, you can start over by following these four steps to bounce-out and reach the next level in your life. A new set of beliefs, and a leap of faith can teach you how to create a list of wishes that can genuinely come true. Anyone can do it, but at their own pace, and in their own time.
The best time of the year is here, and as Santa visits us at least once a year, are you brave enough to visit yourself?
Pick a belief. Flip it with something that works for you!
Written by: Jimmy Jain & Afreen Fatima
Society of Design Thinking Professionals