Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” — Henry Ford
Watch your thoughts (and beliefs), they become words.
What your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.–Frank Odtlaw
These quotes point to a vital part of living a fulfilling and satisfying life — our beliefs. What we believe has a tremendous influence on who we are, what we do and the results we have. So let’s take a look at beliefs from a Life On Purpose Perspective including how we can change or upgrade those beliefs that no longer serve us. Let’s start by looking at what a belief is and what is its composition. Try this on:
A belief is a pattern of thought and feelings that have continued to repeat to the point that you have come to believe it to be true. Our beliefs are made up of these molecules of meaning of thoughts and feelings.
And they occur at different levels of strength or power to shape our lives. There are beliefs like “I believe in playing fair.” We believe something and we recognize it as a belief, and while they have the power to shape our lives like a ‘stand’ for something, they aren’t as powerful as beliefs that go around masquerading as the truth.
For example, many people have the belief, “life isn’t fair,” but it doesn’t occur to them like a belief. Instead to them it’s a fact or reality. I refer to these powerful masquerading beliefs as misbeliefs. Another common misbelief is “I’m not good enough.”
We can further distinguish beliefs as those that enhance our lives and those that distract from our lives. The former would be patterns of thought and feeling that are aligned with and arise from the same place as our Divinely Inspired Life Purpose (that place of Universal Love, abundance and flow), and the latter from the same place as our Inherited Purpose (from fear, lack-based thinking, and a need to struggle to survive).
And how do these misbeliefs (belief masquerading as the truth) get formed? It often starts with something happening to us that sparks our feeling unsafe or threatened. In those moments, the default mechanism of the Inherited Purpose takes over and before we know it we’ve formed fear-based molecule of meaning in the form of a judgment, interpretation or opinion, except that it doesn’t appear as a a simple opinion. Right from the get go it occurs like a fact.
The guy who cuts you off in traffic almost causing you to have a wreck doesn’t occur as a jerk — he is a jerk, and that’s a fact in that moment. Once one of these fear-based molecules of meaning become formed we often begin to collect evidence for them like a snowball rolling down hill building up layers of meaning. The evidence can take many different forms including circumstances that are consistent with the misbelief (suddenly you have a preponderance of jerky men showing up in your life), results that confirm the belief, and people who share the misbelief and therefore fortify our belief in them, etc.
Over time we build up a belief system based in fear, lack and struggle. While this system of beliefs may appear to keep us safe and secure from the many dangers of life, it ultimately doesn’t serve us to live a purposeful and meaningful life of joy and satisfaction. So, how do we upgrade these misbeliefs that are not serving us?
Well, it all starts with awareness, right? We have to first locate a belief that is distracting us from living on purpose. Now that’s not always as easy as it sounds because, remember, many of these misbeliefs look and feel like reality, so we have to be pretty awake and aware to even call them into question, and that is the starting point.
It’s also a lot of what the whole Life On Purpose Process is about especially the distinctions of your Divinely Inspired Life Purpose and your Inherited Purpose. In fact, the Inherited Purpose is a perfect example of a misbelief that has been masquerading as the truth (or in many cases a set of misbeliefs.) That brings up another important point. These beliefs are often found in clusters that are interconnected. So you might have a belief that ‘life isn’t fair’ and another one ‘I’m not strong or smart enough to deal with how unfair life is, etc.’
Okay, that’s a good start. In out next article we’ll look at ways to upgrade a disempowering belief to one that empowers and enhances your life. In preparation for this, I encourage you to identify 1 or 2 misbeliefs – something about life and/or yourself that feels true to you that if it weren’t true you’d be able to live life much more abundantly and fulfilled.
I also encourage you to share those misbeliefs with me through the Life On Purpose Blog. Come on, play along with me on this, and you may just find that together we can create a breakthrough in your life. Leave your comments, questions and what belief you’re ready to upgrade.