Do you know how much beliefs affect your life?
Let me give you an example I discovered many years ago. I had a belief about people who didn’t use the English language correctly. The realization came to me completely out of the blue, and it directly impacted my job.
I was working as a recruiter shortly after I graduated. I started to notice I had a negative feeling after interviewing candidates for jobs if they didn’t speak clearly in English. Often their answers didn’t seem clear or concise, and I would find I myself negatively judging them, even if they had a stellar resume, great experience and matched many of the key job qualifications.
It was my first experience in finding a belief of mine that didn’t match who I thought I was.
After spending some time thinking about the feelings I had about the candidates, their resumes, other interviewers input and job match, I began to question my judgment. It was then I remembered my English classes in elementary school. One of my teachers taught me how important it was to speak clearly to get my thoughts across to others. I had somehow linked speaking English effectively to intelligence and competence. If you couldn’t communicate, how could you possibly perform in a job I had to fill? The belief I had stretched way back to my early grade school years and was impacting decisions I was making decades later as an adult.
This is why it is so important to take the time to understand what you think about. It plays out in our daily lives.
After I recognized the belief didn’t match who I wanted to be as an adult, I watched my thinking whenever I was in situations that required me to make a judgment of someone’s skills. If someone had an accent, English wasn’t their first language, or they didn’t get their point across as clearly as I thought they should, I took time to consider my thoughts.
Was I making judgments based on their qualifications or was I defaulting to the feelings based on that old belief? It took some time, but I was able to change that mindset by questioning my thoughts if they didn’t match all the evidence.
Do you take the time to understand if your beliefs reflect who you are today?
Old beliefs may be impacting your thinking about many different subjects, people, and situations. You may have beliefs that are combined with some other experience to create a new belief that you’re not aware of and it leads to what I call the worst kind of ignorance. You don’t know, what you don’t know. It’s tough to change because you have to recognize the belief before you can make any modifications.
It might be worth taking the time to look at your thoughts and the beliefs they reinforce. You may be making decisions that go against what you truly want to achieve.