One of the most fundamental concepts we believe in is the power of our beliefs. Beliefs influence everything in our lives, from how we interpret people and events to our ability to manipulate the world.
Our set of beliefs is like a handbook.
Google’s definition of a handbook is “a book giving information such as facts on a particular subject or instructions for operating a machine.”
The subject and machine are us. The “facts” are our beliefs.
As we think, we come to conclusions. Those conclusions become beliefs.
Beliefs are like rules
They are agreements we’ve made with ourselves to make living easier. They allow us to deal with what is right in front of us without having to spend time re-learning the details of every situation.
When we read or hear things and they make sense to us, we tend to believe them.
Beliefs are thoughts we believe are true
We generally don’t question our beliefs. They are such a part of how we view the world, we don’t even realize they are there. It’s like the first time you drove to work you saw the scenery in a completely different light than after years of the same commute. We get used to the same things and don’t stop to question them.
When we were young, we often reached conclusions without much thought because we heard it from a trusted authority. Many of our beliefs came from our childhood as we experienced life and as our parents or others in society made statements that we accepted as true without much thought on our part. How we view gender, race, and politics are usually well established as children.
The good news is since we create our beliefs we can change them. We’ve changed many of our beliefs over our lifetime. We no longer believe in the Tooth Fairy even though at one point she may have been very important to us.
Our handbook can be dynamic. We have the ability to add, change and delete all the entries in it.
Like most handbooks, we rarely take the time to go through our beliefs to make sure the rules and policies still apply. At one time it made sense to check with an authority figure (like mom) before we crossed the street, but as an adult, waiting for permission may no longer be useful.
Just like a handbook, our beliefs are available to us if we take the time to look.
We hope you will crack open your handbook to see which beliefs you like and which no longer apply. We also hope that by reading and following us, you will learn tools, exercises, and techniques to change the ones you choose.