Now is a Good Time to Question Yourself
Last week we talked about how we are not our beliefs. We’ve accumulated and developed our beliefs over the years, and they impact much of our lives. But we don’t have to hold on to them forever.
We are separate from our beliefs, and we can drop, add and change them when we choose.
The tricky part is recognizing them as beliefs.
For example, I recently changed my beliefs about getting old. I celebrated my 60th birthday earlier this year. Per my beliefs, that means I’m getting old. I didn’t realize this was a belief because it was just something I accepted, and I never bothered to question it.
Both of my parents died early. My father, before he was 60 and my mother shortly after. So for me, when you get to 60, you are pretty much done.
How do you change a belief like this? How can you shift your view of the world so turning 60 is not old, but young instead?
First, recognize it as a belief
I had the insight to this belief during a meditation session. I had a vision that my life was nearly over, and I was rotting at the ends. That was a wake-up call. I’m not ready to die.
Insights and inspirations come from a place of calm. When you are out for a walk in nature, taking a shower, or meditating, you give your mind a break.
When the chatter slows down, ideas flow more easily. That’s when you can start to see the world with a fresh perspective and question what is – and you can begin to sense your truths and absolutes as mere beliefs.
Second, find evidence that the belief might not be true
I have lots of evidence that 60 is old. In addition to my parents dying young, society celebrates youth and views older adults as a burden and suffering from all kinds of ailments and diseases.
At the same time, I’m surrounded by happy, successful seniors. There are several 60+-year-olds at my CrossFit gym working out.
I also think about my parents. While they died young, they lived very different lives than I do. My father smoked constantly, and my mother struggled with depression and smothering self-doubt.
I can choose – I’m not my parents and don’t have to follow their paths.
Third, find new evidence of a different belief
A belief is a thought that you’re convinced is real. In step 2, you questioned the belief, now it’s time to establish and reinforce a new one. It’s not so much a change in a belief; instead, you are putting more emphasis and energy toward an alternative.
For me, I choose to focus on how healthy I am and the many healthy people I know. The more I believe this new truth, the more I see evidence of it. Then when I see the proof, I recognize and emphasize it in my thinking. By reinforcing my new belief, it gets stronger.
Like we said last week, our beliefs are not us. We can choose to change them like we change our clothing. It takes awareness and discipline to make the change, but with practice and a heartfelt desire, you can do it.
This week, listen to yourself a little more. Be open to questioning what you think is true. Let us know what you learn.