Beliefs: Nurture vs. Nature

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What do mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers, our ethnicity and even society at large all have in common? For better or worse, they have supplied the basic building blocks of the belief system that each of our lives are built on, often times being influenced by those who came before them. 

More often than not, people emphasize that where they’re at in life or how they think is based on their beliefs, their upbringing, their parents, etc. 

But before pointing the finger at someone else, know that we all, in turn, build on those primed ideas and values. We create and add plenty of our own beliefs through our observations, interpretations, and opinions of our experiences. We’re always busy collecting evidence to support our memorized way of thinking that creates our reality. 

Beliefs, defined as “an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists,” are initially fed to us and then cultivated both in us and by us; becoming the fabric of our temperament and the self-fulfilling prophecies of our lives. 

We are in charge here; we nurture our beliefs and they become our very nature. 

However, beliefs are really just habits of thought that we repeatedly return to so that we can remain in an emotionally familiar state of being – understanding and processing our lives and what’s going on around us in the same ways – with the same outcomes.

All beliefs have an emotional component to them; that’s what keeps them remaining as beliefs, even if they don’t serve you. There is an addictive quality to your beliefs that fosters how you experience yourself and your life. Therefore, in order to initiate lasting change, you need to know that beliefs and perceptions are changed by changing the way you think and feel.

It’s an inside out job and here’s your way forward!  

1.   Identify some of the beliefs about yourself and your life that you have been unconsciously agreeing to. 

It all begins with knowing your current core beliefs. (E.g. Life is difficult and no one cares | You can’t trust people | Life is serious business | It’s hard to change | Someone has to make me happy | Money is hard to come by | Living in pain is normal | Things never go my way | It’s tough to get ahead | I’m just not a lucky person | My race/culture is superior | There’s not enough to go around | There are no good men/women out there | Ageing is scary) 

The lists are endless, very personal, and can keep you from the very things you want. Because our brains are hard-wired for impending danger and doom, negative beliefs are often our default and the false illusions that hold us back from our potential and place in the world. Look closely for yours; this is the foundation these next steps will be built on.

2. Pinpoint where these beliefs come from.

3. Make a decision. Are these really true, something you heard, or made up?

4. What value did these beliefs have and what payoffs have they provided?

5. Do you want to continue believing and perceiving yourself and your life in this way?

6. What DO YOU WANT to believe and perceive about yourself and your life? 

Deep diving and challenging the beliefs and assumptions you’ve built the foundation of your life on allows you to now identify the new you! Based on what you now choose to believe about yourself and your life, consider how you would be thinking and feeling. Contemplate what you would now be saying to yourself and how your actions would be a reflection of that fresh inner dialog. This is how you build a new belief system, one belief at a time. 

Beliefs are meant to be in the process of change, evolving as you do! Knowing this allows you to stand at the intersection of choice and change, questioning your reactions, opinions, and expectations that constantly reveal your beliefs so you can shift and transform on both the conscious and unconscious levels, one belief at a time.

So let it be said that your beliefs are uniquely YOURS, thoughtfully constructed, experience after experience, always supporting the direction you are going and the person you want to be. Give yourself permission to own your role in creating your reality, nurturing the valuable beliefs that become the reflection of your very nature. 

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Amazing, Nancy, that my “word for this year is “Beliefs” yet I can’t think of anything to write in answer to the questions you present!! ok just thought of one I can say…I believe that as I continue with things that contribute to my “Self-development” I will be come a better person than I am now…..

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