The beliefs we carry run our lives like invisible GPS systems.
Often times, unbeknownst to us, these beliefs are the deciding factor in the actions we take or don’t take, in how we react or respond, as well as most of our choices in life. They affect our love lives, relationships, carriers, home life, and everything in between.
Most of the time these beliefs lurk just below the surface of our conscious mind, unseen and unheard to the physical ear, yet they are in the driver’s seat. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why you believe the things you do? Or where you got those beliefs?
Have you ever questioned your own beliefs to see if they still fit you, or if perhaps you’ve outgrown them?
I can’t help but wonder why we allow belief systems to dictate our lives, yet so many of us never stop to pull them out and see what they are all about. It’s madness when you think about it. It’s like handing over the car keys to someone you don’t know, letting them tie you up in the back seat, and trusting they aren’t driving you off a cliff.
Really though, it is. It might sound extreme to some, but I will never forget the moment I was challenged to question my own belief systems. I took all my ideas and beliefs about myself, the world, and life in general and aired them out in the daylight. In that moment I had one of the greatest realizations of my life:
I, and my beliefs were the only things that had been holding me back throughout my life. I. Me. My mind. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. There was no one left to blame. My deeply ingrained self-defeating belief systems had been sabotaging my every move for 34 years of life. And I was absolutely done with it.
I was tired of failing, of trying only to give up, of starting but never finishing, of running away from vulnerability and of giving all the power in my life to others.
I mean what the f*ck? I was drowning out there while waiting for the magic hand of God to cut me a break, when I saw that I had to take the action first. I had to throw away everything I thought I knew about life because, as smart as I am, I knew nothing about how to live happy and free.
Our beliefs come from the ideas, actions, and dynamics of our families and society. They are subliminally programmed through the actions of others and how we perceive and internalize outside stimuli. Part of the process of rewriting beliefs is to look at where they came from. Why do you have said belief? Is this belief rooted in reality when you look at it now?
For example, three years ago, when I looked at my belief that being emotionally vulnerable or expressive meant I was weak, I viewed this belief with the eyes of my 34-year-old self, instead of the two-year-old who was raised in dysfunction, and I saw how absurd it was. It simply was invalid in my reality at that moment. Yet I carried the belief for years, and it caused a lot of suffering in me until I let it go.
Here are the beliefs I find so prevalent amongst us today that we must rewrite in order to find peace, happiness, and serenity. These beliefs will sabotage and hold us back if we continue to allow them to.
- “I can’t.“ It’s simply not true. Yes, you can. And you will, if you get out of your own way. You can do anything you put your mind to. I still catch myself occasionally saying, “I can’t,” yet now it is foreign to me and when I say it I see what I am doing. Subconsciously I can’t is a front for “I’m too lazy to put in the effort to achieve this.” Two years ago I would’ve said “I can’t be a writer, I didn’t finish college.” And I would’ve been stuck bartending while I hated the world. Guess what I did instead? I said, I can do something different in my life. And I started taking actions. Now, I am a salaried writer, and I am almost finished with my first book. I can. You can.
- “I don’t deserve (insert whatever it is).” This one plagued me for years. Yes, you deserve every bit of success and happiness that you see everyone else living. If your belief is that you are undeserving, this is your ego talking and you need to let it go. Sh*t happens to all of us growing up—we get abused, mistreated, ignored, overlooked, abandoned, and so on. As children we then tell ourselves, “it must mean there is something wrong with me.” Well, there’s not. You’re perfect and lovable as you are. When we stop living life based on the actions of someone who failed us early on—due to their own sufferings and blocks—we find real freedom and space for empowerment. If you can come to see how the actions of others say more about them than they do about you, this can help you rewrite this belief. In disciplined and dedicated meditation practice you will come to see we are all the same, and we are all connected. No one is better than anyone else and we all deserve love and happiness. But we have to allow ourselves to receive it.
- “If I’m not busy I’m not succeeding.” False! Society has us running around multitasking everywhere we go, and it’s a trap. Ask yourself, “who says I have to be on the go, go, go to be successful?” I am more successful now than ever before, and I spend more time in quiet contemplation, meditation, yoga, prayer and solitude then I’ve ever done before. And you know what? Happiness, blessings, abundance and prosperity flow into my life constantly. I decline invitations often because I can’t be everywhere at once and be happy. I have boundaries and limits on how much I will fit into a day and I stick with them.
- “If I just achieve this, or get that, I will be happy.” Biggest trap ever! Society instills in us early on that we need things from outside to be happy and complete. This is completely false. When we stop believing this lie we see happiness comes from within, and when we connect from within we suddenly find that no matter what we have or don’t have, we are happy. Rewriting this belief is a magical occurrence and it opens up the floodgates of gratitude, prosperity and happiness. When we stop needing and expecting happiness from outside, the floodgates open and the flow of attraction energy is able to flood in. Seeking the satisfaction outwardly puts a giant brick wall in front of satisfaction.
- “I’m just not lucky.” This too, is another write off by the ego which will keep you trapped. Attributing everyone else’s success and happiness to luck is the most disempowering belief you can carry. I have a friend who swears I’m so lucky because I achieve most things I set out to do. She forgets that a few years ago I was homeless, strung out and on the verge of suicide. I took my power back by rewriting my belief systems and giving my life over to the power of God. Attributing success and happiness to luck stops the train right in its tracks. There is no luck to it, it’s merely cause and effect. I believe anything is possible and I can do anything I want, so when I put the work in to achieve my goals, I meet them. When I quit halfway through, I don’t. There’s no luck to it.
If you often feel as though you see everyone else living happy and free while you are stuck in bitterness and feelings of failure, perhaps it’s time to examine your beliefs. If you feel bitter, jealous and resentful, or like nothing you do ever pays off, then give it a try. What can it hurt? I was so miserable by the time I started the process, I felt I had nothing to lose. it certainly couldn’t have made me more miserable than I was.
If you don’t try you will never know.
But remember, like anything worth having, it’s going to take work.
You’re worth it.
I would love to hear about your beliefs in the comments below!
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: Natalia Drepina/Deviantart