WHAT is a BELIEF?
What is a belief? Quite simply, a belief is a concept that we
have come to accept as truth.
There are beliefs that are based on facts or
evidence, and there are others that may come from faith or even superstition.
However, the bottom line for each one of us is that the beliefs we hold are
true for us.
Fact or Fiction?
It is quite possible to believe something that isn’t true.
Many of us were totally convinced of the existence of Santa Claus as children,
until life eventually taught us otherwise. We may also have experienced
situations such as believing a sibling was responsible for the disappearance of
a favorite toy, only to discover it years later buried in our own secret hiding
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what is a Belief that is hard to let go of?
Sometimes, even when a belief is shown to be untrue, we may
be reluctant to let go of it. In the first example, accepting that Santa is
fictional means the end to the magic of believing, and possibly the stream of
gifts delivered in his name.
In the second scenario, it may be tempting to go
with a variation on our original belief in the wrongdoing of our sibling, such
as claiming that they obviously hid the toy as a prank, rather than to admit
that we ourselves were wrong.
What is a Belief that
Starts In Childhood?
Many deeply ingrained beliefs are those that were taught to
us, deliberately or otherwise, from our early years. Some of these beliefs can
be valuable to us as we navigate our way through life, and we can consider
ourselves fortunate if these were instilled in our mindset from childhood.
Some empowering beliefs that we may be raised with include
concepts that we live in a world of possibilities, that all people are equal
and deserve kindness and respect, that success is a journey, and that our lives
are what we make of them.
What is a Belief From
Childhood That is Negative?
Obviously, there are plenty of less positive beliefs that we
may be trained into from childhood, and these can be harmful to our wellbeing,
and also hard to shake.
The easiest way to know whether a belief is unhelpful is to
notice how it feels when you think it. Contemplate a negative belief that may
have been taught to you through words or behavior, such as “You will never
amount to anything.” If you feel awful when you think this, you can be very
certain that this belief is not good for you!
Other Places Beliefs
Other than the beliefs that are learned early in life, there
are various ways that you develop the collection of beliefs that comprise your
A very common situation is to pick beliefs up from those
around as you go through life. This happens either by hearing words, observing
circumstances, or both. You might be encouraged by others to adopt these
beliefs, or it may be a conscious or unconscious choice you make.
Beliefs also form when life demonstrates a certain
“reality.” A thought may not become a belief until evidence appears to support
the thought. It is important to remember that focus creates a cycle.
on anything, wanted or unwanted, attracts things similar to what we are focused
on. We then consider this as proof of the truth of our thoughts, and continue
to think the thoughts, allowing them to develop into fully-fledged beliefs.
Wherever your beliefs got started, the most important thing is
learning to recognize what are beliefs that are really not doing you any favors.
Just realizing that a belief is dragging you down is an
excellent first step towards swapping it for one that is more aligned with your
Once you have reached this awareness that a certain belief
is not good for you, and that you want to be free from it, you can begin taking
steps to replace the belief.
You can use mindset training techniques to change negative beliefs,
as these give you practical ways of gradually building more positive beliefs; beliefs that not only help you move forward in
living your best life, but beliefs that feel good when you think them!
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