What are your true, deep-down beliefs?
It matters. What you believe comes from past experiences and how you grew up and it absolutely influences how you approach your life.
“Something always goes wrong.” Things don’t work out. It happens, but when you approach everyday events from this place, your senses are open to finding things that don’t meet expectations. Something will go wrong because you’re looking for any exception to perfection. How would it feel to be open to the present moment and allow how things are unfolding to just be? Without judgement. It feels pretty risky and counter-productive, right? Maybe the gift of this moment isn’t perfection, but presence and an opportunity to experience life deeply.
“The world is a terrible place.” This is another example of finding exactly the examples you are looking for to confirm your belief. Yes. Terrible things happen all day every day all the time always have and always will. If you focus on it you will find it. Could you try to move your attention towards the beautiful things? The warm wind on your skin. The cool refreshment of a glass of water. The feeling of your breath entering your body. The comfort of your clothing. The beauty of a plant growing near you. The pattern of the bricks on the wall beside you. The blue of the sky. The chill in the air. The freshness of the earth around you during rain. The silence of snowfall. Bringing attention back to what is around and within you can help you see the beauty and joy of the bigger world. It takes effort because humans have needed to scan for danger until relatively recently in order to survive. We are living in safer times but have access to all of the troubles of the world. “Seek and ye shall find.” Breathe deep and search for the best possible things to focus on. You will begin to notice more of it.
“I don’t have enough time.” Life is busy. I know I feel it too. It takes a conscious effort to scan through life and create time and space for what matters. Find what is crucial to you and move towards it. Social media can be a moment to disconnect and take a break from the world around you, but where is it taking your focus? Is it creating a feeling of connection and growth or a feeling of lack and irritation? Is going out for a drink or two with friends an opportunity to socialize or a recipe for a hang-over and an unproductive day after? Is where you’re focusing your time growing you, keeping you the same, or actively holding you back? You can invest your time or waste it, it’s a resource like any other. Take an inventory of how you spend your time and perhaps consider reinvesting it differently.
These are just a few examples of beliefs that commonly come up in life. Beliefs direct focus and will look for ways to reinforce themselves. It can be a challenge, but I encourage you to sit down and look at what you believe deep-down about things like money, your body, your home, relationships, food, movement, your job, even your future. Approach it without judgement and notice what comes up in your body. Experience how your beliefs make you feel. This is different than witnessing your thoughts and trying to change them. Thoughts come up in the moment and are an indicator of how things are going, but beliefs are deeper. I guess you could see beliefs as a summary of multiple thoughts on certain topics. The feeling of the belief is what is going to get you lasting change. Being in your body and allowing everything to be witnessed without judgement is what is going to allow you to discern patterns and reprogram how you approach life. Challenging every single thought you have all the time is exhausting and doesn’t honor the emotional reality of the beliefs in your body. Taking time to examine your deeper beliefs is worth the effort.
It really isn’t easy to focus on some of the things that we believe about life, but it’s so worth it to explore. Once you know what you believe and how it shapes how you experience the world, you can look at changing everything. If this sounds too big or frightening to work on alone, I encourage you to work with a therapist. Having a guide can be helpful, but the work ultimately has to be done by you. This effort and examination of your life and inner world will help guide you towards new realities that you can consciously choose. You can choose to believe the world is wonderful, that you have all of the time you need, and that situations unfold so that you can have a variety of life experiences. You can move forward with a bright and shiny set of beliefs that will lead your focus into new and expanded places.
“Where attention goes energy flows.”