Whose Voice is That Anyway?
Think your beliefs are static? Think again.
The other day I caught myself saying something I didn’t believe, “Money is hard to make and even more difficult to save.”
Whereas that belief may have been true for me in the past, I no longer believe it. And to be completely honest, it was never my belief to being with.
I picked it up from somebody else. And, over time, it can cause me to lose trust in myself.
We are all sponges—big, porous, and highly-absorbent sponges. Everything that we see, hear, taste, smell, touch, and perceive becomes a part of our experience. We interpret this data from our senses and form thoughts about it.
These thoughts become beliefs, and over time, create our reality—our perspective and viewpoint of the world around us.
There is a catch, however. Many of our beliefs did not come from our own experiences—they came from the opinions and experiences of others.
When we are children, our main source of truth comes from our environment and the people around us. We absorb their attitudes, actions, and words. We also inherit their beliefs—even if they keep us stuck.
So how do we know which beliefs are helping us and which are not?
Start by asking, “Where did that belief come from? How did I arrive at that opinion? Who said that to me?”
By asking questions, we may quickly realize we’re repeating something that someone else told us was true—at least, it was true for them.
Asking questions and challenging our assumptions lets us identify the voice of a teacher, parent, or friend who gave us advice. And even though we may have trusted that person, the information was coming from their experience, not ours.
When we discover our power to differentiate ourselves from others, we find a newfound freedom. And we can move ourselves beyond limiting beliefs.
If a belief does, in fact, serve you, then continue to use it. If not, think again—activate your power of choice and choose a new thought. Eventually that new thought will become your new belief.
From my opening story, my belief now becomes, “Money comes easily and I always have plenty to save.” This simple reframing of perspective affirms what is true for me now, and I learn to trust myself with this new belief. And you can do this, too.
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg is a career coach, best-selling author, and founder of The White Box Club™—live coaching and resources for people in career transition. Find his syndicated blogs on Thrive Global, Medium, and The Huffington Post. Learn more at connect.michaelcreative.com