I am frequently asked these questions: How do we form our beliefs? Where do our beliefs come from?
I believe that they come to us from many different sources and through a variety of media.
What’s even more scary – sometimes all it takes is a tiny bit of data to completely alter an existing belief or to form a new one.
To borrow an example from my book, Life Sinks or Soars – the choice is yours, you turn on the evening news and watch a story of a local politician – perhaps someone you have respected and supported – being arrested and led out of his office in handcuffs, having been caught red-handed accepting a bribe.
Do you still respect him? Do you still think he is honest?
More than likely the sixty second news story and video clip has provided you with more than enough information to completely shift your opinion of this politician 180° to the point where you may in fact now view him with disdain.
Think that doesn’t happen? It does.
Another example may be after numerous failed efforts to quit smoking, you are convinced you do not possess the fortitude to ever quit smoking, so really, why even try.
Or maybe, stinging things you heard years ago, “You’re no good.” and “You’ll never amount to anything,” haunt you so much that even today you have accepted them as your very own personal truth.
As we can see, beliefs come to us from many different sources. Some assist greatly in our everyday lives and others serve as barriers to our dreams. Regardless of how we acquired a belief, it can always be replaced with a new one. If you recall from last week, by selecting and creating a few uplifting, inspirational statements about yourself – even if you don’t believe a word of them today – you have already begun to create the you that you have always wanted to be.
It is said if we say something enough times we will believe it. This is something I think many of us can attest to because all our negative, self-critical thoughts and beliefs have come about through our repetition. Not someone repeating it to you, but by you repeating it to yourself.
Starting today, with those few powerful statements, you can begin to change your tomorrow’s forever. The more often you repeat them to yourself – and the more passionately you do so while allowing yourself to experience the empowering feelings that accompany those thoughts – the quicker they will become your reality.
Many critics of affirmations have told me they just don’t work. I beg to disagree. We all use affirmations although, sadly, often to our own detriment.
Dictionary.com lists the meaning of affirmation as:
1. the act or an instance of affirming; state of being affirmed.
2. the assertion that something exists or is true.
3. something that is affirmed; a statement or proposition that is declared to be true.
4. confirmation or ratification of the truth or validity of a prior judgment, decision, etc.
Using these definitions, every thought rendered or sentence uttered is potentially an affirmation. When we complain about the weather, whine about the economy or talk with excited expectation of our upcoming holiday, we are affirming the belief we have in that moment.
For the past several weeks we have been discussing the steps required, and the formula to be followed in creating and empowering and sustainable habits.
The first step is in ensuring the beliefs we have are consistent with the long-term future we desire.
Between now and next week, take every opportunity you can to read, recite, memorize and tell yourself the affirmations you created last week.
Do it now, do it often and make it a must-do-frequently part of each day.
This is your new story and it will soon become your new life.
And next week we will add the next piece.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.