Have you ever sat down and really thought about what you believe in? If you were to write down your beliefs around marriage, money, relationships, men/women, family, health, work, happiness, life, religion and so on, would you know which of those beliefs you hold are empowering you and which are limiting you from being the best you can be? Would you be able to identify where your beliefs come from? Was it a person, an event or the environment that surrounded you at the time of creating that belief?
I challenge you to spend some time reflecting on the question, “What do I believe in?” It may help you to use the 8 life areas (emotional, partner, money, vocation/career, spiritual, personal development, family/social and health) to identify beliefs you hold, positive and negative. Make a list of these beliefs, putting them in the following categories:
This belief I want to alter.
This belief I want to keep.
This belief I want to eliminate.
The purpose of this exercise is to discover the beliefs and ideas we carry and realising that they determine who we are right now and why we are, where we are, right now. Many of us carry belief systems that serve no purpose whatsoever other than holding us back from achieving what we really want to achieve in life. By gaining insight into the beliefs that mold us, we are given the amazing opportunity to keep those beliefs we know will help us to grow while discarding those that keep us from being our true SELF.
Let me share one of my past limiting beliefs around money. I grew up hearing my father always saying, 'I would rather have love than money". My father believed that love was more important than money. He also didn't believe that one could have both in one's life. I adopted this belief for a very long time and it reflected in many of my relationships with other people. As long as I felt loved, then the money wasn't important. In the last five years, I have realised that I can have both and that it's perfectly healthy to want to have both - yes, even the money part!
Through creating awareness around each of your beliefs, you will be empowered to choose which ones to alter so they serve you more positively, which ones to keep and focus on so that you may grow continuously and which ones to eliminate altogether. Be scrupulous with each one of your beliefs by being objective. Make a list of pros and cons. Is it your belief to carry or was it someone else’s that you adopted? Listen to your intuition (that deep, gut feeling) when you are not sure if the belief you carry serves you or not. If your tummy aches when you say the belief out loud then know that it makes you uncomfortable to hold that belief! Why? Consider if this belief needs to now be challenged. Always, always ask the question, “Does this belief serve me in a positive way?”
Now, remember, I am a great believer in “applied knowledge is power”! So, you have discovered how your belief system drives you (or doesn’t!). Now, you need to actively work on your different beliefs every day – breaking down those you want to eliminate and building up those you want to alter and keep. You can do this by choosing one belief each day, reflecting on it and then either actively work on getting rid of it (if it no longer serves you) or (if it serves you in a healthy, positive way) applying it, in as many ways as you can, throughout your day.
It’s not easy acknowledging that your beliefs system may not be serving you in a positive way. It means acknowledging that you have held onto beliefs that not only mold you as the person you are now but also explains why you are where you are at the moment. Change isn’t easy. But, let me remind you of my favourite description for the word CHANGE:
C – clearing of what no longer serves you allows for,
H – healing to take place,
A – and so gives space for,
N – new,
G – gifts to,
E – emerge.
When you clear out those beliefs that no longer serve you, you are allowing for healing to take place within your SELF. And, as the clearing and healing takes place, you will be creating beautiful space for new, empowering beliefs (what wonderful gifts to give to yourself) to emerge.