Did you know that what you believe could have a lot to do with how your life turns out? While it’s not true that belief will conquer everything, it’s definitely true that anyone who believes they’re a failure isn’t going to succeed as much. Likewise, studies have shown that optimists tend to achieve higher rates of success than people who tend to be more pessimistic. If you believe you’re going to succeed, you have a much higher chance of actually getting where you want to go. Your beliefs about yourself, about other people, and about the world around you can have a huge influence on your life. If you think that other people are holding you back, there’s a good chance that it’ll turn out to be true.
But beliefs are strongly ingrained, and most of us don’t even know that we have them. It’s hard to realize that you have a set of beliefs that are hurting you or someone else. It takes some careful self examination, and a lot of the time, it also requires some input from someone outside the situation. Many people won’t ever realize what their beliefs are doing to them, or that those beliefs can be changed. However, if you do learn that you can change what you believe, and change your life too, you’re on the road to personal improvement.
The first step is taking a look at what you really believe. If you have a problem or a situation you don’t like, stop and think about it. Write down what you genuinely believe about it and about yourself. Don’t lie, or fudge the truth so it looks better. After all, your results will depend strongly on your ability to be honest with yourself. When you’re done, take a look at the list you have. What you see might surprise you. Many of us have detrimental or problematic beliefs that cause us to run into trouble on a daily basis.
After all, if you believe you won’t get a job, you’re going to be less inclined to get out there with a good resume, and less inclined to exploit all your opportunities and advantages. If you believe that you have a chance, you’ll be more inclined to take advantage of what you have to work with. Good beliefs don’t guarantee success – nothing really can. However, they’re an extremely important part of the foundation to a healthy, happy, successful life. It’s hard to build anything worthwhile and stable on an unsound foundation, after all. If you don’t really believe in yourself, or if you think that the world is out to get you, it’s going to be that much harder to become the kind of person you really want to be.
So, now that you have a list of what you believe, it’s time to sort those beliefs out. Which beliefs seem to be harmful, negative, or likely to cause you problems? They’re the ones you need to work on. Think about where they come from, and where you learned them. Did they come from a friend or family member, a teacher, or someone who was influential in your life? Are they the result of a negative experience? Have you developed these beliefs to justify something else about yourself that you don’t really want to face? There are all kinds of reasons we might have an unhealthy belief. Most of the time, we never made a conscious decision to think this way. But the results are the same, no matter where the belief came from.
Once you know what you need to change and you know where that belief came from, you can work on altering it. Take the time to carefully examine the way things really work from an objective point of view. If you feel like you’re incapable of succeeding, ask other people to give you their honest opinion. Choose people you trust to tell you seriously, rather than the people you think will tell you what you want to hear. Look for ways to alter that belief into a more positive one that’s grounded in reality. It can take a long time, and be a long journey. However, in the end you’ll have a much more solid belief system, and the ability to become who you want to be.