What is a belief? One definition is, ‘Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion.’ But my personal favourite is: ‘A thought you keep on thinking.’ I love it due to its simplicity but also because it provides its own antidote or instruction manual - depending on whether the belief is a positive one or not.
What we believe is what we get.
There are millions of possible interpretations for what we experience during our time on Earth, and although many people will SEE some things from the same perspective none will exactly FEEL the same emotions regarding them.
Those emotions are key to understanding the difference between THINK POSITIVE and FEEL POSITIVE. We can think as positively as we like but the second a negative emotion comes along, that thought will be swatted aside like King Kong to a mosquito.
The real weight behind belief is how we FEEL about it, more than how we think. If enough people told you that you had to work hard all your life because everyone had always done so, you would likely comply because the thought of not belonging to the group (refer to our primal instinct for self-preservation) would equate to potentially losing your safety. Then this thought would turn into the emotion of fear. Therefore, most would rather decide to stick to what they knew - the existing system - and would bypass the potential negative feeling a new course would engender in them. If you somehow felt safe and/or excited enough about living a different lifestyle with new experiences, new possibilities would, no doubt, begin to appear in your life.
Most of our core beliefs are forged during our IMPRINT period (0-7 years old). They are usually highly influenced by our ‘gods’ – our parents, guardians, teachers as well as siblings, school friends and peers. We may have had a religious or culturally plentiful upbringing. Our environment and climate could have played a part as well. And most will use the types of experiences and boundaries learnt in this period and carry them throughout their lives. Remember, ‘If you argue for your limitations you may get to keep them. But if you argue for your possibilities you get to create them! ’ – Kelly Lee Phipps.
I see our belief a little bit like a balloon. It can stretch but only so far. However, unlike a balloon the more you stretch it the easier it finds it to extend itself; the more flexible it becomes.
For example, a particular young musician performing live for the first time may find it plausible to perform in front of a small group at a friend’s house. However, their belief system is unlikely to stretch enough to allow them the possibility of performing at Wembley stadium in front of thousands of people. They may be able to dream that they could do this LATER but likely not as a first-time performance - as their brain, obsessed with being right, would likely not invite-in the possibility of failure, so would dissuade its owner from even trying. On the other hand, we all have different belief-stretching capabilities based on the development and allowances of our imagination, and it may well be that an exceptional person could be absolutely convinced they would play on that huge stage and, remembering that our unconscious mind absorbs several million bits of information every second, the resources to make that happen could well be allowed to find their way to them based on the strength of their will. The difference is that when we believe we OPEN the doors to the possibility of something specific and/or new to occur, and our brains search through their databases to find the resources needed to prove themselves right (those stubborn, prideful cerebrums). And when we don’t believe we CLOSE those doors to match that belief. In most cases, the young performer would graduate (that is, stretch their ‘belief muscle’) one performance at a time, increasing the audience and venue sizes progressively until the dream would finally be reached. Many, however, allow the ‘thinking’ part of the brain to stick to what it already knows and, therefore, the dream eventually stalls.
So, the message here is: BELIEVE before you see the evidence of it. Stretch that muscle, by all means, but do it at a pace that is both challenging without being demoralising. Put in steps that will provide you encouragement and evidence of success on the way. Reach for the stars but make the first step learning to fly.
And GO FOR IT!!!