Powerful Questions Podcast: What do you need to un-learn about yourself?
As I said in the previous episode I believe that we all are works in progress, we change and adapt and adopt new behaviors all the time. When we are faced with new situations we might react differently. These might be small changes day-to-day, and you might not even notice them. But one day what you might notice is that you are not at all a person you believed you were.
Why does that happen?
As you live your life, you continuously do and say something, you deal with the situations that occur in certain ways, you act and react. Depending on all that and how you think about your life occurrences, situations and how you act in them, thoughts start forming in your head. Repetitive thoughts. Those might be about yourself, about the world around you, about people in general or specific persons. As you continuously think these same thoughts, you start believing them. They become not just thoughts that occur as a reaction to a certain situation – they become your fixed beliefs.
The thing with beliefs is… Sometimes they are really helpful and make your life easier. You know what to think because you already believe certain things. Choices might be easier if you are sure about what you know.
But… Sometimes those beliefs are not helpful to you at all. Some beliefs might be really holding you back and keeping you from achieving what you want to achieve in your life. And that is why I think that sometimes we really need to un-learn something about ourselves to move forward in our lives.
For example, if you believe big money cannot be earned, you will unconsciously act in a way that proves that belief. You will be looking for proof amongst your friends and acquaintances and dismissing any opposite evidence. You will avoid taking any action to earn a lot of money because you believe that it cannot be done in an honest way. So this belief might keep you from achieving prosperity.
Or let’s take another example, this time of a belief that you have about yourself. For example, you believe that you are very shy. You might have gotten your belief when you were very young and unsure about yourself. Years have passed, you studied, had jobs, were successful in those jobs. And if you really think about it, there might be no evidence whatsoever in your life that you are shy. But you still believe it about yourself because once it was a fixed belief that you have formed. And most of us never really challenge the beliefs we have once formed about ourselves. Again, because we believe they are true.
In this example, this belief does not bring any added value to your life. If anything, it can distort your understanding of yourself and make you less confident.
So if this belief does not really bring you any added value, why do you keep it? It is just unnecessary baggage that you are carrying around everywhere you go.
Now the really tricky part is to discover those beliefs. Because we think they are true, it is not so easy to identify them as “beliefs”. You just think they are facts.
What you can try is just sitting down with a piece of paper and writing anything that comes to mind as your “belief”. You can start by just continuing some sentences:
I believe that I am….
I believe that everyone in the world is…
I believe that the world is…
This will help you get to you thoughts that you usually think without being aware of them. Write down as many things as you can. The last ones will be the least obvious ones and might bring you more insights.
After you have wrote all those down, look at your beliefs and start thinking. What is the impact on your life of having those beliefs? Are they positively influencing your life? Or are they holding you back? Try to unwrap where those beliefs are coming from. Some beliefs come from the past. Some beliefs come from a particular situation. Think what would happen in your life if you believed something different?
And now choose for yourself: What do you want to believe?