Can You Believe It?

photo by CC

What exactly are beliefs?  When we think of beliefs what is the first thing that comes to mind? Religion, morals, political beliefs?  We often place our beliefs into categories then will actually stand up and fight to defend them, our beliefs make us human.

 What about the other beliefs which are ingrained in our lives?  My parents grew up in the Great Depression when food was scarce and belongings were sparse.  I can remember mom telling me that when she was in middle school she and her sister had one pair of shoes between them and would take turns wearing them.

Because of their circumstances and life experiences, my parents had beliefs that followed them into adult hood, throughout their lives, and they shared them with their children such as:

  • Food is scarce, you eat what is on your plate.
  • You take care of your belongings.
  • We don’t have money to waste.
  • If it’s a “want” and not a “need” then you should think awhile before getting it.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • If someone hurts you, don’t forget that.  You can forgive them, but just be aware they might come back and do the same thing later.
  • Keep a steady job and a steady income; it’s not so important what you do as it is important that the bills are getting paid.
  • Going out to eat is not necessary.
  • The fancy China is only used for very special occasions.
  • If you really like something, then you should get more than one because then if it gets lost or broken, you still have it.
  • Respect your elders.
  • It’s important to keep the peace and if you’re told to do something a certain way then you should do it that way.  If you think of another way to do it, then you might be able to bring it up later.
  • Let your imagination run wild, but color within the lines.
  • Books will never lose their value because people will always read.

These are but a few of the beliefs that get passed down, some of them are good, some are not so good, but every single one of them were meant with good intentions.

Through our interactions with other people, television, radio, and ads there is a constant barrage of input that our brains take and categorize for reference later.  What’s more is we unwittingly and unknowingly pass many of these things on to the people around us and our children, good intentions, but not always good advice.

If you tell a child they are dyslexic and have a learning disability.  True, they may have both, but the difference on whether that child uses that knowledge as a handicap and see’s themselves as being far less than they can be is all in how the people around them approach the situation.  If they are constantly moved forward without the struggle to improve, celebrating achievements, and working to get where they need to be, then they will truly be handicapped and waiting for someone to hand them a job, hand them a solution, and be stuck with whatever they get handed. 

 We all have limiting belief systems we have embedded in our characters, but the things we see as limitations often aren’t, they are simply beliefs that need to be either adjusted or thrown out.  We have the choice on where we set our own limitations and whether we will continue to believe, things like – “there’s not enough money,” “don’t throw that away because you might need it later,” or “don’t take unnecessary risks.” These are truly choices that are up to us.  We don’t have to listen to those tired voices repeating the same old patterns; we can rewrite and reset our limits as we go and create new patterns more in tune with who we are at present.

 Cherry Coley ©


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