Choosing a belief

Sonya was always passed up for promotion. She worked hard, met her targets and yet when the time came for rewards, she was ignored. Subsequently she changed 3 jobs, but had the same experience there as well.

Slowly the resentment built up in her and she started to slack off at work. What was the use; she would never get rewarded anyway. And for the next 12 years or so of her working life, she believed that she was unlucky and things would never change. And guess what, they never did.

So Sonya’s belief that she was unlucky became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now someone might argue that she could not be blamed for her belief, as it was an outcome of her experiences. It was simply an unfortunate pattern that kept repeating itself. Or better still, it was her destiny.

But if you look deeper, you might find out that process of belief creation is not that elementary. It’s a many-layered process and deserves a much more examined approach than we care to give it.

Lets examine the various aspects of belief creation and its impact on our lives.

1. Subtle yet powerful mechanism – Our beliefs are usually formed much before we are even aware of them or have acknowledged them. In fact the birth of a belief is often an uneventful affair. You don’t even realise that you have started subscribing to it or associating with it. To top it all, most of it are not even our own. They are pushed down our throats by our parents, teachers, or society.
And this happens when you are your most vulnerable, as a child. But the belief roots deep within you and with every experience or situation, you add on more substance and drama to it.
Gradually it becomes a fundamental premise of your life. And then you start to filter all our life experiences through your set of beliefs. You pick the parts that coincide or strengthen your beliefs and reject the rest. You cling to them, defend them, and celebrate them, almost to the point of eliminating all contrary views. And the funny part is that you just don’t confine the scope of belief to yourself, you feel some sort of a right to impose it on everyone else. Most of the intolerance in the world today is rooted in one individual or group trying\g to impose its belief on the other.

2. Open to interpretation – Two people might see the same painting and arrive at completely different perspectives. In the above example, another person in Sonya’s place might have arrived at a completely different conclusion and tried an alternative course of action or behaviour to solicit the desired result. But we are quick to create beliefs, and equally quick to latch on to them without checking if they can hold their ground. And if we keep repeating an experience, it is because life is trying to teach us something. But in our haste, we keep missing the lesson and hence keep repeating the experience.

3. Using the belief as a shield – Once we start believing something, we can settle back in our comfort zone and feel absolved of the responsibility to try something different. Plus you can hide behind it every time you are asked to try something new.

4. Self-affirming phenomenon – The universe is an open field of potentiality. What you can imagine, what you want to believe, you start creating. In short whatever you focus on, becomes stronger. So if you believe you are creative, then your intent, you approach, as well as all that you attract in your life including people and situations works towards re-affirming your belief. Plus once you make a choice, you give up your right to the other choice. For example if I tell you to hold your left leg in the air, then you close the possibility of raising your right leg. It has to be on the ground. So as soon as you choose belief A, you choose to miss out on the possibilities brought on by Belief B. As long as your beliefs are expansive and life affirming, you are safe, but if they are limiting, then you are shutting yourself to many wonderful possibilities in life.

Ultimately, what we choose to believe is a decisive part of how we choose to experience life. So be careful of what you choose to believe in. it might just come true.


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