I can Fly... “I used to think that I could not go on And life was nothing but an awful song, But now I know the meaning of true love I'm leaning on the everlasting arms If I can see it, then I can do it. If I just believe it, there's nothing to it I believe I can fly I believe I can touch the sky” R. Kelly, I can fly...
Music is a great way to influence the crowd. This was one of the most famous songs of 2009. It gave people hope and overall a soothing sense of calmness that they could be whatever they wanted to be.
In our daily hustle bustle of life we tend to forget that ‘life is not happening to us’ but we happen to life. Our every day beliefs play a major role in how our health, relationships, future, family, success and everything else turns out to be.
So what is a belief? It is an acceptance of something exists or is true, especially without any physical proof.
“Your reality is a reflection of your strongest belief”
Consciously and unconsciously we have 1000’s of beliefs in our minds. Some believe they are strong enough to overcome any challenges, while others believe they are weak and weary. Some believe that everything is black or white while others may believe in the grey area. Believes can be as small as believing your co-worker hates you and as big as believing diligently on god.
Let’s take a moment now, take a deep breath and write down EVERYTHING that comes in your mind after the words “I believe...” don’t re-read your believes till the end.
Beliefs affect us in more ways than we can imagine. Even the smallest things we believe may become our reality. For example – there was this girl who believed that every time it would rain, within the first hour she would get rashes. This belief came when she was a kid and she got rashes few times in a row when it was raining. So now this girl would see that it’s started to rain and she would wait for her rashes to show up and it would each time.
One day, while she was swamped with work she had no idea about what was happening outside. When she finally got up to go home she saw it was raining, but her rashes had not appeared. She thought it not much time must have passed raining. She went outside and found out that it was raining heavily since the last 4 hours. She was astonished that her rashes hadn’t come and started thinking that it would appear any time now. Guess what? In the next 30 minutes she had rashes all over her hand.
Why did her rashes not appear in those 4 hours but it did as soon as she was aware of the rains?
This is because her believe was so strong it sent her body signals and her body acted according to what her mind was feeding. It produced the rashes as accepted.
“Belief is beautiful armour but it makes for the heaviest swords” - John Mayer
Beliefs are formed majorly in two ways - by our experiences, inferences and deductions, or by accepting what others tell us to be true. Most of our core beliefs are formed when we are children.
Look back at the list you made earlier, divide these beliefs into your core beliefs and the ones you picked up from the people around your or the society.
All the beliefs you hold are likely to feel very real to you. Even negative and destructive beliefs exist for a reason. At some point you have gathered evidence that supports everything you believe. If you are convinced that you easily fall sick, that is probably because you have some compelling examples of falling sick in regular intervals.
If you have had more negative examples than you have instances where you are healthy, you have probably grown accustomed to looking only for the evidence that supports your negative belief about your health.
You may avoid going out because you hold onto the belief that protects you from falling sick.
In reality, you are almost certainly able to become quite healthy, if you eat right, exercise or take precautionary steps.
The main purpose of belief is to provide meaning about matters that have to do with the ideas we hold of ourselves. Beliefs are powerful precisely because as social constructs they provide the ‘mental scaffolding’ for appraising, explaining and integrating new observations – making sense of where we are and collectively underpinning a shared meaning of the world and the role we play in it.
Our most limiting beliefs about ourselves may get in the way of any action we need to take. But many of us are surprisingly attached to our misconceptions and are reluctant to let them go. That is because our beliefs serve us in some way. If we believe that we’re not bright enough to get a promotion, then we give ourselves permission not to try. If we believe that all the men or women we date are selfish and untrustworthy, we will tend to build comfortable protective armour so that we don’t get hurt.
Your limiting conclusions have a function, but a very limited one.
Your empowering acceptances on the other hand, serve you far better by helping you to expand the range of what is possible in your world.
Take a look at your list. Segregate your list into few parameters – Self limiting beliefs, health, relationships (with yourself and others), career, general life and positive beliefs.
Beliefs and Illness
Over the past decades, there has be a drastic improvement in many objective measures of health in most countries, still it has been seen that there is an increase in the number of patients with symptom-based illness without underlying physical disease. The resulting gulf between illness presentation, disability and traditional biomedical explanations where relevant pathology cannot be established (Kirmayer et al., 2004) has reinforced the social and cultural basis of illness.
For finding a way to bridge this gap, many professionals have found a bio-psychosocial perspective without abandoning the benefits of biomedical approaches. Crucial to this explanation it is believed that these illnesses are not just pathological but has to do with the psychological and social-culture factors of the country.
From a psychological perspective, beliefs remain crucial components of our personality and the sense of identity used to define the way others see us. Many of our attitudes, behaviours, including utterances, and ability to cope can be attributed to implicit or explicitly held beliefs in our mind.
For example, it was widely assumed that medical practice during the 19/20th centuries played a decisive role in reducing the major mortality-based diseases, such as whooping cough, scarlet fever, measles, tuberculosis and typhoid fever.
However, as Malleson (2002) points out, most of these conditions ‘had already stopped being major killers before effective medical interventions were introduced for either their cure or their intervention…[and hence] it was social factors and not medical care that transformed [these] health statistics’.
The relationship between (pathological) beliefs and severe mental illness is well accepted, and the significance of beliefs for more general aspects of illness has been highlighted in health psychology (e.g. Ogden, 2004) and many bio-psychosocial accounts (e.g. Horne, 1999; Weinman & Petrie, 1997). This focus on belief as a potential aetiological/modulating influence for illness presentation and explanation requires a better understanding and appreciation of the social cognitive nature of beliefs, including the important role of emotion (Evans & Cruse, 2004).
The belief people have about their nature of illness and its presences affects how they and their doctors cope and deal with the illness at hand. It remains fundamental for a number of theoretical models of illness behaviour causation and medication compliance. Knowing a patient’s beliefs regarding their condition is clinically relevant for managing their condition and can also help predict subjective experience, capacity to cope, recovery time, treatment compliance and overall attitude and behaviour.
This time look at it as an advantage than a liability. Like being bed ridden can give you ample time to read and upgrade your knowledge bank or being handicapped for a while can give you the ability to strengthen other parts of your body.
1. Identify the belief
Now that you have segregated it into different parameters, identifying the ones that are not helping you grow, change and adapt. Write these in a piece of paper and tear it into a million pieces if you wish. Just flush them out of your system.
Always remember anything you can’t touch and feel is not real, it’s just a perception and the great thing about perceptions is that you can change it whenever you want.
Once you have identified your list of limiting beliefs, it’s now time to acknowledge that they are only a belief. They aren’t real, and they certainly aren’t set in stone! When you acknowledge that they are indeed something you have constructed, you have invented in your mind – you open up the potential to reprogram and change your beliefs.
“You are as good as your mindset”
We live in a world that we have painted by ourselves. What we see is merely our own perception, and judgement. We can never see the world for what it really is; we see it and create our own meaning. Therefore, all limiting beliefs are purely constraints we’ve given ourselves. When we remove them, we become powerful beyond measure.
Reprogramming our mind is not easy. It’s going to take real effort to sort through and clean. There are many different ways to approach this, but meditation, visualisation and a process called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are extremely powerful. You could also simply say out loud – in front of the mirror every morning that you are powerful and capable.
‘Nothing has meaning except for the meaning you give it’.- T. Harv Eker —
4. Create ANEW
Now that you have gone through the process if identifying it, acknowledging it and reprogramming it it’s time to create a new belief that will help you to achieve greater things and become the truest and the best possible version of yourself.
You can start every morning by being grateful for what you have and repeating that you can achieve anything you want. You truly are unbreakable and you have all the resources you need to reach your highest self.
The only question is Are you willing to transform?