From the moment you come into the world, you begin developing your belief system. And just how do you do this?
That first sentence contains a major hint of a notable attribute of developing beliefs... your system of beliefs forms from irrational input as well as rational!
Obviously as a newborn you don't have a well formed capacity for logical deduction, so developing your belief system is not necessarily a rational process. Rather, it's a process based on your experience of the world.
Whatever information comes to you in a form that you can digest, (ie. you have the necessary perception to process it), you file appropriately into your fledgling belief system.
As you mature, your abilities and understanding expands, and ultimately you are developing your belief system based on 5 primary methods of gathering information. Only one of these stems directly from your personal facility of critical thinking!
To gain a deeper understanding of the power of your beliefs, and to use them to your best advantage, take benefit of the current free offer of the eSeries Belief Insights for Designing Your Life.
It can be very helpful and enlightening to know why you believe what you do. You might be surprised to realize some of the shaky ground you have formed your belief system on.
The big 5 are:
Evidence shows that one thing causes another. The understanding of causation appeals to the analytical and critical thinking part of your mind.
Developing your belief system through this method is very rationale and based on the use of logical thinking.
The skills associated with evidence based believing develop as we mature, and become more honed through education. In this mode you look for facts. You look at events that are measurable, and where one thing directly causes something else. Scientific studies supply results from research and critically tested hypotheses to support evidence based beliefs.
You can also establish beliefs based on your personal experience of cause and affect. You might continually witness a consistent outcome from your actions.
This method of forming beliefs is also responsible for 'learned helplessness'. If you consistently perform a behavior, and always get a negative outcome, you may come to believe that you have no power or influence in creating what it is you are aiming for.
You will feel upset, and you will upset others. Therefore, you always feel distressed in this situation.
Therefore you stop cooking dinner for friends.
The trick in the learned helplessness scenario is to adjust the elements that you can, and accept the things you cannot change. This might possibly include altering the physical elements such as setting alternate meeting times or places, or cooking different meals or inviting different friends!
But certainly one thing you can change, through gaining understanding, is how you view these events.
For example, you could say:
Therefore, I have 10 minutes in traffic to put to use as I wish by listening to relaxing radio, personal development recordings, or reviewing the things I'm thankful for today.
I will explain this situation to any other people affected. Whether they decide to make the best of the situation, is up to them. I am not responsible for how they view reality.
If you feel like a failure when no one expresses appreciation, then you are likely looking to others to reinforce your self worth. That shows it's time to recognize that your self worth is something always with you.
To tap into it, spend some time talking to a life coach for personal development.
The traditions perpetuated through families and societies are a major factor in developing your belief system. We are often showered with traditions day in and day out when growing up, so they can be extremely easy to adopt, without even questioning. When you believe in a tradition, recognize that they have served some generation well. Yet it does not mean they are based in truth, nor necessarily have continued usefulness for your life.
There is a funny and telling story about a woman from a certain family where the women always cut their roasts in half prior to roasting. The third generation daughter said she did it because she understood that it made the meat more tender. Her mother said that she learned it from her own mom and thought it was to reduce the cooking time and save on energy usage. When the oldest woman, grandma, was asked about it, she said that the oven she had when raising a family was very small and it was necessary to always cut the roast in half to fit it in!
So not only was there a belief being passed down that it was important to cut the roast in half, the reason behind the belief was totally lost, and no longer relevant to the womens lives!
It is through family and cultural tradition that many people formulate their primary belief system.
Social culture, family bias, and societal prejudice all strongly influence formation of:
Ask yourself 'what role has tradition played in developing your belief system?'.
"We are so conditioned, so heavily burdened with belief, with tradition, with the past, that this actually prevents us from seeing or listening."
Many beliefs are adopted from people that have a role of authority in our lives.
Sometimes these figures of authority also fall in the category of tradition, as you can imagine. For example, your parents play a role of authority in your early life and they are regularly passing traditions down to you.
Other times authority figures are independent to tradition. Some examples of authority figures who may influence your beliefs, while theirs are not necessarily based on traditional beliefs, might be:
Who do you hang out with?
Whether you run with the 'in crowd' or the 'nerds', you will be adopting compatible beliefs to your own, as well as reinforcing common beliefs that you hold with your group. It is pretty much a case of 'what you see is what you get'. As you are continually faced with particular ways of thinking within the group, you start to adopt and reinforce those ideas as the 'right way' to think.
Basically, by sharing time and activities, you rub off on one another and mutually influence one anothers belief system.
If you associate with hard working people who feel they are short on time and money, chances are you will be developing your belief system based around those ideas as well. Alternatively, if you spend your time with people who feel they have a very rich blessed life spending their time for their own delight, your attitude will likely be quite different.
The definition of revelation referred to here is "disclosure of information to man by a divine or supernatural agency". Basically, this is the experience of attaining information through what you might describe as:
There are two primary understandings of how you may have 'received' this enlightening communication of knowledge:
Such inspiration can strike at any time; in the shower, driving to work, gazing at the ocean. Where ever it might have originated from may be interesting to ponder. Yet, I think the really interesting question is, 'is the information valuable to you and how can you use it'.
Certainly Albert Einstein asked this question of the wild ideas he came up with, and look where it lead him and the world. He ushered in a raft of new beliefs for humanity. Just some of Einsteins words of wisdom on the subject:
"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
It is widely understood that most beliefs you hold have not originated with you. Rather, you have primarily adopted what makes sense to your experience and understanding at the time. You continue in developing your belief system largely by agreeing with ideas that come into your awareness.
Once you understand this, it gives you great strength to:
You have accepted your beliefs based on what you knew at the time. As you learn more, it is reasonable that your belief system will undergo change and growth.
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