Changing Beliefs Is Natural
As you grow and evolve, you are naturally changing beliefs. This is a simple fact of life. As you gather more information, your pictures of reality keep getting extended with your experiences, and you adopt new, more inclusive beliefs to account for it all.
Let's first look at a couple of examples of naturally evolving beliefs:
Take for example, Santa Claus. There are a great number of children that have believed in Santa in their early childhood.
Soon enough they have gathered some new information to question the validity of this belief. Once they've spotted Daddy placing presents under the tree late at night, and enjoying the milk and cookies set out for Santa, doubt begins to set in.
Then they begin actively looking for more 'chinks in the armor' or 'cracks in the theory'. As they look, the magic of believing kicks into action and the world starts to reveal new information that will support their changing beliefs.
Another typical example is teenagers believing their parents don't know much, and how that changes over the years.
It is common for teenagers, as they test their boundaries and individuality, to believe that their parents are rather stupid at times. Often it is many years later that the 'child', now well into adulthood, realizes that their parent actually did know quite a few things.
It's common for new respect and admiration to develop for the parent once the challenges of adulthood have been experienced first hand.
Outgrowing beliefs about Santa, that your parents are complete idiots, and that romantic love is all roses and chocolates are just a few examples. For many of these, you don't set out with the conscious goal to change your belief about them. Rather, life serves you lessons that whittle away at your beliefs, and over time, you change your views.
Just because this is a natural process, does not mean that it is necessarily a painless process.
Consider some of the pain and pressure that society is now serving up that is challenging personal beliefs. New technologies are continually coming online and demand that we learn new things to keep up with communication opportunities. People from different cultures are moving into our cities and neighborhoods, and occupying our schools and companies. Science and religion continue to announce new findings and theories that challenge our understanding of life. More people are openly sharing nontraditional relationships.
Many people experience high stress from occurrences such as these. They feel their personal beliefs are under pressure or are being attacked from all sides.
Keys to Changing Beliefs
In 'Changing Beliefs', Part 5 of the Art and Magic of Believing, you gain a better understanding of your natural resistance to changing your belief system. You'll identify powerful tools to help you open the door and usher in new, more empowering ways of thinking... no matter what is happening in society or around you.
"No problem can be solved from the same level
of consciousness that created it."
Here are the first steps to help you not only change what you believe, but to help you manage the process so that you are in the drivers seat.
- Be on the lookout for certain frames of mind that blind you to new ideas. Common stumbling blocks include:
Every one has met a 'know it all', or even experienced it first hand at one time or another! If you come from that place of already knowing everything, you might say your 'cup is full'. You don't have the capacity to listen and consider new ideas.
Many beliefs are really unexamined ideas that have simply been accepted. As discussed in Part 2 Developing Your Belief System, many adopted beliefs are no more than assumptions masquerading as truth. If you hold too tightly and steadfastly to your assumptions, you may miss what reality is revealing.
Your mind may be very active, constantly darting from one thought to another uncontrollably. If this is the case, you are experiencing what is poetically termed a "monkey mind".
This describes a mind in constant chatter, bouncing off past programing and future dreams. Such a restless and unsettled state rarely allows full appreciation to learn from lessons in the present moment.
A great way to invite your monkey to work in harmony with your aims, is through mindfulness practice.
Remember in the first example of Santa Claus, it was mentioned that a 'doubt' was recognized. This is the first necessary step to changing beliefs. You must be willing to allow consideration that there may be another answer. You must be able to give other ideas a chance to show their validity. Then you must be present and on the lookout for this new information.
A willingness to change core beliefs may feel like a willingness to be found wrong. If you are changing what you have believed, this means that an idea that you have upheld is now being cast aside as being the wrong answer. This can be challenging to your pride and sense of self worth.
It's a good time to remember that developing your belief system is really just adopting ideas that make sense to you at the time. You can be pleased that you recognize new information that is moving you on to a new level of understanding and believing.
Think like a stalk of bamboo:
"The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists."
From the above examples, you can see that changing beliefs is not a black and white event. Believing is not a switch that is turned off or on.
When you change what you believe, it is most often due to a natural process of evolution in your understanding. New information impacts you (either consciously and cognitively, or subconsciously) and to make sense of your world, you adjust your beliefs.
In modules 5 and 6 of the 7 Part eBook Course, The Art & Magic of Believing, you'll look at how to raise your level of consciousness in a deliberate and purposeful way to change limiting beliefs to empowering ones.
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