Are your beliefs serving you?
It may come as a surprise to learn I've always believed in fairies.Just kidding.But there’s a lot of other woo-woo stuff I do believe from time to time. Like:I don’t work hard enoughI can’t focu... ooh, shinyI’m disorganisedSpiders are the minions of Satan(OK, the last one isn’t that woo-woo. Anything that needs so many eyes is definitely up to no good.)Intellectually, I know the above aren’t true. There’s plenty of evidence in the last seven days to the contrary, let alone the last few months/years.So why do these thoughts hang around?Because they’re not just thoughts, they’re beliefs. Some are beliefs I’ve picked up from other people and some are my own creations.No matter where they came from, now they’re my beliefs and therefore my responsibility. And with every belief comes a story, which usually leads to more beliefs and more stories, and so on.The Belief/Story EquationsI don’t work hard enough = belief= I don’t work hard enough because I’m lazy = story= I don’t work hard enough + I’m lazy= holy crap, now there are two beliefs!Yep, these things multiply faster than my non-paying flatmate Geoffrey.Ultimately, belief + story = BS (accidental but appropriate acronym win)And the core belief behind all this BS ? ‘You need to change.’ When I listen to the BS, I hear that. When I stop and look at the facts objectively, I can confidently reply, ‘No, I don’t’.DisbelievingThe problem is that if we don’t examine the beliefs we have, we invent stories to justify them. Even with all the contrary proof in the world, once these stories have rooted themselves, they’re pretty hard to dismiss.It’s understandable. We come from a culture where we find justifications for something to exist just because it does exist, without questioning the need for that thing to exist in the first place. So today, and the rest of our lives, is about questioning. Questioning our assumptions, our beliefs and our stories. Laying out the evidence, examining the facts and getting to the truth. This might mean we have to relearn things about ourselves and practise thinking about certain aspects of our lives in completely different ways.After all, isn’t it better to focus on the things we really want to change rather than the things our stories tell us we need to change?Sometimes the truth is pretty hard to swallow, especially if we’ve been told things that just aren’t true by people we care about.But the truth is the truth. Don’t let anyone give you any BS, even yourself.