We often think that just because we believe something, it is the truth, which is not always the case. As you know, the majority of people prior to 1492 believed that the earth was flat. That belief turned out to be wrong. Many, many of our beliefs, about everything from science to society, have been proven wrong over time with the addition of new information and new tools.
Many of the beliefs we as individuals have held about ourselves and about our lives have also been proven wrong, or will be over the course of our lives. Therefore, the concept that “belief equals truth” is disputable.
The problem is that few of us question our beliefs, and unchallenged false beliefs have the power to alter our decisions and to limit what we can accomplish. When we use limiting beliefs as guideposts for our decision making, they impact every aspect of our well-being, including our relationships. If we think something is dangerous, impossible, or too hard, we may not venture to do it. How many people didn’t try sailing around the world based on the belief that they would fall off when they reached the edge? How many marriages have ended in divorce because of the belief that nothing could be done to make the marriage work? How many people don’t introduce themselves to someone they like because of the belief that they won’t be interested?
Look up the definition of “belief” in the dictionary. Nowhere does it imply that a belief is actually a fact, and yet most of us treat our beliefs as if they were the absolute truth, often without testing them. This is where self-examination and inquiry come in.
Examine your beliefs about yourself and your relationships, challenge them, and determine whether they are serving you. If your beliefs make you feel good and serve your goal of having healthy self-esteem and loving relationships, great. If not, it is time to develop a new mindset, one that emphasizes your personal power for creating and maintaining love in your life and in your relationships. The good news is that beliefs are something we choose. When your current choices aren’t serving you, you can make new ones.
As you read the following list of common beliefs, notice whether you hold any of them, consciously or unconsciously. Notice also how you feel as you read them.
* Once I’ve fallen out of love with someone, that is that; I can’t get it back.
* What I have experienced in the past is likely what I will experience in the future.
* My spouse has to do something different in order for our marriage to work.
* I can’t improve the relationship by myself; it takes two.
* I need different conditions to make my marriage work (if only I had a job/we didn’t have kids/we had kids/we had more money/I weighed less/I were more trusting/he hadn’t cheated/she liked sex more…).
* If this relationship doesn’t work, I will never have love again.
* Men (or women) aren’t trustworthy.
Notice the difference in the way you feel as you read the following list of empowering beliefs. Notice if an old belief or way of doing things is being challenged and, just for the sake of the exercise, try on some new beliefs to see if they serve you better.
* I can fall in love again. In fact, love has never left me; it has just gotten blocked. I can clear the obstacles between love and me, and between me and my partner.
* With new skills and tools, I can create new experiences.
* I take full responsibility for the quality of my relationships.
* I can improve my experience of this relationship with or without my spouse’s involvement.
* It is my response to circumstances, not the circumstances themselves, that dictate the quality of my relationships.
* Love is unlimited. As long as I am loving, I will never be without love.
* I trust myself to be able to handle any situation I encounter. I trust God to provide me with experiences that will help me grow wiser, stronger, and more compassionate.
Become aware of when you are “feeding” a belief that limits possibility, and consciously switch to a belief that better serves you, and your relationships.
Intellectual Foreplay Question of the Week: What are your beliefs?
Love Tip of the Week: It is never too late to make a new decision and adopt a new, more empowering belief.