Don’t believe me? Take a simple scenario. A road traffic accident, where nobody is hurt, fortunately, when one car hits another car. There are three witnesses. A policeman will ask each witness what he or she saw. There will be three completely different perceptions of the same incident.
For instance, one person might state that they saw the first car brake suddenly, so the driver of the car behind (being far too close in their perception) braked really hard but the car was going too fast and ran into the car in front with a loud bang.
The second person saw the second car approaching the car in front too fast and the driver didn’t appear to even see the car in front and ran straight into it without braking.
The third person witnessed the first car slow down too much so the driver of the car behind (which wasn’t going too fast) couldn’t quite stop in time (though they tried) and hit the car in front really hard.
Three different perceptions of the same accident – each quite ‘real’ to those witnesses – but significantly dissimilar.
How you perceive your life and everything around you will differ dramatically from other people’s perceptions. Your reality is totally unique to you.
How you think about your life, how you see yourself in the mirror, and what you believe is happening to you at any given moment, will be the reality that exists for you.
So what are your beliefs? They are your views, judgments, guiding principles and decisions about yourself, family and friends, communities, organisations, employers and everything else you come into contact with.
Your beliefs filter everything you see, hear and feel around you and, as a result, determine the meaning you attach to any event. Your beliefs act as self-fulfilling prophecies. If you think that you can’t do something and then find it extremely difficult to do and give up trying, you have successfully fulfilled your belief that you can’t do it.
What would have happened if you had believed that you could do it? Would your reality have been different?
Your beliefs, whether they be limiting or empowering, determine your actions, and your actions in turn verify your beliefs. Over time, as you collect more evidence to prove your beliefs, your beliefs become your reality.
Your beliefs operate in your subconscious mind and influence your conscious mind, they affect your thoughts and behaviour. Whilst you are aware of many of your beliefs, in general, your most influential beliefs are stored away in your subconscious mind.
There are some beliefs you view as absolute truths and never question – that is just the way the world is! A change in your beliefs can have a major impact on how you live your life and the behaviours you manifest.
Once you believe in something, you tend to ignore opposite examples and accept only those events that reinforce that belief.
As Henry Ford, industrialist, said: ‘Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are probably right.’
How right he was.
Your beliefs can have a significant effect on your life, particularly your health.
To quote Ian McDermott and Joseph O’Connor, from their book NLP and Health, (Thorsons, 1996), ‘in a typical clinical situation, about thirty-five percent of all cases receive as much pain relief from a placebo as from morphine – simply because the recipients believe it will work.’
That is a very interesting observation isn’t it? The subconscious mind believed it had been given a strong painkiller, and therefore the pain was relieved. This happened because the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between the truth and anything else it is told.
But what about your beliefs? How can you verify them?
Well, many hundreds of years ago people were told, and believed, that the world was flat. Today there are probably still some people who continue to believe this. It is easy to see how this belief was once so prevalent. Just look at the ground beneath your feet – it’s flat. In the distance you may be able to see a few hills and valleys, but these are just ripples on an otherwise flat surface. All of the land is surrounded by water and it seems quite logical to have once believed that if you sailed far enough you would eventually fall off the edge of the world. Those who set off to sail the seas and never returned were testament to this. Obviously those who did return, just hadn’t sailed far enough!
You will have noticed how this belief proved its own validity. Therefore that reality was true.
The flat-world belief was very useful in explaining and predicting phenomena in a very small area when there were no satellites, there was no television and there were no news broadcasts and no other means of communication other than verbal messages passed from one individual to another. More importantly, it made the people in that localised area feel comfortable and safe in this reality. However, by discouraging wider exploration, it was also a very limiting belief.
But you can challenge this belief and put your life ‘at risk’. You can let go of the limiting belief of a flat world and explore other possibilities. You can entertain new and more expansive beliefs, which other people may view as equally limiting or indeed as impossible. All these beliefs are equally valid.
Do you currently have beliefs that keep your reality comfortable and safe and that prevent you from exploring your true potential? Do you choose to acknowledge only the reality that is predicted by your limiting beliefs and then use these observations as proof that your current reality is indeed true?
Is it time to step out of your comfort zone and set sail into the unknown? To push the boundaries of what you think you know and discover new lands and opportunities – to challenge yourself to create your new reality?
Does that sound like something you would like to experience? I work with clients face-t0-face, on the phone and via Skype. The choice is yours. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Contact me today for a free chat on how we can start moving you from a place that is not so great in your life to a place of enjoyment.