What you believe shapes your entire life – your whole world. Think about all the things we say about ourselves that always come true? I used to always say, “I’m always late. I can’t be on time. I’m always running behind.” And that was my reality. I said it over and over and over again. I was never on time. I was always late. I was always running behind.
But what is a belief anyway? A belief is just a thought that you repeat. So where did those beliefs come from? I’ll tell you… the 97,000 times I had uttered those words to myself.
The two most powerful words in the English language are I AM.
I am is a declaration. I am is a definition. Be careful what you say following those two words. An event occurs. (I didn’t leave early enough). We create a thought about it (I’m always late). We create the story around the event. (It’s impossible for me to be on time) We repeat that thought over and over again. Then that thought creates a belief.
Think about your childhood and all of the things you were taught as if they were fact. Drinking milk gives you strong bones. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Santa Claus is real – he comes down the chimney. I was raised in a super religious household, and our religious beliefs determined everything we did. Coffee bad. Alcohol bad. Church on Sundays for 3 hours. Choir practice first. Young Women’s activities every Wednesday. My parents are musicians, and we had to learn how to read music at the same time we learned to read English. Age Four. It wasn’t optional. I had to practice the piano every morning before I went to school. My parents’ belief that playing the piano is imperative to life determined my daily routine.
Same with relationships. What you believe about yourself and about others will determine how fulfilling your relationships can be. I love focusing on relationships because success in any area in life, in any definition of the word success, involves other people. If you were alone on a desert island, it might be fun for a couple days, and then you would go completely insane! Great relationships are the key to joy, fulfillment in every area! Great relationships start in the mirror. It starts with you. Your beliefs.
I looked up the definition of belief in the dictionary. This is what it says:
- An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
- Trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
Beliefs matter. Identifying what we accept to be true is so powerful because most of the time, we are not aware of what we believe. Acknowledgement is the first step. Then we can determine if each belief is something we want to hold on to because it’s serving us, or decide we would like to transform it because it no longer serves us.
One example is sexual abuse, or any abuse of any kind. I experienced sexual abuse as a young girl, and John suffered years of sexual abuse from multiple assholes when we was a young boy. My core belief was that men only wanted me for sex. My body is an instrument. I was a means to an end. I am not a person to men; I am an object. I believed that I was damaged goods and broken. Not as good as all the other “normies” who hadn’t been molested. I never thought I was good enough. No matter what it was. I believed that for a long time, but I wasn’t aware of it. Guess what? I kept attracting men who only wanted me for sex and who disappeared off the face of the earth when they got it. I always felt bad about myself no matter what accomplishment I had achieved. I would be happy for a bit, and then that feeling would fade.
My husband John, on the other hand, didn’t have limiting beliefs about himself or relationships. He got pissed. He used his anger as fuel to show those bastards that he was going to be successful IN SPITE of the abuse they inflicted upon him as an innocent little blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy.
Similar circumstances. Different beliefs.
I didn’t realize it until after I divorced and started dating again. And I kept attracting similar characteristics and similar men. I knew what I wanted, but I wasn’t attracting the men I really wanted. We can’t attract who we want. We only attract who we ARE. That’s when I realized I had to become the person I wanted to be in order to attract the person I’d always wanted to be with.
My friend said the other day, “I always have better luck with men when I am ten pounds thinner.”
Actually, she’s right. But is has nothing to do with luck nor those men. It has to do with that belief. When she is working hard and in good shape, she feels more confident. She feels good about herself. She looks around more. She makes more eye contact with more people. She’s smiling more. She believes she is going to have good luck, she will meet someone when she goes out, and then it happens over and over. Solidifying that belief as fact, right? What happens when she gains a few pounds? She’s reluctant to go out, and doesn’t feel good about herself. Looks down at the floor more. Doesn’t make eye contact. Doesn’t smile as much. Doesn’t “have luck with men”.
And so it is.
So once you identify the current belief, write it down. You may not be single nor actively attracting Mr. Right, but identifying limiting beliefs and then transforming them allows us to change our current reality! Our current circumstances are real based on all of the actions we took and all of the beliefs we had IN THE PAST. But the past doesn’t determine your future. Your beliefs determine your future! Your beliefs about life, money, marriage, all of it.
I have another friend who believes that marriage is supposed to be a struggle. Her words. And so it is. It’s a struggle every day. What about your beliefs about life? Whenever you say “it’s supposed to be_____” or “life is ______”, how do you finish those sentences? Life is hard. Life is supposed to be a struggle. Life will knock you down. Or, life is a test. I used to believe that one! The purpose of our entire time on this planet is just a test of our obedience, and our level of obedience determines if we are allowed into the highest level of heaven. Well, you would certainly make different decisions and take completely different actions if you believed that life was a test than you would if you believed that life is beautiful and we’re here to learn and grow and love and serve. If you believe that life is about learning, then when challenges appear and hard things occur, you look at them with a completely different set of eyes.
That was a huge lesson for me. When I decided to change my belief from “all men are liars” to “every man I dated was a teacher and everyone was put into my life to teach me something,” everything changed. That belief changed the way I felt and acted. Before, my focus was on the other person. I was confused and angry. I spent hours trying to figure THEM out. Wondering why they did something that hurt me. Then, I stopped. And I said, “what can I learn from this?”
Once I identified my current beliefs, I looked for the source of that belief. Most of our beliefs come from someone else. Our parents, our in-laws, our siblings. If it is someone else’s belief, does it resonate with you still? If it serves you well and you are feeling great in that area of your life, fantastic! Use your intuition. If it creates unnecessary suffering and anguish, perhaps it’s time to let that belief go and create a new empowering belief. Ask yourself if that belief is actually true or not. Find physical manifestations of the opposite.
My belief that I would never be good enough wasn’t true. Find physical manifestations of the opposite. I am a child of God. God created me in his image. God loves me. My parents love me. My children love me. Those are true. Therefore, the belief that I am not enough is false.
Two of my friends own a home building company, and I do their marketing. One day I visited one of the model homes at a new community. I talked to one of the sales people who told me all the reasons why these homes weren’t selling. They were priced too high, the location was bad, the lots were too small. She went on and on. When I relayed that to my friend the owner, his response was, “That’s just her justification for not doing a good job.” Same circumstance, different beliefs. Guess how successful she was at that job holding onto all the reasons why these homes wouldn’t sell? She wasn’t. She lost that job and low and behold, all the homes were sold by someone else. That belief was not serving her at. all.
But when you start discovering the beliefs and start the realize they are false, that’s when the fun begins! Use your imagination and come up with all kinds of different beliefs you could have!
I talk at length about transforming your beliefs in my book “Becoming Mrs. Stanley” if you’d like to explore more. And I just released the audiobook if you’d prefer to listen to books! Getting clear on your current beliefs and having the courage to work on transforming them is a lifetime pursuit. There’s no quick fix and there’s no finger you can snap that allows you to immediately believe something different. So be patient with yourself! Give yourself some grace! Growth is a never-ending game. John C. Maxwell says that there is no finish line. Because if you cross it, you’re finished! I love that quote.
Wishing you lots of love.
P.S., let’s stay connected on Instagram! I’d love to hear about your progress. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter below!