Do you have beliefs, or “truths”, that are holding you back? The answer might surprise you. Your beliefs, your ‘truths’, are the prism from which you see the world. Our brains are wired to reinforce what we believe.
Further, recent research suggests that once the brain has constructed a belief, it then rationalizes it with explanations. Knowing this, it’s pretty easy to look at our personal and professional lives and see how this can prevent us from realizing our potential.
Our beliefs are downloaded into us from birth by our circumstances: geography, education, family, adults, peers, etc. Sometimes we are taught with intention what to believe, but more often (and more insidiously) we absorb what we observe around us. The actions and behaviors of our parents, teachers, peers are more powerful than their words. This is true about your beliefs on politics, religion, money, success . More importantly, this is true about what you believe about YOU!
The question to ask yourself is this: are your beliefs preventing you from reaching your full potential? How do you see yourself and your abilities? How do you define success? The good news is that you are not relegated to live out your life with those beliefs. OK, so now what?
There are a few things we can try to be more mindful as we navigate the ever changing landscape of our truths and beliefs:
- Understand that you are a work in progress and will be for life. Challenge yourself when you snap to an opinion or belief. What are other opinions or beliefs contrary to mine? What evidence exists to support those? Heads up, this is a very challenging exercise because of the power of the brain science listed above.
- Identify what beliefs that are holding you back from achieving your dreams. For most of us, ourselves included, it is self-doubt. Once you’ve identified the roadblocks, immerse yourself with other beliefs that reinforce what you need to be better. Books are a fantastic way to expand our worlds in this regard.
- Take action even when you need to do the hard thing. When you stumble, do it again. Your new found success can then be used to reinforce your beliefs about your capabilities.
So, are you willing to challenge your beliefs? If you are willing to do the work, the upside to your growth and potential is nearly limitless. Isn’t that worth it?