Beliefs create your reality
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
What are your beliefs? Beliefs about how it should be, beliefs about yourself and others, beliefs about society. Looking at the above quote by Gandhi, our beliefs define our destiny, and I may add that our beliefs define our reality. Thus, it becomes very important that we check what beliefs we are holding on to.
There are many beliefs, hidden within us about how things should be. These beliefs are so deeply ingrained that they appear as facts and truths to us. These beliefs influence our thoughts, words, actions, habits, and values. They influence how we live and how we see the world. It is thus important to bring to the surface some of these beliefs. The tricky thing is when beliefs appear like facts. Thus, we assume, everyone got that memo and holds the same beliefs. That is not true at all.
Beliefs are conditioned within us by the society we live in. Having lived in extended families, and growing up watching Hindi movies, many beliefs of sacrificing self for others, not speaking your truth in case you hurt others, suffering is necessary, role of the male and female at home are ingrained within me. Beliefs about getting married, having kids, role of a woman at home, family before career, family before money are like facts in my head. I had not questioned these beliefs which were like truths to me. They may even show themselves as values. If we are not aware of what our subconscious beliefs are, we are forever stuck repeating certain patterns in our lives. We keep wondering, why does this always happen to me. This is because, things are not only happening to us, but we are also making choices albeit unconsciously. We are part of the “problem” or situation.
Take for example, If you believed that a good mother/ wife cooks for her family. And you do not cook. The thought you have is “I am not good at being a mother/ wife” or “I have failed my family”, you tell yourself and others how you have failed. The truth is that if you changed your belief about what a good mom/wife is, perhaps updated it, in a way that included your strengths, then, your thoughts would have been more complimentary of all that you were doing for your family (which is probably a lot). This positive feedback would have you embracing your role in your family life and enjoying it.
Thus, rather than living on auto pilot, it is good to uncover what these beliefs are, decide whether they are serving you or harming you. And at times, you may even need to tweak the definition within that belief so that it includes your strengths and serves you better.
Uncovering your beliefs
So, how do you do that? One easy step is to observe yourself. Observe when you are triggered, that is, when you are irritated, annoyed, angry, sad, hurt, disappointed. We are so used to brushing this aside -- correcting such thoughts and emotions immediately. Take note of this sensation in your body, however slight and get curious, what was that about? What was it about this situation or person that irritated you? Keep getting curious because, in there is going to be a belief you have either about yourself, about the other person or how it should be. Without realising it, you have told yourself a story about what is happening in front of you. This reality is being created by your belief about something or someone. Your reality is being created through that lens.
Once you have awareness of your beliefs, pay attention to the ones that do not serve you and spot them when they show up in your daily life. Catch that thought and replace it with a more empowering one that does serve you. And watch how your reality changes. It is simple but not easy and like anything, it needs to be practiced. It is hard work. You have been sitting with these beliefs for ages and you may resist changing these beliefs and thus your reality. We get attached to our reality even if it not serving us.