A lot of people think that their beliefs are like clothes. They really don’t have much choice in the matter. They just walk up to their closet, pick out what’s there, wear it, and move on to the next set of clothes the next day.
If that’s your attitude, regarding your beliefs, it’s no surprise that you are not living your life to your fullest potential. Whether this means enjoying the best job, making the most money in your field, enjoying the best relationships, or looking physically fit, beliefs play a major role in your life. No matter how clueless you are about its role, beliefs will continue to remain important in your life.
Beliefs are like glasses. Depending on the grade of your glasses, the world may look crystal clear or it may look very fuzzy and you might even have a nasty headache when using glasses that have the wrong grade.
Beliefs work the same way. When you perceive reality, and I’m talking about the things that you can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, they have to be filtered by something in your head. This is called your belief system.
When you filter this information, you give it meaning. You give it color. You give it a certain slant or angle. What do you think happens next? Your analysis of the things that you choose to perceive impacts the things you say, the things you do, and the things you feel about yourself and the rest of the world.
In other words, this is important stuff but the problem is a lot of people think that since they think a certain way that this is reality. They confuse objective reality, which everyone could agree with, with their own subjective take on the things that they perceive.
Also, other people excuse their own warped way of perceiving reality by saying that that’s just who they are or it’s part of their personality. How dare people question them!
Beliefs are chosen. Just as you can choose your clothes, you can choose your beliefs. I’m not saying that it’s easy. After all, beliefs do become habitual after a while. You don’t hang onto a belief system because it is just flat-out wrong and harms you. There’s something about the belief system that you have chosen that gives you enough benefits for it to be worth hanging onto.
It’s like wearing really raggedy shoes. You probably have really old shoes in your home. They look nasty and they could even smell like a rat died in them but, for whatever reason, you like wearing those shoes because they’re comfortable. You know that they don’t look the best; they don’t perform all that well but you prefer their comfort. They do well enough and serve you well enough so you keep them around and you use them day to day.
The same applies to your beliefs. There are many belief systems that have simply outlived their purpose or usefulness. It’s important for us to take a long, hard look at our beliefs and ask ourselves some hard questions. Otherwise, we will be living far below our potential. We would continue to look at reality with tools that really don’t serve us. That’s a tragedy.