The territory of beliefs
We humans are creatures of beliefs. We function on them, act on them, think on them, feel on them.
Our life’s decisions and our choices are based on them. Our happiness and our sadness is based on them.
What are they and where do they come from?
Beliefs as defined by the Oxford dictionary are “an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof”..
In the generic understanding, it is those actions which we do almost without thinking, without questioning. It’s more like “life” habits based on mental algorithms which is followed by the brain without analysing them.
So where do they come from?
The most common depository is from parents. Yes, they start the process of forming our beliefs and building them from the time that we are born.
And we accept them and build on them as we keep growing in life.
There are other contributors too, like our teachers, our friends, our family members, the society, our culture, our experiences, our observations, our perceptions.
The most amazing fact about beliefs is that most of the time we don’t stop to analyse them. We accept them based on their convenience and the authority they come from.
Now what happens when we do that?
In my last article “The map is not the territory”, I spoke about how we create our realm of reality. Well, beliefs are what form the construct of that realm.
This reality which can either make us feel powerful or weak is a choice that we make based on our perceptions and judgements. Again, factors which are influenced by our beliefs. And well, in this very exercise we create our own limits of our self image and capabilities. Because this is where we go shopping for the labels of “easy” and “difficult”, “possible” and “impossible”.
Don’t get me wrong here, I am not asking you to stop believing in everything that you have done so until now.
But just asking you to think, “how many times have you questioned the reason for a belief before accepting it?”
A child who was told in school “you are not good at drawing”, grows up to believe that they are not very artistic. Why? What makes them do that? The words of their teacher as a feedback of a work that they may have. Does that justify branding the person as not “artistic” or even for that matter “not good at drawing”.
Well, it all comes down to the programming of the Human Operating system (HOS) which has followed this pattern of coding for years now. So all it knows is this very pattern and whatever new comes in this pattern is quickly absorbed.
Have you ever noticed why someone keeps going from one bad relationship to another? (blaming the other person or luck for it)
Why does one allow others to abuse their self respect again and again? (Even though they will deny it)
It’s the pattern that the brain knows and follows. That’s what it has self learned to do. Because that’s what the “beliefs” do for them them. Every time.