Our beliefs are things that we often hold dear. They are things that we have seen hold true throughout our life. Our various experiences have shown us that these beliefs are true. But, what if these beliefs were actually holding us back? Let’s take a moment to read this quote and then continue on the other side.
Maybe there is something to this quote.
After all, how many times have we heard stories of people being held back by their personal “backward” beliefs. It is easy to see the logic when we think of this quote in terms of other people, especially when our personal beliefs are the opposite of theirs. But what about our own backward beliefs? Logically, we know we have them. It’s impossible for everything that we believe to be true to ACTUALLY be true. Especially when many of our beliefs are shaped by one single experience.
Here is an example. You start a new job and on your very first day, someone who reports to you is three hours late and has completely missed not only your department meeting but a one-on-one meeting you set up with them. Chances are, you already have a negative opinion of this person and will have a negative opinion of them from here on out. But what if this employee is actually extremely punctual and it just happens that your first day was also the first time they were late in over five years? The sad fact, to your brain that doesn’t matter. Chances are that if someone asks you 6 months later about this employee’s punctuality you would still say that they are “usually” on time and immediately think of that one time that they were three hours late, even if they still have only missed that one day in almost six years.
When we think about it in this context, it is suddenly so easy to see just how many of our beliefs could be wrong. And, once we realize that, this quote holds an entirely new meaning. Let’s look at it again:
“We are bound by nothing except belief.”
– Ernest Holmes
…yup. Suddenly this seems to make so much sense. Think of all of the experiences that we have chosen not to pursue simply because of our beliefs. Each and every experience we have, no matter how big or small, is colored by as many as 30 separate beliefs that we have decided are true.
What would be possible if those beliefs weren’t factors? Our lives would be completely different. I’m not saying that some (or even most) of our beliefs are unfounded. Chances are that we have most of our beliefs for a very good reason. But what about those others? What beliefs to you hold true that may actually be false?
Today I challenge you to take a look at some of your beliefs that you are convinced are true from an outside point of view. Are there any beliefs you can let go? If you let these beliefs go you might just be surprised at how free you have become.
Today I was watching a TED Talk about happiness and it got me thinking. The speaker brought up a point that we often seem to just accept without much further thought.
We are always searching for our happiness.
We think, when I get that promotion I will be happy, when I retire I can be happy, when the kids get older I’ll be happy. It’s a common thought process, IF I do this then THAT will happen. But think back 10 years about the IF THEN statements you were telling yourself. Chances are you have achieved those goals and yet chances are that you are still searching for your happiness.
Dr. Srikumar Rao believes that we are hard wired to be happy and that society has just taught us how to be unhappy. You can watch his entire talk below on how to plug into your hardwired happiness, but I have 2 thoughts of my own to share with you as well.
Looking for somewhere to start? Check out my previous blog posts: 75 Simple Ways to Be More Happy with Life and Six of the Best Ways to Fill Your Relationship with Happiness.
Take a look at some of our other blog posts about how to remember to be happy: Three Opportunities to KISS Happy, Find Your Bliss, and Happy Resolve.
Just remember that, like Dr. Rao says, you are hard wired to be happy, you just have to take a little time to remember how.
As I sit down to write my final tip in this series, I am realizing that this tip is the easiest…and the hardest tip to follow.
What is so easy and yet so hard?
None of the tips I have given you will be of any help at all if you don’t truly believe that your future will be even greater than your past.
Believe that you do have power over your future, believe that you can achieve your dreams, believe that it’s not too late, just believe.
Today I ask you to do your part. You can help turn around the cultural conversation around aging, simply by proving others and the media wrong.
As you leave this post series, I want you to truly believe that your best creativity, ingenuity, relationships, careers, health, fitness, and self-expression are all still ahead.
Thank you for reading my Winning Midlife Pro Tip Series and remember to always believe in yourself!