Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Examining Beliefs for Accuracy
I recently started Martha Beck's new book, Steering By Starlight. One chapter I enjoyed this weekend is about holding up your limiting beliefs in the glaring light of day and, one by one, methodically working to disprove them. So far, I've put a real dent in 10 beliefs that give me a hard time whenever I want to step into a new direction or take a chance. You know what I'm talking about....those nasty little repetitive phrases that run through your head: "I can't ask for help"; "I'm not good enough at _______"; "If I don't do _______, so and so won't love me".
Some of my beliefs have to do with claiming titles that I don't feel belong to me, like creative. In times like these, I find it particularly helpful to pull out the dictionary to get a clear understanding of the true meaning of words. (I tend to be quite literal.) Take for instance the time when I had my first child....by C-section. For a week or two afterward, I didn't feel like I had the right to say I'd given birth. I felt more like I'd had my child surgically removed, essentially failing the big final exam of pregnancy and the first big test of motherhood. It wasn't until I looked into the dictionary and read 1a: the emergence of a new individual from the body of its parent that I felt I could claim the right to say I'd given birth.
Another word I looked up in my belief dispelling quest was passion, in regards to career, which is something I've been trying to discover for years. I was stunned that the particular definition I was looking for was #4 in the list of definitions. The FIRST one was suffering, being acted upon. It claims that this definition is now obsolete, but after spending years seeking out my passion via books by every popular "expert" with not too much luck, I find this definition not as obsolete as Websters may think.
Consider taking some time and working to pull the rug out from under a few of your own limiting beliefs. Ask yourself, 1) Is this belief true ALL the time; 2) Can you think of a hypothetical situation where your belief would be untrue; 3) Is there anyone through history or that you know personally who broke the "rule" and things worked out great; and 4) Would you wish this belief on a loved one. Get yourself a cup of tea and a pad of paper and start breaking free.
Best Wishes, Bridget
Posted by BRIDGET at 4:14 PM