The Big Lie

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Hi… Welcome back.

I know that I have talked about this topic several times over the past two and a half years but it is something that is both important and frankly, it keeps resurfacing.

So I am compelled to write what I feel I am to write.  Who knows, maybe it is specifically for you.  Or it could be for me.  I don’t know yet because I don’t know what I am about to write.

Basically the topic is about the way we think… what we believe.

I cannot overstate the power our beliefs have in our lives.  Our lives and the actions in our lives reflect what we believe.

That’s why it’s always important to be willing to test our beliefs and assumptions.  The problem is we tend to only test the beliefs we have some question about.

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This is how humans are: we question all our beliefs, except for the ones we really believe, and those we never think to question.

– Orson Scott Card
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To be able to test and eventually change our beliefs we have to be open.  Open to information, facts and ideas.

I’m not talking about a frenzied and morbid introspection where you are questioning every detail of your life… not at all.

I am talking about just being willing to be open to facts and situations that cause us to ask questions about what we believe.

If you look at what you believe now compared to when you were young you can probably list quite a few things that you know to be different than what you were taught or once believed.

As you think about the beliefs you had when you were younger you can clearly see how behaviors reflected those beliefs.

You will also find that there are some beliefs that have remained the same… they stood the test of scrutiny.

Here’s something else to think about as you explore your beliefs and determine what you think needs testing.

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If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

– Dr. Robert Anthony
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Is your life where you want it to be?  Most of us would answer this by saying that there are lots of things I love about my life and there are some things I want or need to change.

The things you know you need changing are a result of some type of faulty belief.  Yep… faulty belief.

There are two important truths about beliefs that we need to keep in mind.

First, actions follow beliefs.

We act out what we believe.  If you believe you are a failure… you will act it out.

If you believe you are not as talented as your co-workers your actions will reflect it by being too tentative, or too defensive, or being too hard headed.  But your actions (generally the destructive behaviors) are a result of your beliefs.

Once again, a good way to determine what you really believe is to look at what you do.

The second truth is that we look for evidence to validate our beliefs.  We constantly look for evidence to prove our beliefs.

We will look for anything to prove we are right in what we believe.  If you have a favorite celebrity that is caught in a scandal you will look for the things that disprove the evidence.

Conversely, if there is a celebrity that you loath you will read into anything you hear or read to validate what you believe about them.

Yes… we are all twisted that way.  But the important thing is to understand that we do it.

Another really important learning here is that these truths apply to the good things about us as well as the bad.

The good things we believe are also reflected in our behaviors.

So the question may be, why focus primarily on the negative.

The reason we tend to focus on the negative beliefs is that negative things create the greatest drag or obstacles on our moving forward.  So in reality we are focusing on the areas that if addressed will have the greatest impact.

Well, I’ve written enough.

See you Monday.

Ciao.

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One comment

  1. Hi, Jerry. You are certainly correct about the role of belief in our success in life. (Or failure, from a different perspective.)

    We offer a one-day workshop, “The X-Factor in Selling,” in which is “X” is “belief.” One of the principles we teach managers in our coaching solution is the vital role belief plays in both the employee’s view as well as the manager’s view of the employee. The challenge for leaders is to raise the belief levels of their teams.

    Keep up the interesting commentaries!

    Mark

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