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Belief System

Understand and Change them

Your Belief System – And What That Means For Your Life

Have you ever tried to change a habit, negative thought, or emotional reaction and struggled to make that change stick? If you struggled to make changes it is probably because you didn’t address the underlying belief system driving that habit, thought, or emotion.

Belief systems affect every area of your life. Beliefs affect most of your emotions, thoughts you think, productivity, relationships, and attitude.

Why should you take notice of your belief system?

Your belief systems will determine what kind of decisions you make for yourself in terms of heath, food, exercise, financial independence, happiness, smart relationships or whether you will create chaos and drama in these areas. If you feel you, your life, emotions, or your mind is out of control then what is it that has control? It is your beliefs, most of which are unconscious that have control of your mind. Unless you become aware and begin to take charge of your beliefs your beliefs will continue to have control of your thoughts and emotions. Here is an example of how beliefs in your mind can take a small thing and spiral into a major event.

Your partner leaves a dirty dish on the counter (or some other pet peeve like not taking out the trash). You become upset, really upset. Your mind goes through a series of associations over the next 5 min or 5 hours. It creates a chain of narratives linking one thought to another leading your nervous system to spiral in emotions. It might go something like this:

They left the dirty dishes out again.
I’ve told them a dozen times that’s not okay. It just makes more sense to wash it (put it in the dishwasher) right away.
They don’t listen to me.
It’s like they don’t respect me.
Do I have to clean everything up myself?
I’m the only one that cleans up around here.
If they can’t respect and appreciate me then I’m not cared about.
I can’t live with someone who treats me this way.

In a short shifting of narratives our mind has associated leaving the dirty dishes out to not listened to and not respected. This is associated to not being loved and that you should consider exiting the relationship. These are the narratives powered beliefs the mind provides all on its own. Beliefs propel the story from facts about the dishes to emotional meaning about the relationship and value. With awareness you can move your perspective and be the observer of your mind and not get emotionally caught up in the spiral. If you don’t have self-awareness, you get taken for an emotional ride and are compelled to act on those emotions. In this way we are slaves to our beliefs and the emotional narratives they drive in our mind. Breaking free of the traps in your mind begins with acknowledging that your mind has you boxed in by your beliefs. To change it is not enough to just work on the thoughts and emotions. Beliefs are the source of those thoughts and emotions.

Check out these articles!

Belief systems around jealousy, anger, or anxiety.

No. Those emotions and the program of thoughts happen without your choice or even consent. How do they happen? Your belief system has a mind of its own. Your rational mind will say, “they” or “the situation” did something to make you respond that way. But that is a lie. On another day, when you are feeling different, the same thing might not bother you. It also assumes the cause was completely outside of you. If that were the case, then everyone would respond the same way to the same event. People do not all respond the same way all the time to an event, yet they attribute their emotions or feelings to the event. Saying that your thoughts, emotions, or reactions were caused by someone or something outside of you is one of the most disempowering beliefs you can have. It is also false.

Consciousness VS the Ego – A Resource

To learn more about what makes the consciousness different than the ego – see this resource.

Your beliefs system affect how much you enjoy and how much you suffer emotionally.

Is a joke funny or offensive? People interpret jokes with a different sense of perspective and humor. Each person processes the joke through their beliefs, and “see” the funny through their lens of beliefs. You can also have different beliefs that are active or dormant at different time. This often depends on mood. If you are in a good mood, the joke or person is perceived as funny. If you are tired or frustrated, the person or joke is annoying. Even within yourself you change the filters of your beliefs in how you experience any event in the world. You can perceive how your different beliefs are active depending on your emotional state at the time. If you are depressed you will have a set of beliefs congruent with depressed thoughts about yourself and views on the world. If you are optimistic you will have a set of beliefs congruent with that mindset.

There are similar beliefs happening in experiencing jealousy, anxiety, and anger. Another person with a different perspective, and a different set of beliefs will interpret the same situation differently. They might not get angry or jealous at all. You might get angry and jealous in one moment, and later feel that you over-reacted. This is because different beliefs are active and dormant at different times within you. Your angry emotional beliefs will interpret that they are justified. When you calm down your rational mind has different beliefs and will think that you over-reacted. Most people operate with conflicting beliefs and this creates internal emotional turmoil. Even when you believe you are consciously choosing, brain scans have shown your mind is likely making  decision at a level you are unconscious of. 

Read more about Damaging Effects of Criticism here.

Read more about Changing Core Beliefs here.

Beliefs determining emotional reactions

Reacting emotionally is made instantly, emotionally, and silently within the belief system. Beliefs are like preset programs in the mind that launch emotional reactions when activated. Your beliefs interpret a situation automatically and gives your nervous system a response of emotion and justification, without asking you if you want to consider alternatives. Your first emotions and words might be accusatory, blaming, or defensive before you ask any questions for clarification. This is your belief system running your behavior and your life at times. Your belief system is making interpretations in your mind that create emotions and behaviors and then you act them out. This is fine if you are going to change lanes on the freeway. It’s not if you are over-reacting in your relationship.

When you have a reaction and feel that your partner has too close a friendship with their ex or someone at work your belief system is calculating much more than you are consciously aware. Your conscious mind might be aware of some social media activity or texting. But your unconscious mind might be programming your emotional reaction, and accusations based on things like:

* An experience of your past relationships.
*What close friends and family members have experienced in relationships.
*Your insecurities
* The emotional security and self-soothing capability you developed as a child in developing healthy attachment style
*Beliefs about your partners gender stereotype.
*What you read in a Cosmo article online recently about fidelity
* Self worth and self-judgment thoughts in your head affecting your emotions
* Fear of being alone
* Self confidence and feelings of your own emotional security
* Beliefs about what “appropriate” social behavior is
* Relationships you have with your ex’s as a measure of what is “appropriate”
* How tired you are which will affect your ability to suppress your emotional responses and think more clearly.
* Fidelity and trust your parents have in each other growing up as a relationship model
* and twenty to fifty other relationship experiences that inform your belief system

Your rational conscious mind doesn’t take all this history into account, but you belief system has stored a great deal of emotional memories to draw from. If you ask yourself, “Why did I overreact? You probably don’t have a good answer. You might have an excuse, but not a good satisfying answer. That is because your rational mind doesn’t include the belief system into its assessment. Until you do, you will miss out on the cause of your reactions. If you miss out on understanding the real cause of your behavior, then you will miss out on how to change it.

Your belief systems affect every area of your life, most importantly they will affect your happiness and misery. They are behind your emotional outbursts, anxiety, depression, insecurity, financial decisions, intimacy issues, commitment, and effectiveness in communication. Your beliefs determine whether you feel worthy enough to be happy, or whether you feel it is even possible to make changes. If your belief system is programmed with, “This is just the way I am, and I will always be this way,” then it is precluding you from considering options that would help you have a life you want.

Emotional Pain and Human Suffering – A Resource

To learn more about where our pain comes from – see this resource.

Fortunately, belief systems are changeable.

If you effectively address your belief systems, my experience is that you can change any thought pattern, emotional state, and behavior you wish.

What changes would you like to make in your life? Notice how your mind can give thoughts about whether that change is possible or not? There are already beliefs in your mind about whether it can happen, or it won’t. There may be beliefs with hopes and beliefs with doubts and fears about changes being possible. Take a moment to notice how your mind reacts to the idea of change being possible. These are pre-programmed response of beliefs in your mind. Your mind has beliefs about changing beliefs. It will have beliefs of hope and fear about the Self Mastery Course working or not working even if it doesn’t know anything about it yet.

This awareness of this programmed resistance of thoughts is the first step to making changes. The next step is skepticism of these doubts and fears trying to make decisions for you based on imagined assumptions.

Awareness and skepticism are two critical elements to changing beliefs.

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Beliefs run your life in invisible ways.

Describing beliefs is difficult because they are invisible and silent in the beginning. Once you begin to notice them you will see them everywhere running people’s lives and the world. 

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EpisodeListen nowDate
#86 Beliefs and Attention
The Awareness and Consciousness Podcasts with Gary van Warmerdam
Awareness and Consciousness Podcast
#86 Beliefs and Attention

When you use your attention to control your beliefs, you can identify the assumptions you live by, and consciously choose another thought, interpretation, belief, or behavior about what is happening. There is a lot of great advice about not letting others bother you, or “don’t take anything personally.” What needs to be known to follow this advice is that you need control over your attention to follow it. 

December 17, 2023
#85 Beliefs are the Key to Change
The Awareness and Consciousness Podcasts with Gary van Warmerdam
Awareness and Consciousness Podcast
#85 Beliefs are the Key to Change

Changing beliefs will allow you to change your narrative story and emotions. Beliefs are also the foundation for how economic, political, monetary, and social systems work. If you want to understand any one of those aspects, you will need to understand how beliefs work because that is the basis.

November 30, 2023
#65 Beliefs I’m Broken and Unlovable that Produce Shame
The Awareness and Consciousness Podcasts with Gary van Warmerdam
Awareness and Consciousness Podcast
#65 Beliefs I'm Broken and Unlovable that Produce Shame

To change a belief sometimes it helps to understand where and how it came to be. When you understand why and how you started to believe your thoughts about being wrong, bad, unlovable, or broken, you have new perspective on those ideas. You can understand their time and place from who you are today, instead of who you were when those beliefs may have helped. You can also see why it is not true today, or not true before that moment you began believing in your false ego identity as who you were.

July 28, 2020
#51: Unconscious beliefs
The Awareness and Consciousness Podcasts with Gary van Warmerdam
Awareness and Consciousness Podcast
#51: Unconscious beliefs

Unconscious beliefs are agreements we have in our mind that we have no awareness we are holding. In spite of not having any intellectual knowledge of our own beliefs, they can still cause us to have emotional reactions and sabotaging behaviors.

July 20, 2016
#07: Identify and change core beliefs
The Awareness and Consciousness Podcasts with Gary van Warmerdam
Awareness and Consciousness Podcast
#07: Identify and change core beliefs

What are core beliefs and how do you identify them? That’s what many people are realizing they need to do to change their emotional reactions. The problem is where do you look to find core beliefs?

October 31, 2006
#02: The Four Agreements and hidden assumptions
The Awareness and Consciousness Podcasts with Gary van Warmerdam
Awareness and Consciousness Podcast
#02: The Four Agreements and hidden assumptions

In this episode I cover some places that assumptions hide. I do a little poking around to show you what they look like. I also show how they lead us down dark alleys chasing illusions in our mind. Becoming aware of those dark alleys of mental illusions will make it easier to get out.

August 15, 2006

Should you take the band aid off slow or fast?

Dan Ariely shares an interesting story of whether you should take the band aid off slow, or fast.   If you do it slow, the pain is less intense, but over a longer period of time.  If you take the band aid off fast it is more intense, but for a shorter period of time.

You might not think this is an unimportant question, but he debated this with the nurses while recovering from burns over 70% of his body.  Each time the nurses took his bandages off it took an hour,,, and they did it fast.  The nurses had their beliefs about why it was better for him.  After he got out, he engaged in careful research and discovered they were wrong.

They were operating from an assumption and false beliefs.  He discovered that it would be even better to start on his face and head where the pain was most intense, and work towards his feet that were less sensitive.  This way the intensity lessened during the process and creating a sense of relief as it was happening.

What is more interesting is that Dan Ariely studied peoples beliefs about cheating and money as it relates to economics.  He has good insights on how people’s belief systems operate in an environment like Enron, and shady stock trading based on his studies.

It turns out that most people’s morality is flexible depending on their social circumstances.  Check it out.

What I found most interesting was his interview with the nurse that cared for him.  One of her contentions was how she felt taking his bandages off.   She remarked that it was painful for her as well.  If you understand that paradigm of beliefs, then you could see how she would be motivated towards a belief that taking the bandages off faster is better for the patient.  Her beliefs about her self were justified on the patients experience, even though it was not true.

It’s about perspective, and being aware that other people’s experience may not match up to your assumptions and beliefs.

Video from Ted Talks lincoln gets strapped face up and sucked. ultra hot brunette teenie facialized.

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