There are plenty of beliefs you hold that you allow to influence your life. You haven’t even given many of these beliefs a lot of thought.
For example, you probably have similar religious beliefs as your parents. Did you ever sit down and think about which religion best suits you? Or did you just continue with what you were exposed to as a child?
You don’t have to be a slave to your old beliefs!
Try these techniques to maintain only beliefs that support you:
1. Your previous beliefs and knowledge can prevent you from gaining new knowledge. If you think you know something already, you won’t be open to new views. Knowledge is great, but when it gets in the way of learning something new, it’s poison.
2. Ask more questions. Be curious. Avoid believing that you already know the answer because of your previous experience. You can learn while you listen. You can’t learn while you’re speaking. Ask questions and then be quiet and listen to the answer.
3. Pretend that you’re a beginner. For example, imagine that you make a living as a real estate investor. When a novice investor starts telling you about his latest deal, you probably don’t believe there’s anything you can learn from him.
- Pretend that you know absolutely nothing about a topic. Be open to everything you hear. Even if you’re a leading authority on something, there are still things you don’t know. If you pretend that you’re a mere novice, you’ll have a better chance of gaining that knowledge that eludes you.
4. Determine if your beliefs are truths, or merely just beliefs. Beliefs are personal, often unprovable, and often no more correct than another belief.
- Truths don’t require constant validation. For example, gravity is a truth.
5. Where did your belief come from? If you believe that women are better than men, how did you decide that? Or, if you believe that you’re not capable of managing money, where did this belief come from? What is the source of your belief?
- Many of our beliefs come from our parents. Most of us didn’t have parents that were Rhodes Scholars.
- Question the origin of your beliefs and determine if that idea is worth a second look.
6. Let go of your identity. Our identities are largely built around our beliefs. We might believe:
- “I’m an overweight person.”
- “I’m not intelligent.”
- “I’m the most intelligent person I know.”
- “I’m liberal.”
- “I’m someone that can’t learn math.”
- “I’m lazy.”
- “I’m a school teacher. That’s what I am.”
We take our beliefs, good or bad, and associate with them. If you believe that you’re naturally overweight, it makes it challenging to lose weight. If you associate with being bad at math, you make it harder to learn math. It’s hard to achieve or believe something outside of your identity.
7. What is the cost of your beliefs? Some beliefs come with a heavy price. Look at your beliefs and consider the impact they are having on you.
- Since beliefs are personal and alterable, think about which of your beliefs are making your life more challenging. When a belief doesn’t serve you, you’ll be more interested in letting go of it.
We’re all slaves to our beliefs. Unfortunately, many of our beliefs are unhealthy and unhelpful. Beliefs can be very limiting. Face the world with an open mind, and you’ll have an easier time of finding your truth.
Avoid allowing your old beliefs to control you. Be the master of your life, not a slave to your beliefs.