When we were younger, we had younger minds. As we grow and change, so does our life experiences, knowledge, wisdom, and perspectives. When we were younger, we had not yet developed into the person we now are, and our minds were not developed into what they now are. Misconceptions and misunderstandings were much more commonplace then than they are now, and most of us simply didn’t realize it. Many of us thought it wasn’t okay to make mistakes or to be wrong, and that what we believed was the entire truth.
That is normal. It’s okay! As we grow and have new experiences to draw from, we perceive and understand things differently than we did back then. Our parents or guardians were also not as developed and experienced back then as they are now. Because of this, the belief system we adopted at an early age may still be in play.
I know that, for me, my own beliefs and personal philosophies which were acquired and installed as a young child ruled my world and disabled me, rendering me unable to optimize my own life fully, and navigate through life’s inevitable difficulties and challenges with ease. The thing that changed all of that is when I decided to started to intentionally recreate those beliefs and philosophies in 2014, at the age of 42.
We may now be living with beliefs that served our young minds well, empowering us with necessary survival skills, which are now no longer beneficial to us. It very well may be worth it to take a good look at some of the beliefs we were raised with and ask the questions: “Do the beliefs I have now benefit me and my loved ones around me, and add value to our lives? Are there beliefs I could possibly adopt, then gain and create even more benefit and value?”
Attached below are some of my beliefs from my old belief system that ran and ruled my life into my forties. The beliefs I had would dictate the choices I made, which would then result in the consequences and results I deserved and earned from those choices. My mind literally created my reality, throughout my entire life, through and because of my belief system. When I replaced old beliefs with new ones, my life changed because of different results and feedback. As I began to make different decisions, I also began to enjoy different results and consequences. WE CREATE OUR LIVES WITH OUR MINDS. EVERYTHING is an inside job.
I used to be obsessed with the truth and what I thought was right. Sometimes, I would argue that others were wrong and I was right, and that my beliefs were better. My new belief is that what each of us believes is the truth for us, as individuals. It’s not as much about being RIGHT, as it is about being EFFECTIVE for US. What works well for someone may not work at all for another. That’s okay!
As we seek out our own truth, we can choose to seek out what is effective and useful in optimizing this life experience. Now, if something I believe, or something I do, is working, and serving myself and others, and creating a more beautiful life experience with more joy and happiness than before, I keep doing that. If something isn’t working, I choose to change, evolve, adjust, recalibrate, and adapt. It’s no longer about achieving the impossible dream of perfection. For me, at this stage of life, it’s about consistent growth and progress, EVERY day, from now on.
These were beliefs I thought I was being taught from a young age which, in reality, were probably mis-perceived off-shoots of what I thought my parents were actually trying to teach me. This is just a few pages from the beginning of this experiment:
By comparing these old beliefs to the new beliefs, you can easily determine why my life has changed so much since 2014.
- “I’ve tried everything!” -This belief makes our brain give up and quit looking for additional ways to solve problems or fix things. I replaced this belief with, “There is always going to be another way to do things-anything, really. There will always be something else I can try. If I can’t think of other ways, I can and will ask for help, suggestions, and wisdom from others who have already gone through what I am facing, no matter how big or small. This will help me to connect with others and come up with more solutions to any problems I may encounter.”
- “I must be perfect and strive for perfection always. If I can’t be perfect, I must at least appear to be perfect. Appearing to be better than I actually am is important to get people to like me. Appearances matter!” -This belief was overwhelming and I always fell short of perfection. It developed within me an all-or-nothing mindset and I grew up with very little or no confidence or feelings of accomplishment. I felt like I was never good enough. This belief made me extremely judgmental towards myself and others and I had difficulties making friends and enjoying deep, meaningful connections because of it. I replaced this belief with, “It is okay and completely acceptable to just be myself! Appearances don’t matter nearly as much as character. I don’t need to waste my time caring what others think of me. I will care more what I think about myself. I will choose to be proud of who I am and what I have become.” I AM ENOUGH. PROGRESS over perfection.
- “Ignorance is bliss. What I don’t know won’t hurt me.” This belief made it okay to overlook any and every situation I thought would cause me pain. I lived a life filled with pain because of this belief. I thought I was taught to not be confrontational, and so confronting my problems or challenges was never an option in my mind. It turned out that, “Kill the monster while it is a baby,” and confronting problems when they are small and easy to deal with was some of the greatest advice of my life. I didn’t hear this until I was 45. I replaced this old belief with, “Ignorance is poverty. Ignorance is pain. The things I don’t know have the potential to hurt me. I choose not to be a victim. My learning and curiosity must never end. I will do something every day to learn tips, tricks, tools, strategies, methods, and short cuts which will make my life less painful and empower me with the skills to deal with the pain which will inevitably come my way. I will create a life more filled with joy, and I will always strive to share what I learn with others.”
These are just a few of the beliefs I decided to change. It is an incredibly difficult, time-consuming, effective, and very helpful exercise. It is so worth it. I plan to regularly re-evaluate my beliefs and philosophies from now on, as part of a continuous, self-development, and evolutionary process, which I know will benefit me and those I love. This exercise is a game changer! This exercise is a life-optimization tool.
WE CAN ALWAYS BE UPGRADING.
WE CAN CHANGE.
WE CAN IMPROVE.
WE CAN GET SMARTER.
WE CAN GET BETTER.
WE CAN DO MORE.
WE CAN EXPERIENCE MORE.
Today I will write down just one belief that I was raised perceiving I was supposed to believe. I will pick it apart, analyze it, and decide if there are tweaks, changes, or improvements I can make to this belief that would optimize my life experience and benefit me even more in some way, and add value to my life and the lives of my loved ones.
When it comes to improving personal beliefs and truly optimizing our lifestyles, there are MANY people who have already done it, and who are empowering others with the information needed to make it easy for anyone to do. Here are a few of my favorite thought leaders, who I follow and learn from by reading or listening to their content, as often as I can. I am so incredibly grateful for the content they work so hard to share, and for their transparency and willingness to make imperfections the perfect place for us to be, and the perfect place to start. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to admit being wrong, or doing something incorrectly, or less optimally. This is how we experience and learn.
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Remember: Mindset matters. Character counts. That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives. WE CREATE our realities.