They can go either way. They can be an enormous boost to our lives, or they can undermine, sabotage, and tear our lives apart.
Beliefs are the set of ideas we pick up as we go through life. Most of them we get from outside sources; parents, teachers, authorities, figures of dominance and so on.
Some beliefs serve us very well. Others can destroy us.
A belief can be picked up in what could be a throwaway statement. An admired coach, telling a young player that he is a waste of space and should leave the playing field, can mentally cripple that youngster for life. A different coach, telling that youngster to persevere, that he has great potential, can instil in him a sense of self belief that will stand him in great stead for the rest of his life.
We all harbour beliefs that we’ve picked up over the years. It’s a good idea to sit and to go through them every now and again. At least, go through the ones we can identify. Many of our beliefs are so deeply buried in the depths of our subconscious that we’re not even aware of them. They usually manifest themselves in various kinds of bias.
Here are three samples of beliefs as they exist in my own life. I’m not saying they are true; they are just my beliefs, my truth.
1. There is a Superior Power to whom we all have recourse.
2. Most people, given the chance, will do you a good turn rather than a bad one.
3. None of us is better or worse than anyone else. (courtesy Tommy Howlin, Kilmore Quay, in the mid fifties)
They’re samples of personal beliefs, and I’ve had cause to experience their results, and a occasionally their consequences.
But generally I find them helpful and a useful directive for everyday living.
A lady told me recently that she examined her own beliefs about people, recognised a peculiarity in her own reaction to an event, and that it was the consequence of a misplaced belief she had of how she thought she should appear to behave in a particular circumstance.
She realised her true belief, responded accordingly, and was perfectly comfortable in her decision, even though it was an unpopular one.
Such is the power and the direction given by a seen belief.