For many of us, when we are children we are taught many belief systems from our parents, teachers, friends and society as a whole. We are like sponges absorbing everything that we are witnessing, hearing and experiencing. However when we get older and start to carve out our own identity, we often are held back from living the life of our dreams, because of something we were taught to believe as truth by someone else. If we don't have a certain level of self-awareness, a lot of the time we don't even realize we are living a life based on someone else's truth and even someone else's dreams!
In order for this process to stop and for each of us to be able to step into our own truth and own beliefs -- we need to examine everything we learned growing up and begin questioning whether it is serving us in a positive or negative way.
At the back of my book that I co-authored with my father, Empowered YOUth: A Father and Son's Journey to Conscious Living, you will find a resources section that is full of practices, exercises and tools that you can put into place in your lives that will help you overcome some of your most pressing challenges and lead you towards living a more empowered life.
Here is one of the practices that will help you acknowledge and shift the internal belief systems that are holding you back and no longer serving you at the highest level in your lives.
Practice: Out with the Old, In with the New
Step One: Question All Your Current Beliefs
Think back to when you were growing up and reflect on all the things that you were taught by your parents, siblings, teachers, and so on. These should pop into your mind quite easily, because they were ingrained into your consciousness at an early age. They have most likely become things that you believe to be the truth today. Here are some possibilities:
• You must work hard to get ahead.
• You won't succeed in life without an education.
• Be respectful of your elders.
• Beauty is on the inside.
• It's important that others like you.
• Expressing emotion is bad.
• Be true to yourself.
• Save the best for last.
• Don't get too excited, or you'll be disappointed.
• Help those in need.
• You must earn a lot of money to be successful.
• It's important to have fun in life.
• Live each day as if it's your last.
Some of these may seem ridiculous when put down on paper, but somewhere in your subconscious you still believe them to be true. Others you may have already let go of, and others still are more valuable now than ever before. Once you've completed your list, start questioning each of these beliefs: Is this still my truth? How does it make me feel? Ask yourself probing questions to determine whether they're all truly your own or if they belong to someone else. This will help you determine which ones you want to keep around and which ones you want to replace. Here are some more questions to begin with:
• Do I really believe this, or is it something that I've just been taught to believe as the truth?
• Does this even make sense?
• How does this belief make me feel?
• Does this belief scare me?
Try to be completely honest with yourself when you answer these questions, and record your answers as they come up.
Step Two: Substitute New "Feel Good" Beliefs
For all of the beliefs above that you identified as no longer making sense, no longer holding truth, or no longer making you feel good, it's time to find replacements that feel better. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Old belief: Expressing emotion is bad.
New belief: It's important and empowering to express my emotions in a healthy way.
Old belief: Money makes me successful.
New belief: My success is determined by many things -- most important, how I feel about myself.
Old belief: Save the best for last.
New belief: As I enjoy all the good things in life, more good things will come to me.
As you begin to question EVERYTHING you believe, and take a deep dive within, you will most likely begin to uncover the roots that are holding you back from living the life of your greatest dreams and deepest desires.
Picture your life is like a tree. The roots of that tree are the foundation and they hold everything in place and very rarely will the tree grow in a different direction if the roots stay as they are. These roots are like your beliefs. The trunk is your thoughts, the branches are your words, the buds are your actions and when everything blooms, that becomes your life experiences.
So, if you want to continue to have the same thoughts, words, actions and experiences - then don't change a thing. BUT, if you are not satisfied in any way with your life -- the first place to look is at your beliefs as they are the root of all creation in your life.
The more you work on changing your beliefs and letting go of the ones that are holding you back, the more liberated and empowered you will feel to create the life you have always dreamed of!
Try putting this into practice and share your feedback in the comments.