Our beliefs are one of the most important factors that shape our behaviour. Our beliefs are what impact our thoughts and actions, and we’re often not even aware of how they affect us. Because our beliefs are stored in our subconscious, they are like little automatic programs that control our actions, thoughts and emotions. The majority of our beliefs are formed during childhood and usually come from the adults who had the most influence over us at the time, such as parents, caregivers, teachers and authority figures.
I had a dream recently where a sentence came to me that I couldn’t get out of my head, “You are what you believe and you believe what you are”. Cool, ok. I am what I believe, makes sense really. If I believe I can’t do something then I'll struggle to do it. Or if I believe I have a big nose, then I’ll perceive myself as having a big nose, even if I don't. We’ve all been there. Maybe not the nose thing, I don’t think I have a big nose. Now I’m wondering if I have a big nose.
Anyway, it’s the second part that hurt my brain. “You believe what you are”. It seems to contradict the first part. Or at least trap you in an ongoing loop. If I believe what I am, and I am what I believe, so what I believe becomes what I am, yet what I am is what I believe. So how do I change what I believe to become something new if I believe what I am already?
At first, I thought, easy, just change what I believe. But this became confusing. If I am what I believe (big nose Nikky), then I’m going to believe what I am (big nose Nikky). Maybe that’s why it’s so difficult to consciously change your beliefs. It’s hard to believe what you can’t see, and easy to believe what you can see.
Although this is a very simple example, I’m sure it’s a lot more complicated. And because our beliefs are stored in our subconscious, we're often not aware of them and it’s difficult (but not impossible) to change.