If you are wondering why belief is so important in your efforts at transforming your life, let me step you through the process. Look around you. Notice that there are all sorts of stimuli in the outside world that you can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. These are our five senses and, believe it or not, these stimuli are neutral. Every single second, the world is sending us all sorts of stimuli. We’re just bombarded with these signals every single moment. Now, what makes them positive or negative boils down to our beliefs. Our beliefs are like filters, and when we perceive a stimulus, whether it’s something that somebody said, something that we saw, or maybe something that we heard, we interpret these things and these interpretations are never emotionally neutral. We either feel empowered or feel discouraged and diminished and small. These emotional states that we find ourselves in, by seeming accident, push us to certain physical actions and decisions.
Let me be clear, the world doesn’t care about your feelings. Seriously. How you feel, your intentions, motivations and everything else going inside your head mean absolutely nothing to the world. But do you know what people sit up and pay attention to? They pay attention to the actions you take. Your decisions matter. And I hope you can see the connection between the stimuli and your beliefs and your physical actions. If you are struggling to achieve happiness, fulfillment, contentment, and other forms of success in your life, it is due to the fact that you are using the wrong beliefs as filters. You’re feeling stuck, frustrated, small, powerless, and not in control precisely because you are using the wrong filters. Let me be clear, the reason why you refuse to take full control of your life is that you are caught in a downward spiral. Again, you may not be aware of it, but its effects on your life and the quality of your decisions are all too real.
If you were to consciously change the direction of those spirals in your life, you would be able to achieve more. Here’s how it works: when you have a positive belief, the stimuli that you get from the world makes you feel like you have a choice. It makes you feel that you can take control of every single moment of your life and produce a more positive result. When you are able to achieve that positive result, maybe you made somebody smile, maybe you did a good job at work, or maybe you impressed people during a job interview, you feel better about yourself. You feel more confident. You then are more likely to take such positive actions in the future.
The more you engage in such positive actions, the better you feel about yourself, and the less likely you’re going to interpret stimuli in a negative way. In other words, you develop an upward spiral. The better you do, the better you feel, which leads to greater confidence and more positive beliefs, which leads to even more positive actions. The reason why you’re struggling right now is that you’re caught up in the precise opposite of what I just described. You are stuck in a downward spiral. In other words, you do something bad or you perform substandard work, and people give you negative feedback. You then perceive this feedback as a personal judgment. You feel like you’re worthless, you’re dumb, you’re ugly, you are not worthy of people’s respect, or any other negative interpretations. This corrodes your confidence and you are less likely to take action.
Even when you do take action, you are so doubtful about yourself and so shaky that you do a bad job. And the process repeats itself again. You keep getting the same feedback over and over that you start believing that it is true. Ultimately, your definition of reality leaves you with the short end of the stick. You come up with conclusions like you don’t have the money, you’re too stupid, you don’t have the right education, your parents did not give you the right upbringing, and on and on it goes. I’m sorry to be the one to report this to you, but you cannot eat excuses. You may have a well-crafted excuse as to why your life is powerless, small, weak, and unhappy, but unfortunately, all the excuses in the world are not going to change your situation. You’re just going to keep going down the drain, caught in that downward spiral.
And the worst part to all of this is you feel that, at some level or another, you deserve to be there because of the excuses you chose to believe about your situation. Your areas of frustration are due to the fact that you chose to be in that downward spiral. I know, this sounds crazy because who in their right mind would want to be stuck in a downward spiral? But let me tell you, there are many abusive relationships out there. There are many husbands or boyfriends that beat the living crap out of their girlfriends physically and emotionally, but their partners refuse to leave. The same applies to your life. Life may be slapping you around, pulling you by the hair, dragging you down, and you refuse to leave because that is the only reality you know. You feel that you are dirt. You feel that the
only thing you’re capable of is failure, pain, and disappointment. You start believing that you are small and incapable of the great things in life. But it’s all in your head. If you were to change that belief system and adopt new filters, you would be able to reverse the direction of that downward spiral.