Beliefs - Has your Playground become a Prison?
So many of us who are into self-help, spirituality or personal development understand that beliefs are a big deal.
We know we need to change them, we know that some of them (or maybe even a lot of them) are holding us back from achieving what it is that we so desperately and truly want for ourselves. From having the "perfect" partner, job and/or lifestyle, or simply having a sense of inner peace and tranquility that we have been craving for years.
We know that it is key to change and shift, but what exactly are beliefs? How and why are they so relevant and what can you do to change them in a way that is fun, free and fills you with joy and self-esteem moving forward.
In this article I will provide you with a simple and basic understanding that will greatly help you in shifting those pesky unwanted beliefs and transform yourself into the real and authentic you.
First of all, the key to understanding beliefs in it's purest sense is to see them as being similar to a jungle gym or climbing frame. You are supposed to play on it, climb and see things from a new higher vantage point (higher perspective); to swing and play on it, test your strength by swinging on the monkey bars and jump off and express yourself like a child in a playground. I mean doesn't that sound how it is supposed to be? If only that were the case though.
Beliefs are the foundation for your entire life. You accumulate thoughts, emotions and experiences that creates a perceptual, subjective framework from which you build upon in your life moving forward. And far too often in this sick and broken society, we accumulate thoughts, behaviours, experiences from our parents, schooling, peer group, social group and environment that does not serve us. That is harmful and abusive and then we internalise as ourselves. And just one particular belief can be an entire climbing frame of which other rungs of the ladder are built upon, creating this web of false support or structure, or is just a frame set that you don't want to be playing on anymore. You've played on it for too long, you are bored and now you are ready to try something else, or you've fallen off accidentally and now find yourself inside that frame, believing that there is no way out. Or you are scared and angry that you are fell in and want someone to help you get out! Haha
Beliefs are reinforced by a portion of your brain known as the Reticular Activating System which both focuses and seeks out other similar experiences or stimulus as to protect itself from future harm. It is a part of the Reptilian Brain located in the brain stem near the medulla oblongata, our fight or flight mechanism. And they work hand in hand to ensure our physical survival in case of a threat.
But in our modern world there aren't many actual physical threats. More likely, what we are experiencing, unless you find yourself in real abusive situations of which I recommend to get out of immediately, is a threat to our self-identity and mental and emotional states which we carry on from childhood. Often times, these perceived threats are most likely past traumas that are stored in a our cellular memory; in our bodies, as well as in the fascia of our muscles that create tension and sends signal to your body to hunch over and tense up, further reinforcing another feedback loop for the belief that there is an actual threat that is to come - when there really isn't.
This is what always will happen when you go through a traumatic or stressful situation in life, whether it is conscious or subconscious, as an adult or in childhood, the imprint still remains in your DNA, in your cells and in you body, mind and even soul. Therefore, you must consciously take steps to manage and deal with and release these stagnant beliefs based on past traumas; so that new experiences and energy can be brought in for your new framework and new beliefs to be built upon.
Furthermore, science has proven through the Placebo effect, that preexisting beliefs have an effect on that outcome of physical results in biology. I recommend you look that up for more detail as well as Quantum Entanglement and the Butterfly Effect in Chaos Theory. All of these scientific principles further prove that thoughts and belief have a physical effect on both you, yourself, your environment and the entire Universe at large! You really are that powerful and can wield that power if you are to create new beliefs that will benefit yourself and ultimately the world at large.
One of the first things you can do, is to begin to question whether what it is that I am feeling right now is actually present or is it from the past? How might this be different? And how was I able to deal with this before so that I am here now? Because your body is triggered and is telling you that there is a physical threat when there isn't! This will begin to break the illusory beliefs that were there to keep you safe. So don't beat yourself up, as it was an entirely self-loving to do at that time. But now that it is no longer serves you and is hindering you, you can let it go with grace and love for it being there. You release resistance to it and it will naturally dissolve and be let go without much effort at all. There is no force.
The next thing you can do is to challenge your beliefs further by putting yourself in tough or unknown situations that can give you the reference experiences you need to prove that the belief is not entirely true. And then slowly you will begin to chip away at it and will naturally see the light of the way out of your own imaginary prison.
In our negative or outdated beliefs, what is happening is that we fell of the jungle gym and are inside the bars, not realising there is enough space and room to climb out of it once more. By questioning and challenging yourself , you begin to see that there is space in between and can begin to make your way out.To get back to where you were on top of that particular frame or goal, or we can choose another climbing frame to play on in our playground that is life.
We built the playground and we can dismantle it and make another one.
The choice is yours, what do you choose?