Friday, July 17, 2015

Are You a Slave to Your False Beliefs?


"Your total is $66.68".


This was all the cashier had to say to the woman in front of me to bring her to a state of semi-panic. Hurriedly, she turned to her side, deciding what small item she could purchase to add to her total. I'm not sure what she ended up grabbing, maybe a pack of gum or a candy bar, but what I did hear was her saying, "Oh no. There is NO way I'm ending up with a 666 total."

Obviously the woman considered it bad luck and felt compelled to do something to avoid it. I thought it was nonsense and amusing, but really, who am I to judge? It's her belief, her life and her choices were really of no consequence to my existence, other than to inspire a thought for this blog post, obviously. 

The idea of false beliefs, and how these affect our lives, is what came to mind. And I'm not even talking about mere superstitions although they do function in similar ways. By definition, a superstition is a belief in supernatural causality even in the absence of rational, scientific proof. But a lot of us who say we're not superstitious still cling to certain beliefs about ourselves and our realities that don't make much sense, don't have much basis in practical reality. These same beliefs are also clearly detrimental to our mental health and how we conduct our relationships.



As a teenager, I was told by someone that if I didn't lose weight and become slim, no one 'worthy' (translate: an all around great guy) would fall in love with me. I believed it for a long time until I realized it was too painful to hold on to. Eventually, I had to convince myself that anyone truly worthy would choose to see past my size and appreciate what I'm truly about. Events in my life have disproved this false belief. I'm obviously married to a most wonderful man who saw beyond my bulges and tomboyish demeanor. But I'll admit that it's still a daily struggle to fight that mean voice in my head. The worst part is that now the voice is mine and it's one I have to always keep in check, at least until I'm able to finally fully slay it.

My struggle has to do with my false belief about the relationship between my physical appearance and my sense of worth and lovability. It continues to cause fear and insecurity within me which of course is never good for my marriage and how I open myself up to others. I know it doesn't make much sense but I still allow it to affect my behavior and bleed into my relationships. It's just as baffling as that woman's superstitious behavior in the store, only much less amusing and more damaging.

So why do we cling to our false beliefs? 

I think it's because we derive a false sense of security from them. They become safe and comfortable spots for us. Perhaps your false belief has become convenient and has protected you from taking risks or kept you from pursuing something more challenging which will force you to venture into the unknown. Perhaps it has become easier to cling to what we already know rather than change our minds and try something different. Status quo is always the path of least resistance but also the path of least evolution.

Maybe you think you're damaged. Maybe you think you're incapable of making anyone happy. Perhaps you've convinced yourself that you're not good at anything. Or perhaps you believe that no one around you could ever be trusted. Whatever negative belief you're holding on to, do yourself a favor and at least pause to question your data. How reliable is your belief? What gifts has it really given you? Is it costing you too much?

If you muster the courage to ask and consider the alternative, you might actually want to give it a try and realize that there is greater peace to be found in walking through life more freely without your false beliefs as crutches. Simply try it. You might just enjoy the amount of growth that's bound to follow. 



Are you holding on to a false belief? 
What have you done recently to challenge it?

6 comments:

  1. How thought-provoking. I never thought of it that way and you are so right -- it is as silly as being superstitious. I must rethink this :)

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    1. Thanks Carol. You made my day with your comment. Enjoy your week! :-))

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  2. it always amazes me when you talk about your insecurities! You are such a beautiful person inside and out. I can finally comment on your site so I'm going to go back and read some of the ones I've missed lately!

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    1. Aww, you're just so sweet Rena. But yes, those 'demons' are still there. And as always, THANK YOU for your support! Glad you're back :-))

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  3. I think you're exactly right. There's security in them, even if it's not a good kind, it gives us something concrete in an abstract world.

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    1. Thanks Marie. It's really a crutch, right? *sigh*

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