Sunday, February 26, 2012

Belief/Faith/Sight - Part 2 - Is Your Faith Misplaced?

This is the 2nd post in my series on belief, faith, sight and their importance in helping us to experience a full and successful life. As stated in my earlier post, belief is defined as: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.

I also stated that core beliefs are something that we just inherently know to be true and act as our guide to life. These beliefs can be either positive or negative and can have an exhilarating or destructive effect on how we experience life.

Negative core beliefs hinder us from reaching our goals in life as well as from finding our ultimate life's purpose. They are typically formed early in life as the result of some hurtful or painful event that we experienced. They are hidden in our subconscious and the reason we have to repeat certain aspects of our life over and over again until we get it right.

Because they are hidden in our subconscious we are not normally aware of their affect upon us. It is also important to understand that these negative core beliefs are connected to our sense of self-worth and leave us with feelings of being: unworthy, unlovable, not good enough, imperfect, unwanted, etc.

Many of us believe that we experience problem areas in life because we lack sufficient faith in our abilities to overcome them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our faith is strong and it is what prevents us from being successful! We are just misplacing it!  Let me see if I can explain what’s really taking place. My last post defined faith as: something that is believed especially with strong conviction.

We earlier stated that negative core beliefs formed as the result of some hurtful or painful event that we experienced. Allow me to share with you that it is not the event we experienced which is causing us the pain; but the emotion we attached to this event is what we are really trying to avoid. Remember these strong emotions left us feeling as if we were: unworthy, unlovable, not good enough, etc. The result is that our subconscious mind will have us do anything possible to avoid circumstances or situations that even remotely remind us of these feelings. We then make excuses, blame other people, places or things and fail to take responsibility for not being successful in this aspect of our life.

Now for the good news! These feelings that we have about ourselves are wrong. They are value judgments and do not exist except in our mind. Has anyone ever gone to the doctor and had a pound of unworthy, unlovable or not good enough removed? 

What we really need to do is have the courage to look at every one of these areas of our lives that aren’t working and ask, “Why do I feel this way?” We are placing our faith in either a conclusion that we've made about ourselves or a value judgement.  Both of which are just "Paper Tigers" and do not exist. It's not a of lack of faith after all; it's simply a matter of our misplacing it.

In my next post I will discuss the connection between faith and how we experience this physical world.

If you wish to learn more about this subject matter, contact me through the information below to schedule my seminar/workshop entitled “Straight Talk About Success and Personal Growth” for your group or organization.

Peace and God Bless…..Al

Friday, February 17, 2012

Belief/Faith/Sight - Part 1

In this series of blogs I will discuss the connection between core beliefs, our faith, our sight/vision and how to live successfully and fearlessly. This is not a theological or religious discussion but a practical attempt to help the reader understand that we all get to choose how we experience life.

The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines belief as: A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.

In a quotation about belief, the great heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed Ali said: “It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen”.

I like the Champs’ above comment because we can make nothing happen for ourselves until we have some sense of conviction about who we are and where we want to go. Our core beliefs can be positive or negative and develop over a long period of time. They are the result of our experiences and influences.

A core belief is something that we just inherently know to be true. It acts as our guide to life. However, I do not believe they should be permanent. They should be re-examined on a regular basis to test their continued validity and applicability to our life. Let me provide you an example.

I grew up in Chicago in the 1960s during an era of social turbulence & unrest. It was the 1st time I heard the phrase: “The white man is the devil”. I lived in a black neighborhood where many expressed this sentiment. As a result I believed it. This is an example of how core beliefs can be influenced by our surroundings.

This belief stuck with me through grade school. Upon entering a predominately white high school and becoming friends with a few Caucasians I could no longer reconcile this core belief to my experiences. I learned to take individuals at face value and not to be easily influenced by the opinions of others. I learned to question my core beliefs and found that I could replace one belief with another.

It is important we recognize that our early core beliefs were not normally based upon fact but more on our trust in other individuals. While in most instances these individuals in our lives were completely trustworthy, could it be possible that their core beliefs were created early in their lives, never questioned and passed on to us? When is the last time you identified and questioned your core beliefs?

In my next post I will discuss the connection between our core beliefs and our faith. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines faith as: something that is believed especially with strong conviction. As you will see our belief dictates our faith and our faith determines our sight/vision. Our sight is our link to this physical world. Can you see/visualize where I'm headed?

Let me know what you think about these posts or if you have any questions.

Peace and Blessings......Al