In a previous post we wrote “If you stick to your guns, you will prevail.”
For some, this accurate.
But for many others…we’d say the majority of people…sticking to your guns is not enough.
That’s because people who want to be great, sometimes believe they aren’t.
You can’t be great if you don’t think you are.
So when we write: “…stick to your guns,…”, we’re referring to a mindset, not the action you’re taking.
Both action and mindset are crucial though. They work together.
But it’s easy for them to work against each other. And this is our point: For most people they do work against each other.
Take Perry for example.
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For decades he held many disempowering beliefs.
All beliefs like beliefs like themselves. So Perry’s early beliefs, spawned similar ones. Before long he had a collection of similarly disempowering beliefs.
We like to call this collection a belief constellation. They resemble billions of stars on a clear night. Like a constellation, they connect, forming a picture.
That picture is one’s reality.
Belief constellations are tightly woven. It’s hard to find the originating belief. One of Perry’s earliest disempowering beliefs, in this life time, for example, was “I’m an oddball and alone.”
Usually Perry was on his own. His parents were often aloof. His brothers were doing their own things. When the three brothers were together, the younger and older brothers often teased him.
It didn’t matter if it was playful, or malicious. Perry, a serious young boy, took these experiences as seriously as everything else, interpreting them to mean he was alone. And vulnerable. And insecure.
Life always reflects one’s mood through life experiences and situations. Not surprisingly, Perry found more and more “evidence” supporting his insecurity:
He got into a fight with a neighbor boy, which he lost. He was shot at by another young boy armed with a gun. A neighbor’s dog chased him up a tree. A nasty bike accident left him permanently scarred.
Then his parents divorced.
Of course, plenty life experiences reflected Perry’s invulnerability too.
But you can only see evidence for your predominant beliefs. Young Perry’s dominant belief was “I’m vulnerable”.
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The earlier in life a belief is formed, the more time it has to accumulate like beliefs. Over time, belief constellations become “the way life is”.
By then, most don’t have objective access to the beliefs. They don’t question the “what is”-ness of their interpretations which have hardened into beliefs.
They just believe life is this way.
Remember thought: while life reflects evidence consistent with that, it simultaneously contains evidence to the contrary.
That means, one’s life experience, no matter how dour, can change.
The problem is, humans (a) have a hard time accepting this. (b) They are unwilling to exert enough psychological persistence making change permanent. So, (c) they miss evidence confirming life has changed.
- One’s mindset created from interpreting experience, spawns more confirming experiences. (“mindset” is another word for “belief constellation”)
- The mindset recedes into the background becoming “the way life is”.
- One’s actions – their physical behavior, but also their thought behavior – shapes to their experiences.
- One acts consistent with their “in the background” beliefs.
If a person believes blacks are scary and sees a black person at a stop light crossing the street in front of her at night, of course she is going to lock her car doors.
The point of all this is, stick to your guns and live authentically. But be sure your beliefs match your authenticity. Beliefs that your authenticity is wrong, bad, or unworthy of expression, generate internal conflict.
That will show up in your life experience, making life “harder” than it needs to be.
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Such life experiences are showing you your inner reality. That’s good.
You could say that’s what physical life is about. Life experience is dazzling. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the dazzle and forget you’re shaping your life experiences.
Every human comes standing in their invincibility. Until they accept others’ beliefs or get “educated”. Which is not all that educational.
In time, they forget the world responds to them. It’s not the other way around.
In losing their way, they pre-pave their return.
Return to what? To their invincibility.
Everyone returns eventually. The majority return after death. Witness what people regret at their death.
Some people (maybe you?) get it sooner. They end up being remarkable.
Their authenticity will not allow circumstances to dictate belief. They are here to change worlds. Not just this world, all worlds.
Fewer of these people are willing to compromise their authenticity these days. They have something to say. And they’re saying it.
Maybe you are one of these people.
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If you are, your life experience awaits your expression. No pressure though.
You may see these circumstances for what they are. Your perfect design. In this life.
Or maybe not.
The great news is, there are plenty of lifetimes. Between those lifetimes, you remind yourself what you really are. But you don’t have to die to remember. And you don’t need more than one life time to make your mark.
So here is the best way to get at beliefs that may have receded into the “what is”-ness of your life: Don’t worry about old beliefs! Instead, create new empowering ones.
Of course they’re going to feel fake to you. All beliefs do at first.
But the nature of belief is the nature of belief. Meaning: hold that fake-feeling belief long enough. It will fade into your background and become “what is” for you. That belief also will accumulate like ones. A new belief constellation will be born.
Your life experience will reflect that constellation. Just like your old beliefs.
At that point, you’ll begin believing what once was a fake belief.
The following example is helpful.
Five years ago, Perry met his now wife. As with all love, in the beginning, it was great.
The more time passed however, the more his wife began reflecting back to Perry his beliefs about being in relationships. Of course, Perry’s wife has her own belief constellation born of her own lifetime experiences.
Perry’s relationship gradually became a living hell for Perry. And for his wife. As marriages often do. That’s why so many end.
But Perry knows he is the common denominator in his life experience. No matter where he goes, he’s there, creating his experience via his beliefs. So Perry decided he had had enough.
He put this reality creation business to the test.
And so he began treating his wife differently.
As far as he was concerned, his wife had no responsibility for Perry’s life experience or their relationship. Not even responsibility for her own behavior!
There are a lot of details we’re skipping for brevity.
Life experience shapes to beliefs on an exponential curve. So at first, Perry didn’t notice much happening.
For the first three years.
He just had to accept something was happening. Even though he couldn’t see it. And indeed something was.
In the fourth year, his wife started changing. On her own, she began taking classes, then she began meditating. Then she began listening to uplifting speakers. Then she started reading books by those speakers.
Emboldened by these results, Perry doubled down on his commitment. And his wife became easier and easier to be with.
Their relationship changed too.
In fact, Perry’s wife had changed for the better so much, even her parents mentioned how lighter and happier she had become.
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You have more power than you may know. You can change other people’s behavior.
But you have to be persistent in the face of no apparent evidence.
So, here are the steps to making old beliefs irrelevant in your life.
First, start by allowing yourself to recognize things in your life that are contrary to beliefs you have. If you believe that life doesn’t shape to your beliefs, note how your life behaves exactly that way. By showing you a random-generated life experience that appears objectively separate from your beliefs.
Noted, deliberately take a moment and reflect on that. Write about it in your journal. Ponder the evidence your life has just shown you that matches your beliefs.
Then note when life doesn’t. Remember: life always does both. Maybe you’ll think about something happening –– your friend calling for example –– and your friend will call.
You’re wanting to realize that life is full of evidence for any belief.
Which it is.
Any life experience is available, bounded only by your beliefs.
Take your time. Allow many examples like this.
Then, write down a thought consistent with a belief you want to have. Start with something easy.
Say, for example, you want to be an actor, but you believe you’re not talented enough. Starting with the thought “I can be an actor” is going to create too much internal conflict.
Instead, you might create the thought “I really like acting”. That thought has nothing to do with becoming a successful actor.
But it’s in the potential belief constellation of being a successful actor. Pretty much all successful actors like acting.
Next, think that thought for a little while, a few minutes. You’ll start feeling good while thinking it. You might start thinking thoughts similar to it.
You might think “I liked acting as a child”.
“I always wanted to be an actor”.
“Acting is so a part of who I am”.
At this point, you might feel happy thinking. Or encouraged. Or enthusiastic. Or empowered. When you get to that point, try to forget about the thought completely.
Then, over some period of time, you will be inspired to take action. To the best of your ability, follow every inspiration you get.
Talk to a stranger. Go to a movie. Enroll in an acting class….
When you take an action inspired in this way, you have begun the process that ends in life experiences inconsistent with your previous beliefs and consistent with your new ones.
When that happens, revel in it. Journal about it. Acknowledge it.
You are on the way to becoming the actor you’re wanting to be. While old beliefs are on their way to irrelevancy.
We come full circle to the original story that prompted this one.
For now you must stick to your guns, repeating this process. Do that and you create the unshakable mindset. And the life it accompanies.
What you want is what the world wants. Your authenticity. Give the world what it wants and you change it.
But first you must change.