I’ve written a number of times on how your belief system can influence your behaviours, both positively and negatively. A few people have asked me what I mean by this, so here’s a brief summary ….
As we go through life our mind takes in huge amounts of information from all around us. Particularly in our formative years, when our minds are very suggestable, we start to create a set of mental rules, or beliefs, based on the impressions that all this inbound information makes on us.
As we continue to go through life our mind is constantly monitoring our environment and is in ’flight or fight’ mode, referencing what’s going on around us to all those rules or beliefs that we have created previously. This in turn generates thoughts and feelings which then influence our behaviour.
To illustrate perhaps this sounds familiar to you …
’I’m annoyed that I can’t go on holiday abroad (BEHAVIOUR) as the thought of flying (THOUGHT) scares me to death (FEELING)’
Here are some real life examples of how our self-generated beliefs can influence our entire direction in life …..
Mr A – A mid 40’s successful business man who became anxious every time he needed to fly.
On the surface there was no reason to be anxious. However this behaviour was fuelled by a belief that he had to always be in control in order to feel happy.
That belief was formed in his teenage years as a result of over-bearing parents who dictated how he lived his formative years (who he saw, what subject he studied, what he should wear etc). As he became an adult he swore to himself he would never let anybody control him again in the future and in this way he could be happy.
At this stage flying wasn’t a problem to him until one day many years later when on a particularly turbulent flight he was ‘ordered’ by a member of the flight crew to get in his seat and buckle up. This was in direct conflict to the belief he had created for himself and the feelings of lack of control that he experienced many years before came flooding back. From that day, the thought of a flight made him extremely anxious, to the point where he cancelled certain business opportunities in order to avoid the anxiety. Hypnotherapy allowed Mr A to free himself of this limiting belief by allowing him to feel safe when the flight crew were doing their job, keeping him safe and he now enjoys anxiety free flights.
Mrs B – A late thirties mid level manager who was bored in her current job but could not find the motivation to make a change.
This lady is bright, articulate, highly educated with fantastic qualifications. In her view she knows she is more than capable of progressing in her chosen career but the thought of applying for promotion left her feeling uneasy and anxious.
This behaviour was fuelled by a belief that everything she did must be perfect, and as a result, if she had the option, she would not attempt something that could potentially lead to failure. So the thought of going for promotion created a ‘flight’ reaction to ensure that she could not possibly fail.
This belief was formed many years previously while she was a teenager by parents who meant well in ensuring she studied hard etc, but who had inadvertently allowed her to foster a belief that perfection (or not failing) was the way to ensure they would continue to love her. Hypnotherapy allowed this lady to re-adjust how she viewed the loving relationship she had always had with her parents (to see it now through adult eyes, rather than be stuck with a child-like view of the relationship) and is now progressing with her career without the limiting beliefs holding her back.
A Common belief …
A lot of us worry about what may or may not happen. A lot of the time (in fact nearly all of the time) the anxiety caused by what we think MAY happen is far worse than the event actually taking place – as when ‘stuff happens’ in life we can generally just get on and deal with it the best we can and then move forward.
Although everybody is different, and our beliefs are unique to each individual, we are often brought up with some common directives from those we look up to for help or direction … do you remember your parent saying to you ‘Don’t put that in your mouth, you don’t know where it’s been’
Although this is a fairly common sense statement which I guess every parent (including me) has said without a second thought, during those early suggestable years when we are absorbing huge amounts of information trying to understand our world, these sort of statements can start to form simple beliefs such as ‘Anything unknown is dangerous or bad for us, and we must avoid’
So it’s good sometimes to look at our own behaviours and try and see if there is anything in our life that we would like to do, but something ‘in the back of your mind’ is limiting you and stopping you from fulfilling your true potential ……..