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Article by Marc de Bruin

What is your belief, you think.

by © marc de bruin

The world you experience around you is the world YOU experience around you. It's not my world, and neither is it your mother's or father's world (although to a certain degree it is, but more about that a little later).

You have your very own way of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling this earthly experience, which makes your viewpoint unique. Have you ever wondered why that is so? Well, keep on reading.

There is this theory that our senses are bombarded with about 2 million bits of information every second. If you would be aware of all 2 million bits, you'd go bonkers completely. No doubt whatsoever. That's why our nervous system has this incredible ability to "block out" huge amounts of info, and to only let in about 134 bits (that is 0.000067%) per second to process.

What underpins this ability to discard most of the sensory information and only be aware of a tiny bit of it are our internal filters, which distort, delete and generalise the sensory input to bite-sized pieces? A couple of very important ones of these filters are the values, beliefs and memories you hold. For the purpose of this article I'd like to talk a bit more about "beliefs" as a filtration tool.

We all hold beliefs, and that's a good thing, considering we don't want to go mad because of this massive assault of sensory input. But what are "beliefs", really? Well, they are the spectacles through which you view the world and give it a certain "colour". Your beliefs make your world your own, unique world.

We hold beliefs about nearly everything: ourselves, other people, work, play, hobbies, the world, concepts health, emotions, etc. Here are a few examples of beliefs, that make things more clear:

  • I am a brilliant/awful person

  • My wife/husband loves me (not)

  • The world is a terrible/gorgeous place to live in

  • Nature is beautiful/horrible and scary

  • The earth is round (yes, that is a belief, not as much a fact. As little as 600 years ago, people believed the earth was flat! Who knows, in another 600 years from now, people might believe the earth is just a disc with pictures moving from left to right on it, and life on earth is merely a "circular illusion"...)

  • Black cars are more beautiful than red cars (that's a truth for me, but hey, even that is a belief!)

  • When people look angry at me, I get scared/even angrier

  • Driving a car is very dangerous

  • The more I meditate, the closer I get to enlightenment

  • I do not like being shouted at!

  • I am (not) good (enough)

  • Working is what people are born to do

  • Money only comes to me through hard work

  • Etc., etc.

Our beliefs are the mental maps we use to navigate the territory we call "our life". We develop(ed) our beliefs over time, starting from the day we were born, out of our experiences in life. At birth, we don't really believe anything. But soon after that we start to develop our first beliefs about life.

It all starts with a vague representation of something we experience. We haven't got a clue where to fit that experience yet, but with time more and more clarity comes, and "knowledge" arises. That knowledge gets backed up by even more experience, and solidifies. Now the knowledge becomes a "knowing", something that you consider "true" in your life's experience. You have started to believe in what once was merely a thought, a possibility in the realm of options. If more validating and affirming experiences are stacked on each other, the belief develops even further, into a conviction . From that point on, you have built a fortress around your belief, and it might seem that no-one is able to prove your belief wrong anymore.

Are you still with me??

I'll give you a real-life example out of my mother's life. She got quite disappointed in people in her early life already. She experienced the German suppression in WW II, had a not-so-nice stepmother and quite a tough upbringing. All these (and more) experiences developed the belief in her that "people are not innately friendly, cannot be trusted straight away, and need to be regarded with caution at all times, otherwise they'll disappoint you".

Now that is/was quite a destructive belief, but nevertheless a true one in my mum's life. When my parents divorced (another disappointment) and most of the family on my father's site -sort of- dumped her like a hot brick, that belief got reinforced heavily. It was true for her, wasn't it? Later on, a few more not-so-nice encounters with the human race turned her belief into a conviction, and she died (too young, in my opinion) convinced that "we" (yes, us humans) are not-so-nice beings to begin with, apart from a few special gems.

And mind you, my mother was quite spiritually evolved in many ways, and taught me great wisdoms. This "parasite" belief, however, had fully invaded her thoughts and made her life experience, well, not-so-nice, to say the least. I am quite convinced I did not take that specific belief on board, luckily enough. My experiences with the human race are very positive!

The above example goes to show that you can believe anything (how idiotic the idea might seem to other people), as long as you hold an initial representation, and find evidence in your experiences that validate and confirm that representation. Slowly this "idea" turns into a truth, something that is true for you in your world. The belief my mother held (or at least my translation of it) was quite a negative one, but of course we hold very positive beliefs as well! They make your life interesting and enjoyable, and allow you to soar high above mediocrity!

You'll probably agree with me (I assume you got the picture) that the sum total of your beliefs makes up your global representation of "the world". Some beliefs you share with others, other beliefs are purely yours. A fact is, that many of the beliefs you hold in your life right now are derivatives of beliefs your mother and father held in their lives. Our parents leave an enormous mark on us, because they have been with us from the day dot, and are our prime teachers for the first bunch of years of our lives. And so there is a lot of truth in the biblical wisdom the "the sins of the father are visited upon the son", where "sins", in my spiritual perspective, are the limiting beliefs our parents held.

In my coaching practise I work a lot with beliefs. I teach my clients how to find out what their beliefs are in the first place, how to grow and reinforce the beliefs that are supporting them in their lives, and how to undo and break down the limiting, non-effective beliefs. The simple truth (no, not a belief) is that if we are able to create beliefs (and we are), then we are also able to un-create and re-create beliefs. It is just a matter of finding a new (desirable) representation in reality, and searching for evidence that confirms and validates that new representation. Moreover, there are simple but very powerful tools that I use to break down an old, limiting, not honouring belief, so the client and I are able to work at both ends of the issue. A tad of effort and persistence on the client's side to establish the new, honouring and effective belief means his/her world will change. It cannot do anything else but that. Change your beliefs, change your world, and enjoy it more. Simple, and very powerful!

Article provided by :

Marc de Bruin

Landmarc Coaching& Health Solutions

11 Sep 2012

Article/Information supplied by Marc de Bruin

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.