Your Beliefs: Best Friend or Worst Enemy?

by Dr. Christopher on July 21, 2010

Has anyone ever told you that you can’t have something?  Maybe it’s a dream car or dream job?  A significant other?  Or maybe that you will never be the type of person you want to be?  A professional athlete?  A lawyer or doctor?
What is your first reaction to comments about you? 
Do you agree with them although they are in opposition to your desires, “Yes, you’re right, I am too small, stupid, foul-looking, or insufficient to get what I want.” 
Or do you rebel, fueling your tank of persistence so that you only become more clear and focused on your desires?  “Wrong!  I will have my dream car!  I will be a professional athlete!  I will be a lawyer!”  When someone dares to tell the wrong person that he can’t do something that he wants to do, they’re in for a world of surprise when the wrecking ball that is CERTAINTY crashes on their false statements. 
When your beliefs contradict your desires, they are not serving you and therefore, are hurting you.  However, if your beliefs are your friend, congruent with your desires, you can feel the emotion rise inside of you!
“Belief creates biology” ~ Norman Cousins
 In a landmark study in 1979, psychologist Ellen Langer at Harvard proved how beliefs create biology.  A group of subjects, all 75 or older and in good health, met for a week retreat at a country resort where they were informed they would undergo a battery of physical and mental exams. There was one stipulation for their vacation: they could not bring any newspapers, magazines, bookes, or photos dated later than 1959.  When they arrived at the resort, the men found that the resort was set up to duplicate life as if it was 20 years earlier.  Magazines, newspapers, and music were all from 1959.  In accordance with the setting, the men were asked to believe and act as if it was still 1959.
Compared to a control group that went on the retreat but lived in 1979, the 1959 group improved in memory and manual dexterity.  They became active and self-sufficient.  Impartial judges studied before and after pictures of the men and found that their faces looked visibly younger by an average of three years.  Finger lengths, which commonly shorten with age, had actually lengthened.  IQ tests showed that the 1959 group had improved while the control group had declined!  The men had become physiologically 20 years younger!
Dr. Langer’s study proved that by subtly changing beliefs, behaviors can be altered that actually change physiology.  As soon as we alter any belief in our lives, we start to take steps towards turning that dream into reality. 
You see…our beliefs are our opinions of reality.  They PERMIT or DENY our dreams.  Based on our beliefs, our entire world is created.  Our beliefs give rise to our thoughts, and actions and habits spring from those thoughts. 
  1. Beliefs
  2. Thoughts
  3. Actions
  4. Habits
 A belief I see often is I’ll always be overweight, unfit, and unhealthy.  If someone believes this, then the thoughts they have will support this. 
“Yes, please pass the 3rd serving of cake because….I’ll always be overweight, unfit, and unhealthy.” 
“Of course I’m not going to the gym today because….I’ll always be overweight, unfit, and unhealthy.”
“I don’t deserve x, y, and z because…I’ll always be overweight, unfit, and unhealthy.”
You can justify anything you want when you have a belief that supports it.  People attempt to regain health and fitness through crash diets and brief gym memberships only to stumble back right where they started, miserable and at square one.  They fail because they never actually examined their belief and altered it.  They diet and go to the gym with the attitude I’ll always be overweight, unfit, and unhealthy.  It is a no-win situation.
“If you want to change your body, change your awareness first” ~ Deepak Chopra Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old
In order to change your reality, you have to start at the top.  Change your beliefs!  Work on them; make them serve your desires.  Chipping away at your false beliefs allows you to start taking small steps towards your desires.  Believe that you are Lean, fit, and healthy and Lean, fit, and healthy thoughts will come, soon followed by Lean, fit, and healthy actions and habits.
We all have desires and dreams.  Our beliefs are our silent companions that control whether our desires and dreams will be manifested.  So which is it, best friend or worst enemy?
Which of your beliefs are supporting your dreams, and which are holding you back?
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