As we delve deeper into the law of attraction, it is common to hear that beliefs shape our reality. But what does that mean exactly? Let’s have a quick look at how beliefs are formed. A belief is a repeating thought or perception we have about the world around us. We gather information about our reality through experience and being. When we are born, we are totally free of these beliefs. As we develop and experience life, beliefs quickly form. These beliefs are created through observation, learning, our culture, family, environment etc.
The thing is, everybody has a different life experience, and therefore form different beliefs. No belief is inherently right or wrong. One person may believe the complete opposite of another, they may both be correct from their unique perspective.
To illustrate this, think about a piece of paper. To an ant walking across the paper, it is huge and vast. A never-ending open space to be explored. To a human being, it may be an important document, awaiting his attention. An astronaut in space my look down on planet earth and would not even see the paper, it’s existence being completely unknown to him. Which of these beliefs is correct?
As these belief patterns form, we begin to shape reality to align with them, so beliefs shape our reality. Our beliefs become like a filter for our sub-conscious mind, only allowing the things that are in alignment to manifest. With this knowledge we can see how important it is to identify our beliefs and change any that are not serving us.
Identifying belief patterns
Most of our beliefs are sub-conscious, so we need to do a little digging to identify them. You can start by asking yourself questions about different areas of your life. Try writing a list of your feelings and beliefs. Do not think too much about the answers, remember there is no right or wrong. We just want to identify beliefs for now.
Here is a list of questions to get you started.
What do I belief about People?
Is the world a kind, benevolent place?
What do people think of me?
What type of person am I?
What is most important to me?
What does it mean to be a ‘good’ person?
These are questions about your identity, but you can easily explore your beliefs about relationships, money, love etc. by asking similar questions. Again, remember there is no correct answer. The more honest you are, the more helpful this exercise will be.
Changing our beliefs.
Usually, people are very attached to what they perceive to be their ‘core set’ of beliefs. However, beliefs are not fixed and even strongly held beliefs can be changed easier than we think. For example, let’s take a look at what happened after the Korean War.
In January 1954, American soldiers were released from Korean Prisoner- of- war camps. Upon their return to America, people were stunned to discover that many of the freed soldiers held strong pro-communism beliefs. In fact, some American soldiers chose to stay in Korea, rather than return to the democratic system in the USA. People were astounded and could not understand what had coursed this huge change in beliefs. It was assumed that the soldiers had been tortured, hypnotised or brain- washed somehow.
What actually happened.....
It is clear that the Chinese forces understood how beliefs shape our reality. They realised that by changing the US soldiers political beliefs about communism, they would naturally stop fighting them. Upon arrival at the camps, the US soldiers were greeted enthusiastically by the prison guards and congratulated on their liberation. Over the following weeks, the prisoners attended long lectures and held discussions on the topic of communism and its benefits. If anybody voiced any anti-communist sentiments, the group would have to sit through the lectures again.
The guards also asked the prisoners to write down some pro-communist statements. The prisoners were happy to do this, as they could not see any harm in it. After all, they were not being asked to say that they believed in these words. They were often given a small reward for their compliance. Once this was established behaviour, the prisoners were asked to read the statements aloud, first to themselves, and then to fellow inmates. They were also encouraged to discuss the benefits of communism in mock debates.
Many of the soldiers wrote pro-communist articles for the camp newsletter in return for fresh fruit and other favours. Once these articles were published, they were given a Mao Tse-tung badge to wear, and again rewarded for their behaviour.
It is important to remember that during this time, the soldiers were only asked to BEHAVE AS IF they held pro-communist beliefs. The guards never asked them to believe in communism. However, over time, these seemingly small actions changed the soldiers’ core beliefs. As they saw themselves behaving in a pro-communist manner, they started to believe that they must be a communist. This was a way of rationalising their behaviour to themselves.
So what can we learn from this? If you want to change any beliefs that are not serving you well, you must first identify them. Then you must find a new set of beliefs that you would prefer to experience in your reality. After these new beliefs are established, write them down as affirmations. Put them around your home and try to repeat them to yourself as often as you can. As much as possible, try to act AS IF and change your behaviour to better represent this new belief pattern. Soon, just like the American prisoners-of-war, you will find your beliefs changing. The funny thing is, people that change their beliefs tend to be in complete denial about ever holding the original, contradicting belief! That is how strong the new belief can be.
Beliefs are limitations in our reality.
Your beliefs act as a filter to reality, and limit our creative potential. Once we let go of our limiting beliefs, we begin to live in true alignment with our core spiritual selves. We begin to manifest joyful abundance, free from the constraints of our limited human perspective. As beliefs shape our reality, the releasing of our beliefs allows reality to be a whole lot more flexible!
To hold beliefs of any kind limit us to that vibrational frequency. As we evolve in consciousness, our beliefs change. We move from a fear based reality of lack, to a more positive mind-set construct of love and abundance. However, true enlightenment is found when we see that belief itself is an illusion. When we have no preconceived beliefs, and see the world through the innocence of a child, that is a true gift.