Learn To Understand Your Unhelpful Beliefs
Updated: Feb 6, 2022
Why do I think differently from others? Why am I not able to understand others sometimes? Why can’t others see what I see? Why can’t my family understand me?
With 7 billion people in the world, there are 7 billion different unique sets of beliefs and ways of thinking. Our beliefs stem from how we interpret the world and how we have learned to survive and protect ourselves. Check out my previous article here to learn more!
We observe the world and learn non-stop on a daily basis, whether or not we are conscious about it or not. Thus, many of us are not aware where our beliefs originate from.
Our innate beliefs lead to the consequences we face in our lives, such as our feelings and reactions. If you are not getting the outcomes you want in your life, it is a wise decision to start to ask yourself what your beliefs are and how did they come about..
“I must achieve good results, if not it is bad.”
What led you to believe that bad results should be avoided?
Did your parents lead you to believe that you will be scolded if you do badly?
Did you unconsciously link bad results to trauma and fear? Why?
“I must please other people and be someone that they like.”
What led you to believe that people will not like you for who you actually are?
Were you ever left alone?
Did people around you try to push you down and make you feel less?
Did you not feel understood and heard as a child?
“My insecurity is my weight/height, it doesn’t make me feel safe around others.”
Are you trying to mind-read others? Are you thinking that your assumption of what they are thinking about you is true?
Are you basing the way you feel now based on facts? Or is it based on assumptions and irrational thoughts?
How did this pattern of thinking come about? Did someone pass it on to you? Did someone ever tell you that you’re unattractive?
For every effect, there is a cause, and for every cause, there is an effect. To modify a belief that is harming you, you have to learn to understand yourself first.
Socratic Questioning Process to challenge your thoughts (it really helps!)
What is the evidence for this thought? Against it?
Am I basing this thought on facts? Or feelings?
Is this thought black and white, when it’s more complicated?
Could I be making an inaccurate assumption here?
Might someone else interpret the situation differently? If so, how?
Am I looking at all the evidence, or just what supports my belief?
Could my thinking be an exaggeration of what’s actually true?
Do I tend to think this way out of habit, or do facts support it?
Did someone pass this belief to me? If so, are they reliable?
Is my expectation/thought a likely outcome? Or just the worst case scenario?
Irrational Belief No. 4 - I should be dependent on others and rely on someone more capable than me
The more we depend on others, the less empowered we become to take ownership of our lives, decisions and actions. We slowly lose control of our minds and the outcomes in our lives, which ultimately prevents us from achieving our goals and maintaining our own happiness.
The more we let others do things for us, the less confidence we have in our own abilities and the less effective we become. The less confident we are, the more we shy away and choose to rely on others. This becomes a cycle where many people get stuck.
Irrational Belief No. 5 - My past created me and there is no way I can ever change myself
Your beliefs and patterns of thought and behaviour can be unlearned as easily as it can be learned. However, change does not happen until the desire to change becomes greater than the desire to remain the same.
Humans tend to subscribe to beliefs when their brain rewards them for learning it. As long as you see positive effects by adopting a healthier belief, you are more than capable of learning it. Many times, a big change lies just one decision away.
“Humans are, first and foremost, thinking beings, capable of organising their behaviour and modifying it according to circumstances.” - Bandura, 1969
Irrational Belief No. 6 - My value and self-worth depends on how well I perform or whether I am “good” or “smart”
Goodness is always subjective and there are various forms of intelligence. An academically smarter person is not any more valuable than someone who is musically more talented.
If you tie your worth to your performance, you will become unstable as how well you perform can always change. It hinders the development of your self-esteem. Learning to accept your imperfections and understanding that you cannot be perfect in all areas of your life can help you become more comfortable living in your own skin.
Let yourself decide your “goodness”. If you let other people decide it for you, you are externally controlled and you will soon realise that you cannot change other peoples’ perception of you. Choose to work towards greatness by yourself instead of relying on others to tell you how great you are. People come and go, but you will stay with yourself forever, so the impression you have of yourself is the most impactful and valuable.
Other irrational beliefs:
7) There is always a perfect solution to the problems in the world and in my life, and it is catastrophic if there isn’t.
8) If there is something to worry about, you should think about it often and dwell on the possibility of it occurring.
9) Some people are bad and they ought to be punished and be harmed.
The desire to achieve our ideals is healthy, but the need to achieve those ideas is destructive.
Done By: Sugimoto Shoujin