How do my beliefs affect others? What happens when I change a belief?
Beliefs set up cause-effect relationships that I defend. For example, I might perceive myself as poor because I don’t make enough money to comfortably pay my debts. I’m perceiving a do->be cause->effect relationship between not making enough money [do/cause] and being poor [be/effect]. I codify this into a self-talk mantra, “I can’t make enough because I’m poor…”
I may have defended and fortified this relationship with substantial amounts of evidence. Yet, all that evidence and its interpretations are based on the same premise – the SAME underlying BELIEF. I have codified this into an even shorter, yet convincing mantra – a self-judgment – “I’m poor.”
It’s as though my belief has its own life and my experiences are its evidence. From anyone’s perspective, what I believe is the way things are – in my perception.
Beliefs cause perceptual effects that confirm those beliefs. Do you see the logical cause-effect loop in this formula? I like this formula so well, I’ve incorporated it into a bias – confirmation bias that affects everything I perceive:
“…the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.” (Plous, Scott (1993). The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making. p. 233)
Change your cause-effect relationships and you change your belief – oh, and did I mention that you change the world as a result?
Let’s improve the probability of a NEW BELIEF by assigning it new cause-effect relationships. It’s your human nature to create cause-effect relationships at will. The example above illustrates this ability.
It occurs to me that one must release their hold on what is right, justified, and proper, to make a belief change. That means starting the process inside the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble – becoming aware of and then challenging my beliefs.
Below are some simple mantras you can practice that may start the process of breaking up old cause-effect relationships and open doors to taking charge of them. You do mantras all the time (mostly negative) that you’ve grown so accustomed to that you maybe take them for granted. Remember confirmation bias? Now, as we exercise AWARENESS, things can get interesting.
Four Simple Mantras to Change Everything:
- “I could be wrong about this.” Say it as many times as you can every day. So long as you believe you are right, you will continue to justify your past behavior and strengthen those old cause-effect relationships into the future.
- “Everything I perceive is feedback for ME.” Remember, this mantra is about your perception.
- “I now have exactly what I most want.” This fortifies your accountability for creating your life.
- “Everything is as it is because I believe it’s that way.” This mantra acknowledges the source of accountability in your universe – you!
The matrix I call my life is an interesting thing due to how beliefs affect the universe – when a belief changes, everything changes, including supportive evidence like memories, societal expectations and norms, and perceptions. For that reason, once a belief has truly changed, it may go unnoticed – as though the new way of being has always been the only way of being. Any evidence to the contrary will simply be ignored or re-spun to fit the new belief – just as I do now with the beliefs I currently defend.
I’ve not left my perceptual bubble. I’ve simply taken a step toward fully accepting accountability for it.