“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. —William Jennings Bryan”
In my last post “I Confess” I stated that your core beliefs dictate your expectations. Your core beliefs also dictate your feelings.
Many people don’t make the connection between their feelings and their beliefs. Typically they view bad feelings as being connected situations or circumstance. They are feeling bad because something bad happened to them. They also feel that the pain they experience in life is because of something that happened to them in their past.
If a person is asked about how they feel they usually blame it on a situation or a person. For example:
- My job really stresses me out.
- You make me feel so_______.
- You hurt my feelings.
- I am sad because nobody likes me.
- I feel really bad because I was abused as a child.
- I’m really down because I lost my job.
- I’ve had a bad life because my dad was mentally ill.
- I’m having a tough time and it’s always been that way.
You almost never hear someone say, “I’m feeling really sad because I believe I can’t get a better job or have a better life.” People almost always blame their feelings on a specific situation or person.
Because you believe what you do, you do and say what you do. Everything you do, everything you think, and everything you say is a result of a core belief. If you want to identify your core beliefs listen to what you say and think.
The core beliefs that you learn during your life experiences, Carrie much more influence in your moment-by-moment decision-making process than you might expect. Consequently, when your core belief is changed your choices change.
For example, when you firmly place your core belief in God as your protector, you no longer react to fearful events:
- I AM changing the situation with God’s help. Even though thousands around me might be affected, God’s promise to me is that no plague, no destruction, no evil thing – can even come near my house.
- I AM a child of God. Fear has no place in me – not in the morning, at noon, or at night.
- I AM not afraid. I will fear no evil because His perfect love casts out all fear.
Gary, a life coach, and psychologist has a new client, Connie, coming in for help. He looks at the paperwork on his desk. His receptionist had taken the call and made a few notes. Connie said she had one question that she wanted answered, “Can I change or is this all there is?”
Gary heard the bell ring as someone came into the waiting room. He walked out. He knew his receptionist wasn’t in yet. As he stepped into the doorway of the waiting room he saw Connie with her head down, wiping tears from her eyes.
“Connie,” he said.
She looked up as she wiped her face one more time.
“Come on back,” he said as he waited in the doorway to usher her into his office.
He showed her to a comfortable chair in front of his desk and got her a cold bottle of water from the small refrigerator in his office.
Difference Between Experiential and Intellectual Belief
“Many seem to think the personality is fixed at birth: “He’s been a control freak all his life. I don’t expect him to change.” Or, “Sure I’m anxious. My mother was anxious, and so was her mother. It runs in the family.” Some seem unsure: “Ever since my surgery I’ve gone downhill. I wasn’t always such a worrier. I just can’t seem to get back to feeling secure again.” And yet for others, it’s not a matter of personality, it’s a matter of fate: “Some people are blessed with good fortune. Me, I’ve had nothing but bad luck all my life.” The questions remain: Do people change? Can an unhappy life be exchanged for one of happiness and success?” Joseph Luciani, Ph.D.,The Power of Self Coaching.
Unfortunately, people don’t realize or refuse to accept that they are responsible for their situation or, at least, responsible to make the necessary changes. Some think there is an easy fix: if I could win the lotto; if only she’d say yes; if I could get the promotion; if only…; if only… “If only” is a tactic for avoiding responsibility. It’s similar to the “Yes, but,” “Yes, I want to change, but it’s too hard.”
“Core belief is what we experientially believe to be the truth, but not necessarily what we believe intellectually to be true. It is our core belief that produces the bad feelings we tend to run from, suppress and deny.” – Ed Smith, Transformational Prayer
Experiential belief is what expresses itself through our feelings. We can study coaching, psychology, self-help, or the Bible. We can know all the principles and all the steps to change, but if we don’t do, if we don’t experience the change we will always revert back to our original beliefs – “I AM a failure,” “I AM bad.”
I have a post on Medium, “Regulate Your Emotions Before They Regulate You.” How do you regulate or control your emotions? By changing your core beliefs. You can use as much will power as you can muster to regulate your emotions, but sooner or later, what you believe will be demonstrated in your feelings and your behavior.
Do You Really Want To Change?
Remember, words are cheap. It’s what you do, not what you say that counts.
Your “I AM…” statements that represent your feelings are a “smoke trail” that leads back to your experiential core beliefs.
You can begin the process of change right now by looking for your limiting terms such as:
- I AM tired of this job.
- I AM ________.
- I Feel _______.
- If only ______.
- Yes, but ____.
In my previous post, it states that the first step to change is Becoming Aware of what you are saying, Becoming Aware of what you are feeling which leads you back to your core beliefs.
In order to change your life and accomplish what it is you want to accomplish in life you must first change your negative core beliefs about yourself, others and the world around you.
Yes, there are a lot of bad, negative things going on in the world today. So??? It’s not about what others believe or is doing, it’s about what you believe deep down inside. If you believe that the bad things in the world today are going to keep you from being a success, keep you from fulfilling your dream, guess what, it will.
If you say things to yourself like, “I’ll never get that job,” you won’t. If you believe that ‘the powers that be’ will never accept your “art,” “music,” “book,” “writing,” “etc.,” they won’t.
You have to take responsibility for your own life, your own beliefs, which then dictate your feelings.
Choose the Life You Want. In subsequent posts we will be:
- Instructing you on what to change
- Showing you how to change
Most of all, you can do this, if you design your mindset and your intentions to make the necessary change. You Can Do This.
Can I Really Change or Is This All There Is?
“Can I get you anything else,” he asked.
Connie shook her head.
“I see you came in with a question,” he read it off her intake sheet. “First, of all, you can change. Don’t lose hope. Tell me about your life, where you are now and where you want to go.”
Connie nodded, took a drink, and cleared her throat. She looked up at Gary a couple of times, then looked back down at her hands.
“Well, I don’t know where to start.”
“Start anywhere. Start by telling me where you work, where you live, what you do when you aren’t working, things like that so I get an idea of who you are.”
“Well, as I told your receptionist, I just turned 40 last week. I am single, never been married. I can’t say I’ve ever had a date. Guys have always made fun of me. I work on an assembly line building cars. I’ve worked there since before I graduated from high school. My dad passed away when I was a freshman in high school and my mom had trouble supporting us three kids. I was the oldest so I went to work at the factory when I was 15. Between school and work, I never had much time for a social life.”
“Sounds like a hard life for a teenager,” Gary said.
“It was okay,” she said pausing. “But, I don’t want to finish the rest of my days the same way.”
“Tell me about your life now. Where do you live? What do you do in your spare time?”
Her eyes started leaking again. She wiped them and continued, “I live in a two-room apartment over a store that overlooks Market Square, downtown. When I’m not working I sit at the window with a glass of wine and snacks watching people on the Square. It looks like so much fun. I drink and eat snacks until I can’t see any more then I go to bed. I get up the next morning and do it all over again – work, drink, eat, sleep. Is that all there is to life? If this is all there is, why?”
People, in general, struggle with the concept that we feel what we believe. It’s natural to want to blame our feelings on our circumstances or someone else. Our feelings are never caused by what is happening to us or what has happened to us in the past, no matter how mean or cruel the act was. We always feel what we believe.
The act that was perpetrated against us in the past created an experiential belief that said to us – “I’m unloved,” “I’m not good,” “I’ll never amount to anything,” “etc.” Remember, it’s the belief that was created from our experience that creates the feeling.
Many are in the same situation as Connie, above. You wonder if this is all there is to life. There is much more!!!
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace…”
Many times we forget that God knows who we are and where we are. He always sees the end from the beginning. He knows all things! The God who knows our journey better than we do has strategically placed a provision next to every problem, obstacle, and opposition.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
When life happens to us we interpret what is happening through our core beliefs, which then create our feelings. Only the truth can set you free from victim mentality.
Psalm 27:13-14 “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Key Point: what is happening does not dictate or create your emotional response. Your physical response, which creates your emotional response, is interpreted by your mind and is reflected in your feelings. Your feelings then are a response to what you believe as a result of your physical and emotional response. Yes, you have to change your core beliefs. Nobody, including God, can do it for you. But, when you have a relationship with God He is there is help you through. He is there to give you strength. To show you that, “that’s not all there is.” He gives us hope.
Psalm 39:7 “And now, O Lord… My hope is in you.”
Psalm 10:17 “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear.”