Beliefs come from many sources. They can come from our DNA, our experiences in the womb, our parents, our own learning experiences, and from society. All of these beliefs are developed without our conscious awareness. They develop quietly beneath the surface automatically.
Some researchers believe we inherit certain beliefs or at least the predisposition to certain beliefs from our DNA. We know that all babies are born with two fears – the fear of loud noises and the fear of being dropped. So, if these two fears are inherited by all babies, doesn’t it make sense that other fears could be inherited from our parents? Along with our eye color, hair color, and build, it is likely that slight changes in our brain structure are inherited. These structural differences could include our tendencies for certain types of beliefs.
Our experience in the womb is another source of beliefs. It has been shown that mothers who were anxious, tense or troubled, during pregnancy impart those anxieties onto their babies. Mothers who were calm and happy birthed babies that were more likely to be calm and happy. The womb experience can have a significant impact on our minds and beliefs.
Parents and Those Who Raise Us
Our parents have a tremendous influence on our beliefs. Our brains are equipped with mirror neurons that help us mimic those around us. Mimicking is an extremely effective learning style. Almost all speaking and physical movements are learned through mimicking. We also learn to think based on mimicking. Since speech reflects thoughts, we learn to think by listening and mimicking what others are saying. Most of our early beliefs come from whoever is raising us.
Personal Experiences and Learning
As we grow up, we develop beliefs based on our own learning. Every experience becomes a learning experience of good or bad. We evaluate the situation, and then judge it. Was this experience good or bad? Does it get the reward we want or not? Should we do it again or not?
Another source of beliefs is the society in which we live. Societal beliefs start as lessons of how to behave around others, especially at school. We learn what we should and should not do around other people. We learn that if we act in a certain way, we can expect a certain response. Different cultures may have different expectations. However, all cultures have expectations that get imparted as beliefs.
All of the sources of beliefs mentioned so far have been formed subconsciously. For the majority of our lives, our subconscious minds have worked silently beneath the surface to create our belief structure. We were given the genes and behavior of our parents. We were given the views of our society. And we subconsciously adapted our behavior based on each life experience.
Consciously Created Beliefs
There is however, one last source of beliefs – our consciousness. We can consciously choose to create our own beliefs. The simple fact of knowing we can consciously create beliefs is an empowering thought. It means we are no longer trapped in our existing behavior patterns. We can choose the beliefs that bring us any measure of success in life we can imagine.
Creating new beliefs is what training our elephant is all about. It is the process of consciously choosing a belief that serves us better. We can consciously choose an empowering belief and imprint it into our subconscious mind. When we understand the power of this statement, it is life changing. It is literally the secret to success.
Our beliefs drive our perceptions, thoughts and actions of what we do on a daily basis. What we do on a daily basis ultimately determines our success in life. The link between our beliefs and our success is undeniable. So the big question is do our beliefs limit our success or empower our success.
Understanding the sources of our beliefs can help us recognize and evaluate our beliefs. The vast majority of our beliefs are given to us subconsciously. This means that we were not aware and did not choose most of our beliefs. The good news is that beliefs can be consciously created. We can choose new empowering beliefs to help us achieve success in any area of our life.
The Elephant and the Boy teaches us to overcome limiting beliefs. The story uses the analogy that our subconscious mind is like an elephant who is trying to protect us but also limits our success. The boy represents the conscious mind. As the boy grows into a young man, he must learn to overcome the limiting beliefs of his childhood to achieve success in life.
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