Believe It Or Not

When you negatively react to an event in your life do you choose that reaction? Do you observe the incoming event and decide to feel as bad about it as you can? Do you actively decide to feel angry, upset, anxious, scared, frustrated, irritated or sad or any other unpleasant feeling? And then choose to have an array of negatively-charge thoughts about it? Most people answer those questions with: ‘Of course not. It just sort of happens’.  So how does it happen and what can you do about it?

A useful model to look at this is the following: Thoughts come from emotions and emotions come from beliefs. In other words, if you want to deal where those negative thoughts, look at the emotions that caused them and, even more usefully, if you want to deal with the emotions (and ensuing thoughts) look at the beliefs that precede them, because you cannot get emotional about something unless you have some prior belief about it.

A belief could be an attitude, definition, basic take, slant or spin on things. Where do beliefs come from? Parents, culture, experience, cellular memories? Are they woven into the fabric of the nervous system. Are they states of consciousness? Possibly all of the above. The important point here is that many of them are unconscious, existing as invisible processes that apparently control our lives. Ask yourself: What must I believe about this situation, myself, others, the world, life etc. in order to have that emotion and those thoughts?’

Having unearthed the negative belief we, effectively, make conscious what was previously unconscious. This gives us power and possibilities. You can ask yourself: How is this belief affecting my life and those around me? Is it enriching me or disempowering me? Now that I really see the belief do I choose to continue with it? That enquiry alone is enough to disintegrate the belief there and then, on the spot! Another likely occurrence is that the belief will be simply seen as perverse, absurd or laughable. That very seeing will incinerate it immediately. You don’t have to ‘work on it’ or ‘live with it’. It rapidly disappears under the spotlight of your awareness…nigh on instantly.

Another useful tool also is to imagine the joyous, successful person you want to be and look at the belief from his/her perspective (to create contrast) this will also render the belief quite out of place.

So as the belief evaporates so too does the emotions it inspired and the tagged-on negative thinking and you become free, if you wish, to replace the belief with a more empowering one. Ask: What belief would give me the most positive outcome?

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