There are many self-help books that are intended to give us some tips to live fully and happily. Many of us have sought in them the answers to the blocks that hinder us when we want to achieve certain goals. These books talk about the power of unconscious beliefs that we assimilate in childhood.
A belief is an idea or opinion about ourselves or the world in which we live, to which we have granted the status of absolute truth and which, therefore, acts as a filter through which we observe the world. They are the glasses we use to see. Faced with life experiences, we react based on this point of view and the results we will obtain, therefore, will depend on this way of observing things, which confirms that the world is as we see it and as we are convinced it is.
How are our beliefs born?
People have beliefs and philosophies of life that, even if they were invented by themselves, are considered a real dogma. To achieve one’s goal in life, one must learn to form and adopt opinions that are rational and to fight against irrational ones.
Irrational thoughts are characterized by being false, useless and automatic. They are expressed in terms of obligation, necessity or requirement (I have to, I need to, I am forced to…). When these beliefs are not respected, inappropriate negative feelings arise in us (depression, sense of guilt, anger, anxiety, fear) that interfere with the achievement of our goal and that alter behavior, causing isolation, escape, abuse of toxic substances, etc.
Rational beliefs, on the other hand, are preferential or relative and are expressed in terms of desire and taste (I’d like to, I’d rather). When people don’t get what they want, negative feelings of regret arise that prevent us from achieving new goals or resolutions.
It is not the events that cause problems, but the beliefs behind the interpretations. Rational and adapted beliefs bring us closer to a flexible life that fits with our desires.
What are the beliefs that prevent us from living the life we want?
Irrational thoughts take us away from the life we wish to have. Cognitive psychology, especially Ellis’ Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), stems from the basic theory that it is not the things that happen that disturb us, but the theories we have about these events.
Among the absolute beliefs that are deeply rooted and that distance us from the life we desire are:
- I can’t. There are many people who already do what they like and who live the life they want. The difference is that these people have confidence in themselves, have given up excuses, have stepped out of their comfort zone and have taken action. If they are capable of it, you can too.
- Now is not the right time. Any time is the right time to start. We often think, wrongly, that when “the crisis” ends, everything will improve and then we can start acting, but that thought is nothing more than an excuse.
- Only a lucky few can do it. The universal law of cause and effect teaches us that luck is something that is achieved because it was first created by us and the circumstances that make it possible have been fabricated.
The absolute requests trigger an emotional tension in the subject that gives rise to two types of psychological disturbances: the anxiety of the ego and the anxiety of discomfort.
- Self- anxiety : This anxiety is unleashed when we alter the image of ourselves and when we self-condemn ourselves because we cannot satisfy the absolute demands we make of ourselves.
- Anxiety of discomfort : this form of anxiety, on the other hand, arises when we are unable to satisfy the dogmatic requests that create well-being and comfortable living conditions. It is caused by the demands that the individual makes to others or to the world.