“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford
What is a Belief?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines belief as, “A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.” Abraham-Hicks defines belief simply as a thought you keep thinking:
“The most powerful premise that we want to activate within you that we promise will serve you for all the days of your life is a belief is only a thought I keep thinking. A belief is only a thought I continue to think. A belief is only my habit of thought. It’s only a practiced thought. A belief is only a thought I think a lot.” – Abraham-Hicks
Where Do Beliefs Come From?
Throughout your life, you have adopted beliefs from many sources: your culture, parents, friends, television, music, books, politics, advertisers, as well as assumptions, misunderstandings, and personal experiences.
Once you decide that something is true and it becomes a habit of thought, whether consciously or unconsciously, it then becomes a belief.
How Beliefs Shape Your Life
“Our beliefs control our bodies, our minds, and thus our lives…I was exhilarated by the new realization that I could change the character of my life by changing my beliefs. I was instantly energized because I realized that there was a science-based path that would take me from my job as a perennial “victim” to my new position as “co-creator” of my destiny.” – Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief
Your beliefs play an enormous role in shaping your life.
Your consistent thoughts (belief) create feelings, and your feelings create vibration. It is your vibrational frequency that the Universe responds to.
So if you have a belief that you are unworthy, or poor, or unattractive, your thoughts will create your reality and the Universe, through the law of attraction, will bring you more of the same to support your belief.
If you believe that everything works out for you and life is easy and fun, then that will be your reality and the Universe will deliver more evidence to support those beliefs.
In her book Mind Over Medicine, Lissa Rankin shares the story of a man named Mr. Wright, who was diagnosed with an advanced cancer called lymphosarcoma. All treatments had failed and he was not expected to live more than a week. He begged his doctor to allow him to try a new drug that was being tested. The doctor reluctantly gave him an injection of the drug even though he felt Mr. Wright was too sick and the drug would not be effective.
Mr. Wright believed that the drug was his miracle cure and ten days after the treatment, he left the hospital, apparently cancer-free.
For two months Mr Wright was doing well, until the scientific literature reported the the drug didn’t seem to be effective. Mr. Wright, who trusted what her read in the literature, fell into a deep depression and the cancer returned.
His doctor wanted to help him so he told Mr. Wright that the drug he was given had deteriorated during shipping, making it less effective, and he had scored a new highly concentrated batch, which he would give him. The doctor then injected him with distilled water.
Again, the tumors melted away and Mr. Wright was feeling great again for another two months.
Then The American Medical Association announced that the drug was worthless. This time Mr. Wright lost all faith in his treatment. His cancer came right back, an he died two days later.
You Choose What You Believe
Remember the story The Little Engine That Could?
“After many large engines refuse to pull a heavy train over a difficult hill, due to the impossible conditions, a smaller engine volunteers. Even though it seems laughable for this little engine to accomplish what the larger engines could not, the smaller engine proceeds to pull the train over the hill, while chanting, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
The little engine made it over the mountains not because he knew he could, but rather because he thought he could. This is the power of belief.
You get to choose if something is true or not. Your beliefs are based on your perceptions, which is based solely on your experiences. Just because you see something in a certain way, does not necessarily mean that’s the way it actually is in reality.
If You Believe You Can Achieve
The 4 Mile Minute: Before May 6th 1954, no one had ever run a 4 minute mile. The general belief was that it was physically impossible. Experts stated that the human body was “just not capable of it.” They even went as far to insist “his lungs may explode and he would certainly die.”
This belief held true for decades, and during this time hundreds of athletes continued to fail to break through this barrier.
On May 6th 1954, Rodger Bannister ran the miracle mile in 3:59:4. By doing this, not only did he break a world record, but he broke a limiting belief in the minds of hundreds of athletes. The four minute mile was now possible.
Lifting 500 Pounds Overhead: Prior to the 1970’s no one had ever lifted 500 pounds overhead. Russian weightlifter Vasily Alexeyev had the current world record, though failing to break the 500 pound mark several times. As he prepared for an important competition, his trainers told him that he would be lifting a weight that he had already lifted before. Vasily stepped up and lifted the weight. It wasn’t until after the lift that he realized his trainers deceived him and he actually lifted 500.5 lb’s for the new world record.
Through this deception, his trainers erased the limiting belief in his mind that, like the 4 minute mile, was most responsible for him not being able to break the 500 mark. Once the 500 pound limitation was removed from his mind, Vasily went on to lift more than 560 pounds overhead. This is an incredible example of the power of belief.
Beliefs Can Be Changed
Changing a belief is surprisingly easy. You simply stop believing in it.
Although it is simple, it does require some work. Once you identify the belief you want to change, you need to shift your point of view. Create an alternative thought and continuously practice the new thought in your mind until it becomes your new belief.
“It is my sincerest hope that you will recognize that many of the beliefs propelling your life are false and self-limiting and you will be inspired to change those beliefs. Understanding on a scientific level how cells respond to your thoughts and perceptions illuminates the path to personal empowerment. The insights we gain through this new biology unleash the power of consciousness, matter, and miracles.” – Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief
Be Patient With Yourself
Don’t worry if you slip back into your old thought patterns. It took some time to establish your previous beliefs and it may take some time to change them. Be kind and understanding to yourself. You’re moving in the right direction.