Interpreting Your Reality
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Interpreting Your RealityHow limited beliefs limit you.
Have you ever wondered how it is that we begin to believe things about ourselves, either positive or negative? We have all developed beliefs about ourselves, about others, about our relationships with others, about the world that surrounds us, about everything, more or less. Each one of us carries within himself a constellation of beliefs. They are numberless and direct our lives.
Most of the beliefs we have developed about ourselves are a result of the influence of the people around us. Conclusions are drawn unconsciously from our experiences. There are a number of possible origins for how we have come by what we believe about ourselves. It can begin with our parents and the people who bring us up. A young child learns from his parents, and up to a certain age, tends to accept most everything they say. It’s engraved or he or she assimilates it. Teachers and significant others have a great influence on a child’s perception of himself. If you’re somebody important to the child, if your status, your age, your role mean that you are credible in his eyes, then there is every chance that he will not challenge the belief he has about himself. A child doesn’t know that a belief has become established in his mind as a result of what he experienced as a child. Beliefs are formed generally as a result of very strong emotional experiences. One begins to believe things about himself on the basis of what others said to him or what he concluded unconsciously from certain lived experiences.
How far do these beliefs go? For example, you could believe yourself to be good-looking, stupid, interesting or boring. You could believe in your ability to influence things or, on the contrary, believe that you’re incapable of obtaining anything from others. You could believe in any certain number of things and these beliefs would then have an influence on your life.
What we believe about the world around us is like wearing a selective pair of glasses, which leads us to see the details that go along with what we believe—to such an extent that it reinforces our beliefs. For example, if you think that the world is dangerous, you will pay attention to all the real or potential dangers, and you will increasingly have the impression of living in a dangerous world.
Our beliefs allow us to interpret reality by helping us find an interpretation: a smile will be perceived as a sign of friendship, kindness, seduction, or irony, mockery, condescension. Each person will be convinced of his interpretation.
“When we’re convinced of something, it becomes reality, our reality.”
We may ask ourselves, in what way have my own beliefs influenced the course of my life? As a result of chance encounters and experiences, could I have believed other things that would then have given a different direction to my life?
Moving forward, it is important to become aware of what we believe, and discover the effects on our life. It helps us understand many of the things we lived through. It prepares us for the journey ahead.