A Quick Exploration of Your Belief Systems: How Beliefs are Created

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What is a belief?

Beliefs are conditioned perceptions or psychological templates that are based upon previous experiences or memories. We create a map of our world based on our belief systems. These belief systems are nothing more than psychological rules or commands to the nervous system that influences your thoughts and filters your experience of reality. Essentially, your belief system is the lens you view your life through - you unconsciously delete, distort, or generalize your life to align with your belief system.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A BELIEF SYSTEM?

Beliefs are basically assumptions we make about ourselves, about others, and about how we expect things to be in our world. Throughout our lives, we compile theories, ideas, and explanations about how things are and how they ought to be. These belief systems allow us to organize and make better sense of the world. These expectations help you to better understand yourself and others, as well as, the world around you. They help you feel more certain about your future, which makes you feel safe and secure. That is why we often ferociously hold onto these beliefs whether or not they are serving us in the present moment.

The allure of perceived certainty is intoxicating. We all crave a sense of certainty - certainty provides us with peace of mind, and helps to reduce stress, anxiety and fear. This is a fundamental human need. 

BELIEFS ARE NOT FACTS? 

We want to emphasize that: BELIEFS ARE NOT FACTS. We often draw conclusions based (most often) on our childhood experiences - these deeply ingrained beliefs are often mistaken as facts. At one point in our lives, these beliefs served a helpful purpose, and so we held onto them. However, as an adult, these beliefs often no longer serve us. In reality, these beliefs may actually be hurting or holding us back, as they no longer align with who you are today. Your life has changed, yet, your beliefs have become outdated, making you feel stuck in the present. 

Over a lifetime, your beliefs become programmed into your nervous system due to repeated situations that reinforce their perceived legitimacy. Initially, these beliefs begin as opinions which are flexible, however, through the process of repetitive thinking and acting out these things in real life, your opinions transform into beliefs. Eventually, over time you reach a certain stage where expectations become difficult to change even in the presence of overwhelming contradictory evidence that proves otherwise. 

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Toni Kim