Our Beliefs Form Our Perception of Reality


Our beliefs form our perception of reality. Positive and negative, they become our filter on the world which we think is the only reality.

In the healing process, we uncover negativelimiting beliefs that have arisen through our early emotional development. These unconscious beliefs are constructed during our attempts to bond and adapt to our interpersonal, familial, communal, cultural, global, and spiritual environment.

Long-held beliefs which no longer serve us become crystallized into “filters of perception” which become our reality, negatively inhibiting the manifestation of our goals, dreams, creative self-expression and the demonstration of our life’s meaning and purpose.

Examples of damaging formative experiences are:

Inadequate Early Parental Attachments

  1. Loss of a mother through depression, death, or illness
  2. Loss of a father through alcoholism, excessive work or travel, divorce, suicide
  3. Any significant unavailability of either parent


  1. Abuse
  2. A hospital stay at an early age
  3. Life-threatening illness
  4. A sickly brother or sister
  5. Car accident
  6. Divorce
  7. Moving

Understanding How Your Limiting Beliefs Came to Be

Before moving on, it might also be helpful to identify how these limiting beliefs found their way into your life. Ask yourself:

How did I come to form this particular limiting belief?

What has made me hold onto this belief for so long?

Understanding how these beliefs came into existence can help you work through them more effectively. Just maybe, these beliefs are linked to childhood memories and experiences that no longer serve your greater good. Unlocking these memories can help you to let go of specific experiences, and maybe, even forgive certain people that did you wrong. And possibly, you might also find the courage to forgive yourself.

Another reason why it’s important to search for the origins of your limiting beliefs is that every belief you hold onto has a set of references that support it. And by understanding the origins of this belief you put yourself in a prime position to pinpoint the various references that have been feeding this belief. To help you with this identification process, ask yourself:

What kind of references support this limiting belief?

What knowledge supports this belief?

What life experiences support this belief?

What intense emotional experiences support this belief?

How have I held onto this belief in my imagination over the years?

What specific things have I imagined? What stories have I concocted?

Many of these references may very well have been concocted in your own imagination. And therefore, they don’t have any real basis in reality. Other references may be based on false knowledge or assumptions.

Then there might be some references that may actually be based on real-life experiences, however, over time the brain has a tendency to distort past experiences to protect you from the truth (pain).Therefore, what you now think happened, may not have happened the way you imagine it today. For this reason, it might be worthwhile spending some time digging into these experiences to unlock the truth behind your limiting beliefs.

We have two alternatives: either we question or beliefs - or we don’t. Either we accept our fixed versions of reality - or we begin to challenge them.
— Pema Chodron
Toni Kim