This is a topic that I’ve kept in the draft for a long long time. And yes, partly because I procrastinated a lot but it’s just because I had to sort out the lot of what I thought about this.
Believing that our beliefs will eventually determine what and who we are is actually one of the core tenets of my life.
Will you believe me if I said that we live day to day, every day, asleep? Obviously, I meant that metaphorically but, essentially we are not truly awake. If so, how do we actually navigate through the day then? Well, we rely on the subconscious to make decisions that are similar to the ones we had made before, and the subconscious is influenced by the guide called Belief.
Each of our guides is different. They are exclusive, distinctive and uniquely ours. No one set of beliefs can be the same. (now that I think about it, it’s kinda similar to my previous post on open-mindedness)
Beliefs are what make you, you — they define your reality. Because of your beliefs, the reality you face day to day differs from person to person. To put this into perspective, say you are actually a fervent evangelical Christian. This is a simple example where your belief is the faith in Him. If anyone were to question the existence of Him, and maybe suggest that how we came about is through evolution rather than Adam & Eve, you’d vehemently object and hence be hostile with the other party just because of the extent of your faith. Trust me, I’ve been there as the other party. For a Christian with a faith so deep, your reality is that this Earth is God’s creation, and none can say otherwise.
Another example of a belief one can have is that maybe the world is ending in 10 years’ time. Hence, if one does actually believe in that, he/she will not waste any time doing pointless things. Or if one believes that money can buy you happiness, well, he will devote their entire life to making money.
I believe that beliefs have far-ranging influence — and they can be both beneficial or harmful.
An example of one that might be beneficial is: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. If one actually believes in this axiom, he/she will work hard regardless of whether he/she has the talent in order to succeed at what they do.
One that might be harmful is: I am stupid. It may sound stupid, but a belief as simple as this makes a lot of difference. If repeatedly told to one by himself or others, he will eventually trust that he is not capable of being smart. But the solution to this isn’t believing that you’re a genius and all, or that you’re the cure for cancer. I have to stress the fact that there exists a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and it is often crossed but, believing that with perseverance and enough effort put in, you’re capable of achieving whatever endeavour you set out to achieve, is a good substitute belief.
A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings; believe in yourself, because the first half of the battle is won when you believe in yourself.
I too believe that our beliefs are merely manifestations of the experiences we have gone through. In other words, the experiences we go through will eventually shape our beliefs — or our perception of reality — and ultimately, us. Similarly, it is also said conversely that the beliefs you hold can change the experience you go through — again, your reality. So, it is unwise to hold onto a belief system that is so rigid like that of a rock.
In conclusion, develop, choose and finally keep good beliefs. Life is full of dark and murky places where situations are ambiguous and morals are often breached, your beliefs will be the one that will guide you to discern what is right and what’s not, they will be the ones that keep you steadfast on your ground, unfazed by any naysayers you might face in life (hence, the group of friends you choose to hang out with is pretty darn important).
Lastly, be curious about whether your belief might be true or not. You may be holding onto a belief so rigidly that it is causing more problems than it solves. Be curious about what you believe in, and be receptive to your loved ones’ opinions/criticisms of your beliefs.