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HOW WE BELIEVE

July 10, 2013
The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

Remember Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music?” She suggested “let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start!” So that is exactly what we will do here.

Babies are not born with belief systems, they are developed over time. The way we develop our belief systems is by hearing the belief systems of the adults we are most influenced by – primarily, but not always our parents. The point here isn’t who we learn our belief system from as much as it is the fact that our belief system is entirely.

Not only are our belief systems completely, 100% learned; they are learned at a time in our lives when we are young and unable to dispute or question them. It happens when we are little children – and we learn the things our parents believe by what we hear them say and what they do. We develop our belief system by modeling it from them, the same way we learn pretty much everything.

So, due to nobody’s fault or blame, we never really question or challenge the beliefs we end up believing are our own.

Believe

Believe

Let me review these two REALLY</em> important, basic facts.

1. Our belief system is not truly ours
– it is something we model directly after the adults closest to us in our lives. We are mistaken when we presume what we grow up to believe is actually what WE believe.

2. Most likely
, we have never challenged the beliefs we learn, we just accept them.

Here’s the next part of the story. AKA fact # 3.

3. People live their lives based on what they believe.

Allow me to demonstrate.

Marco is a very inquisitive, precocious toddler who is starting to explore the world. He moves around, quick as can be, getting into everything; investigating all there is to see. Mom, however, suffers badly from anxiety and is not medicated. She is really a Nervous Nelly, unwilling to let her little one have his freedom because she is convinced something awful is just around the corner, ready to happen to him.

Every time he reaches for something a little bit further away, she pulls him back and explains in a frantic tone how he can fall and get hurt. This battle goes on hour after hour, day after day, week after week. She is relentless.

What would you predict Marco’s level of confidence in his abilities to be like? Fast forward to Marco’s first day of school. How do you think he will adjust to being away from mom for the first time, in a totally strange place? What do you imagine he will be like when he spends the first night alone in his own bed?

Play with this example for a while and try and come up with your own forecasts and predictors for Marco based on this one very strong emphasis his mom puts on his belief system regarding safety and security. Move forward to other milestones in Marco’s life and how the belief system cast upon him will impact him if he doesn’t find reasons to believe differently throughout his life.

Now, replace Marco with yourself. Just for a little while, imagine some of the childhood beliefs you accepted as your own throughout your life without thinking if they served you well or if they even match up with values that are your own now that you’re older.

I welcome comments and feedback on this. I will talk more about how the beginning place that we start at, with the things we are taught to believe, is the birth place of much more of who we become than most of us realize.

ABOUT ME

I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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From → Parenting, Psychology

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