The Scary Power of Your Beliefs
In part 1 of our YOLO series, we came to a brutal perspective of the Ultimate Truth: Death is inevitable and coming for us all. We will only live once. Thus confronting the reality of our mortality is undoubtedly important.
So much for a perfect world huh? Where cancers ravage the innocent, rainstorms render people homeless and lightning strikes, killing several members of a church congregation in Rwanda.
THE #1 DRAWBACK: Limiting Beliefs
What do you believe in?
About 10 years ago, I was a total mess. I had just been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome – so yeah, I uncontrollably farted an incredible number of times per day and had constant bouts of diarrhoea. You see, I had no idea where this thing came from. Back then I had just entered senior high school and a mixed school for that matter. Christ! How was I going to manage this with a bunch of pretty babes flying around? Your guess is probably right – fall into depression. Which I did!
I had tried antacids, Beano, gone off dairy products, you name it and I just couldn’t stop farting. I became a laughing stock. So yeah, I contemplated suicide and would cry several times when I called my Mum. (All hail King of Wussies: Charles!!!). Coupled with my shyness, obesity and lack of height I felt I wasn’t good enough to live. A disgrace to humanity.
Then in a twist of events, I remembered an episode a few months before Secondary school when my sister in the heat of anger said whoever bit her chicken in the fridge would have constant bouts of diarrhoea. Oh- It was my sister. I’d been placed under a curse!!!
I lived with this mentality for 6 solid years until I met a distant cousin who was a medical officer then. She told me something that changed my life for the better:
“It’s all in your head”.
A brief history of the human brain:
“I used to think the human brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”
The human brain is an incredibly powerful organ. You’ve got a billion of brain cells processing information-some useful, some not so useful. Our subconscious mind- the seat of our intelligence, is constantly working in the background processing most of these stimuli which mostly go through our consciousness(conscious mind).
Your mind is a meaning machine. Our experiences (internal and external stimuli) generate a series of neural pathways (associations between Experience A and B) to make meaning and give us control over our environment.
What do I mean by this? Take, for instance, the pain you feel when you touch a hot stove with your bare hands, you never ever repeat that treacherous act again in the future.
Touch hot stove with bare hands = Pain. Don’t do that again you idiot!
An association is formed between the feeling of Pain and Touching Hot Stove. Incredible.
In my case, Incredible farting Abilities= Sister’s supposed curse. (Bullshit!)
Much as this organ (mind) is powerful, there is a massive flaw; your brain is imperfect. You could be wrong about the things you see, feel, hear and even forget an incredible amount of details of your most profound memory.
The Scary Part
Once Our Brains create meanings, our brains are designed to hold on to that meaning. We then become blindly biased toward the meaning our mind has made, and we find it hard to let go. Even in the face of contradictory evidence, we often ignore it and keep on believing anyway.
A Trip Down Memory Lanes:
When I was a kid, I found out I could pull the zipper on my trousers up and down. It was so much fun pulling the zipper up and down real quick. The sound it made: Vhiff Whiph—Pure Pleasure! So one day, I was taking a pee, and in haste pulled the zipper up. Aaaaaargh! I let out a loud cry. The zipper had swallowed a chunk of my little whinnie and wouldn’t let go. Most guys kinda have this story to share. LMAOOO!!
I grew up hating pants with zippers, out of fear it had an incredible lust for my ballzskin. I’m a grown man now. Do I wear Zipper pants? Oh yes. Does it still swallow my balls? No! (I’m incredibly careful these days). Funny how I held on to this belief for many years. Sigh!
Hold on a second, think about some popular beliefs you hear around: All men are Cheats. This Belief is Absolute Chick Crack!
Work the math! Girl meets Prince Charming who is actually an asshole in disguise. They fall madly in love. Down the line, he is caught cheating in the relationship.
The pain of the finding out Prince Charming is a prolific cheat = Unflinching belief there is a scarcity of faithful guys out there ( they all flew to Wakanda I guess)
She moves on in life, and meets an incredible faithful guy who goes against all her prejudiced beliefs of “All men are cheats” but she still is apprehensive to surrender trust to this new guy.
In the end, her belief leads to intense drama and ends the relationship. Rinse and repeat in next relationships. Her mind comes to a solid conclusion- I am right! There is no faithful guy in this world.
Swallow this Ugly Corrosive Truth:
WHAT ARE LIMITING BELIEFS?
Limiting beliefs are false beliefs that we hold about the world around us which includes ourselves and others. And when not subjected to unbiased questioning, deny us the chance of living amazing lives.
These beliefs may withhold you from taking chances, keep you focused on the negative aspects of circumstances, and ultimately blind you to the truth.
The challenging thing about limiting beliefs is that it’s deep-rooted in our subconscious minds, so we are oblivious to the fact that they exist and influencing the world around us at large.
How do they Work?
We, humans, are rational people. If A=B, then it’s always like that. The problem with beliefs is that to an extent we don’t consciously decide what we believe in.
It is a total of our past experiences and social conditioning. It’s taking place quietly in our behind-the-scenes reel and becomes tremendously difficult to admit we are wrong about the world around us and the fact that we play a major role in the pain we have had in life.
In my story, I grew up hating my sister for placing a curse on me and ruining my life. Until I discovered Irritable Bowel Syndrome wasn’t a unique thing that was happening to just me.
And has no bearings on the spiritual (limiting belief= IBS is a curse).
Imagine all the lost love, I could have shared with my sister back then. *Facepalm*. She’s married now anyway. Moved several miles away. Sigh, I miss her.
WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK THEN?
For a second, I want you to look deep into your life and note some of the limiting beliefs you hold: From thinking you are not good enough, to thinking you need porn star abs and horse size penis to be considered a real man, to thinking you aren’t worthy of being loved…Name them.
Do you ever get the feeling, you are holding yourself back? That there is more you’ve got inside to offer the world? And that there is this incredible force holding you back?
I know by now, you probably are thinking Dr.C is some hot-headed foul-mouthed wanker sitting behind his crappy PC writing cool shit. Hold it right there. That could be a limiting belief.
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