Do Your Beliefs Serve You?

I grew up telling self-deprecating jokes. I would make friends laugh as I told funny stories about my clumsiness or poke fun at myself because I was flat-chested. In the 10th grade, my friend Brian Duffy who went on to become an astronaut (I’m not kidding) took me aside and said, “You know, if you didn’t point these ‘flaws’ out, no one would even notice.”

That fell under the category of Things That Make You Go, “Hmmmm.”

That story came to mind this week because I’ve started to notice that several people in my life whom I care about are broadcasting their perceived flaws to the world.

I know a man who believes that his poor work record will prevent anyone from hiring him. The reason he job-hopped was because he was fighting a life-threatening disease that caused him to miss work even though his performance when he did get to work was superlative. Now that he’s healthy, I am concerned that, if he doesn’t find a way to replace this belief with another, he’ll be right—he won’t find anyone willing to take a chance on him.

Something else that got my attention involved a friend I am connected to via a social network. She posted in a derogatory way about a man who was interested in her.  The clear implication was that, if he was attracted to her, he must be desperate because she was no prize. How sad I was to read it.

Her perceived flaw is that she is physically disabled. And because she truly believes that no man worth his salt would be interested in her, she continually attracts men who confirm that belief.

The Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on. 

Beliefs are a funny thing. We develop them often unconsciously, and then fail to question them. We gather information to support them and ignore information that would disprove them.

So how can you replace beliefs that do not serve you?  Start gathering evidence that what you believe is not true.

My friend who is looking for a job has had several excellent interviews and come close to job offers. The very fact that companies are interested in interviewing him even after seeing his job history is evidence that the world can be and often is forgiving.  So I try and get him to see the clues that indicate he is getting closer to landing a job.  Instead he steadfastly focuses on the jobs that got away. Unless and until he can start believing that a company he’d want to work for will consider him job-worthy, I fear he will continue on this bumpy road.

Beliefs cannot be broken; they must be replaced. 

My disabled friend would do well to begin paying attention to the men in her life who are wonderful, even if she’s not romantically involved with them. If she can attract a terrific guy as a friend, it’s a very short jump to attracting one who wants to be more. Everyone has some disability. There are many men out there who have enough character to look beyond the physical.

What are the beliefs you hold that don’t serve you? If you’re not sure, pay attention to the self deprecating things you joke about. Or start noticing what annoys you in others.

When I was in my 40s I started to get very annoyed by young women. I would think, “Oh, sure. Enjoy your youth now honey because soon, it will all be over.” These thoughts didn’t make me feel good and, once I considered what was going on, I realized I was uncomfortable with my own aging.  I knew that I needed to change my belief about being “old” or I would start to attract people who also thought me old. So what I did was look for women who were 15-20 years older than I who I thought were amazingly vibrant and healthy. The more of them I notice, the better I feel about where I am and where I am going.

Beliefs are just stories you’ve made up about what has happened to you.  If you’re going to make up a story, why not make up one that serves you?

Always remember, you get more of what you focus on.

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