Why Do You Believe What You Believe?
“No one knows enough to be a pessimist” – Wayne Dyer
Do you question your beliefs?
If you are anything like me, you might hear or see something that’s shiny and appealing and initially believe what you hear. For example, I hear a story of 4 Tibetan monks who stand over a person, her body riddled with tumors and they heal this person in real time seen through an ultrasound. Immediately I think, wow, that’s amazing, but then the sceptic in me kicks in and I start to question how is this possible? It doesn’t mean I discount the viability of the perceived miracle, but I must know how it worked. That leads me down the rabbit hole of alternative methods of healing other than our small western ways of thinking and go into that research with an open mind, unattached to my old ways of thinking, beliefs, attitudes and opinions.
Our persona is an aspect of our character that is presented to or perceived by others. It originates from Latin, literally meaning mask. We all have this mask that we call our personality that is made up of our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and opinions. Essentially, each one of these aspects of personality is a concept. Concepts are simply thoughts that we identify with as part of who we are. If you’ve ever met someone who is loud, who drinks heavily or has a temper they will say it’s because “I’m Italian” or “I’m Irish” or because “I’m Italian Irish”. We have these beliefs about ourselves and resign to the fact that this is us, without a question as to, is this beneficial to who I want to be, where I’m going or more importantly, why I am the way I am.
This is a concept that I have only really focused on the last 2 or 3 years. I have begun to question everything about myself from why I get angry, to why I show up late to events, to why I have defense mechanisms to certain comments or attitudes directed towards me.
I’ve learned over the last couple of years that we do have certain truly inherent characteristics that we can’t get away from like eye color, hair color, height etc. but when it comes to other components like thought patterns, beliefs, attitudes and opinions we are 100% responsible for those and we can change those as we please. Just because we grew up a certain way doesn’t mean that there isn’t another way, a more beneficial way. The caveat here is that we must be aware of these “masks” first.
How does any of this relate to fitness?
When we enter a fitness program, we have preconceived notions of what we are capable of no matter what our goal. Whether the goal is fat loss, athletic development or general fitness we must do away with our self-limiting beliefs and approach the situation with an open mind, letting the past be the past and push for a future of unlimited possibilities.
My question to you is, what is it you believe about yourself that you have never questioned?
Do you believe you can’t have an athletic physique?
Do you believe you can only be a certain type of person?
Do you believe you can only make a certain amount of money?
Do you believe, I’m too old to _______, I’m not changing now?
Take the time to question your thought patterns, beliefs, attitudes and opinions and understand that we only know what we know, and we don’t know what we don’t know. The possibilities are endless so be open to everything and attached to nothing.