This might blow your mind.
But I’m going to share with you two concepts that demonstrate how powerful and impactful belief is on our lives.
The first is akin to a geometry proof, which, if you hated them in school, bear with me as I take you through this, because it’s pretty amazing. (I personally loved them, so this actually thrills me.)
For this proof, our “statements” will be organized by the acronym CTFAR, which stands for circumstance, thought, feeling, action(s), and result, and our “reasons” will be the answers to these statements. What we’re going to see proved out is how our thoughts [beliefs] create the results in our lives that we see today.
Let’s say that the circumstance you’re contemplating is a job interview you have coming up. The interview itself is neutral, until you append your own thoughts and beliefs to it. Here are two different thoughts you could have about the interview that can create completely different results:
Thought: I’m not qualified for this, so I probably won’t get the job.
Feeling: Discouraged, hopeless
Action(s): You show up nervous and uncertain in your own abilities to fulfill the responsibilities of the job. Maybe you did the bare minimum in prep work, revising your resume, but not doing any real research on the company, and so you’re not well prepared for questions (or with any good questions of your own.)
Result: You probably don’t get the job.
Now, contrast this with the following scenario:
Thought: I am going to nail this interview, because I know I can do this job.
Feeling: Excited, determined, certain
Action(s): You show up to the interview with confidence, having prepared questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the person interviewing you. Maybe you picked out your outfit ahead of time and woke up feeling so ready that you were calm and really focused on nailing the interview for yourself, and unattached to whether or not you even got the job.
Result: You nail the interview (and probably even get the job.)
This model can work for nearly any thought or belief in connection with the circumstances in our lives because our thoughts generate feelings, our feelings influence our actions, and our reality is a direct result of that chain reaction.
If you get honest with yourself and really think about it, nearly every decision we make in life is in response to a feeling we have, so if we can change our thoughts intentionally, we can change the emotional response, and therefore our actions and results.
Now, stick with me through the second belief concept to see how these two go hand in hand, and you can really skyrocket your results.
The second belief concept is the role of the Reticular Activating System (RAS), the part of the brain that makes us hear a word we just learned a zillion times, even though we could swear we’ve never heard it before. And it’s why these proofs work.
The RAS is working in our favor every day by sifting through information that we learn and helping us focus on what’s most important. And when we decide what’s most important, the RAS also scans our environment for evidence to reinforce those beliefs.
So when we decide with intention what we believe, our RAS helps us build that belief, and over time, the belief becomes reality.
This is also why vision exercises actually can work: when we imagine vividly what we want our future to look like, and we revisit that vision frequently, the RAS is constantly looking for ways to reinforce that vision (because the brain doesn’t know the difference between a real image or a projected image, until you append that thought to it, so it is trying to reinforce the reality you imagined.)
That was a mouthful. But it’s pretty crazy, right? With an understanding of each of these, you really can create the life you want. Be forewarned though: it takes work - the kind of work most of us don’t keep up with on our own because we get enveloped by our own circumstances and default beliefs so easily. It can be done though! (And even more successfully with coaching if you want the added support!)
I encourage you to get out there and see how choosing intentional thoughts can change your outcomes for the better (or at the very least, in alignment with what you’re looking for.)
P.S. More reading on RAS, in case you’re interested: https://medium.com/desk-of-van-schneider/if-you-want-it-you-might-get-it-the-reticular-activating-system-explained-761b6ac14e53