Reading quotes helps reshape beliefs and these are the foundation of motivation.
They can make a big difference in any journey for success.
Motivation is often the very thing that gets blocked and prevents you trying for your goals and dreams.
To take action you must be motivated, and to be motivated you must have congruent beliefs;
#1 – This is what you want, and
#2 – You can do it.
If either of these beliefs are absent from your belief system, you won’t take action.
Well formed quote graphics can help you look at your situation in a different way, to think about it from a different perceptive, to inspire you to take action. It helps you create a different story, or a different narrative on an old story.
A different story, analogy or metaphor, alongside an open mind can reshape or sidestep those disempowering beliefs, which are holding you back.
The first disempowering belief many of us are guilty of holding, is…
“I can’t do this!”
Or some variation of this such as..
“I don’t have the experience!”
“I don’t have the resources!”
Here are a few quotes from Jim Rohn to help you out of this mindset.
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Are you a nurse or carer emotionally overwhelmed with the current situation? Or are you someone forced to stay at home and watching from the sidelines, struggling to deal with the pain, suffering and loss of others?
Just a slight digression for a moment, I’d like you to think about the following scenario…..
If you saw a person (male or female) keep head butting a wall then complaining they have a massive headache, what would you say to them? What advice would you give them? Please consider this before reading on.
Back to your suffering and feelings of being emotionally overwhelmed, about the current situation. You’re getting upset that people are struggling and even dying, not just because those things are happening, but largely because you believe that others shouldn’t have to suffer. But this is not possible, death and illness are part of life, this is the way it has always been and will always be. None of us will escape the clutches of death, and will inevitably be ill at some point of our lives.
Holding onto the belief “people should not suffer”, creates an expectation/preference that can never be fulfilled, and will only bring suffering to the person that holds onto that way of thinking. It is metaphorically like banging your head against a wall. Instead shift your mindset. If dealing with sick patients, be grateful you can ease their suffering to some degree or help their passing be more tolerable. Grateful you are well enough to do be able to care for them in some way. If you were not there for them, their situation would be so much worse.
One final point I need to make, the difference between you and the person head butting the wall is that your suffering comes out of caring about others, not just as a result of some mindless act of self-harm. The fact you care so much, is in itself, something to be immensely proud of. Caring people make for a better world to live and die in. So keep caring, but don’t suffer for your caring. Take joy from your priceless assistance, we love you for it, and so do those you look after.
Beliefs and the values that stem from them are conditioned into us as we grow up, by the society we live in, by the family we are closest to and any other influential parties we are exposed to in our lives.
Many such beliefs exist outside of conscious awareness within our subconscious knowledge pool. They affect every decision we make, often without us realising they are doing so.
While some beliefs serve us, there are many more that don’t. It’s important we improve self-awareness so that we can uncover subconscious counterproductive beliefs, thoughts and behaviours. These may include..
Habitual thoughts and thought patterns
“The subconscious is motivated by emotion.” Anything you have a strong feeling or emotional response to passes into the subconscious. This is how phobias are formed, a strong emotional reaction to a very unpleasant event is anchored into the subconscious. Also wishing for something with deep emotion (positive or negative) can be embedded in the subconscious.
Habits are formed through repetition, good habits or bad habits can be either habits of thought or habits of behaviour. Break the underlying belief that formed them, and which continues to hold them in place, and you can break the habit. Bad habits are usually best removed by forming good habits to replace them.
Looking under the hood of BELIEFS
BELIEFS are generally built on shaky foundations. Often based on nothing more than ASSUMPTIONS and INFERENCES, rather than EVIDENCE and FACTS.
Think about the strongly held beliefs you hold. Where did they come from?
We might take the testimony of experts as fact, but in reality we don’t know if we’re being deceived and lied to, because of some hidden agenda, that we’re not privy to.
My own experience, is peppered with examples of being deceived by authority figures and so-called experts who subsequently were found to be profiteering from me following their advice, without providing any real value for me, a case of smoke and mirrors. It happened to me when I first started investing in stocks and shares, trusting stock analysts and regulators, many of whom where exposed during the 2007-2008 financial crash. Be very wary about putting money into anything based on what people tell you. Do your own due diligence first, always.
So if expert testimony can’t be entirely trusted, and I include the media, politicians and big businesses in this, what can you believe, other than your own first hand experience.
Can you believe what a friend of a friend tells you, or your parents, or your colleagues?
Well you have to be the judge, but what I would say is question everything. Ask “How do you know?”, “Where is the proof?”. An healthy skepticism is always a good thing. Don’t be rushed into making a decision, if someone insists you decide now, walk away.
From BELIEFS come VALUES, which are the things we judge as being important to us, in which we invest a sense of ourselves. By selected these values we also infer their opposites, our dislikes, pet peeves and such.
What we deem as relevant and important to us, shapes what we pay attention to. As a result our PERCEPTIONS and PERSPECTIVE are greatly influenced by BELIEFS and VALUES. As are our EXPECTATIONS, ATTACHMENTS, JUDGMENTS, LIKES and DISLIKES, REACTIONS and EMOTIONS.
BELIEFS and VALUES are the foundation of how we live our lives, so it’s vitally important to ensure they are well founded and grounded.
Any beliefs that helps us move closer to achieving our goals are generally okay, but beliefs that hold us back, need addressing.
Get out of your own way
Fears, self-doubts, insecurities, expectations and preferences are getting in the way, they are closing up the channel, blocking the bandwidth. It’s time to leave the prison of the mind. It’s not a matter of gaining anything, in fact it’s about losing everything that is cluttering up your life and stopping you achieving your GOALS.
Do you believe death is the end, that there is nothing more once we die? If so, the thought of death might fill you with dread.
Alternatively, If you believe that after death, your spirit goes to be with the spirits of deceased family members, who you love and miss, you might look forward to the prospect of death.
Both these are thoughts. Which ever version you believe to be true, determines your feeling about the consequences of death. Fear or anticipation. You have no way of knowing which version is true ahead of time. Yet which ever you believe, has an impact on your life and how you live it.
It colours the background of your life, maybe resulting in a feeling of fear or worry in the back of your mind, that is always there. Many spiritualist believe the fear of death is a major part of the human condition and the reason people struggle with dealing with the Ego (self preservation part of the mind).
Let’s look at another common debate, the debate about whether life is on your side versus life is constantly testing you.
Do you believe that life is looking to support your endeavours and successes or do you believe life is designed to test and challenge you, so you grow? Or do you believe life is just a fluke and there is no purpose, rhyme or reason to it? It’s just a random occurrence and we make things up as we go along. Again which belief you fall behind, will have an impact on the way you live your life, the emotions you feel and how you deal with setbacks. Can you not enjoy your successes because you’re waiting for things to go wrong? Or do you feel you have the power of the Universe behind your efforts, the Universe is working to help you?
Okay, let’s consider your beliefs about people. Are people inherently good or bad? Or are people a mixture of both, capable of great feats, amazing accomplishements and acts of kindness and altruism? While also being capable of selfishness, destructiveness and the capacity to carrying out monstrous acts of devastation to fellow human beings, animals and the planet.
Let’s consider your beliefs around your government. Are your government acting to secretly enslave the population or are they doing the best they can for the good of the country and its people?
On a more personal level, are you capable of whatever you set your mind to or are you not really very good at anything?
Are your beliefs generally more positively or negatively orientated?
Are you a glass half full or half empty person?
Are you always striving for more, wanting more and better or grateful for, and contented with, what you have in the here and now?
Sure we’ve covered a lot of different areas of life here, but the underlying thing behind each of these, are your beliefs, what you believe to be true or not.
Beliefs are generally held with some level of faith or certainty. You have to believe it to be true, for it to be a belief.
The power in this little word can not be understated. Beliefs shape everything you do, how you interpret incoming stimuli, the meaning you give to it. What you pay attention to and what you choose, either on a conscious or subconscious level, to ignore or filter out.
Beliefs are used to judge what is good or bad, what should be pursued and what should be avoided.
You must question your beliefs, bring some conscious thought to how they work in you. Question them, where did they come from, what are their intentions?
You’ll find that many beliefs are driven by fear, they come from the instinctive, self preservation part of the mind, that is doing its best to keep you safe and well. It’s very good at what it was designed to do.
The secret is to use your intellect, the rational part of your mind, to control the instinctive part of your mind. Don’t let irrational fear drive your actions or dictate your thoughts and emotions. Take back control!
It’s interesting isn’t it, beliefs are a fascinating topic. What we believe guides our decision-making in every aspect of life.
There was recently a post on Facebook with the following maths problem..
(7+7+7)-(7+7)x 0 = ?
On reading the comments, it was funny to see how some people were arrogantly quoting zero as being the answer, while others equally arrogantly quoted 21 being the answer.
This observation got me thinking how people were so sure in their belief in the answer, that they were happy to comment to the world, and potentially in front of their friends, family and other associates, without ever doubting that they may be wrong, and the possibility of looking stupid.
Now I’m not judging people who got this wrong, as being stupid, but I’m sure that if they found out they were wrong, they would feel a little embarrassed that they didn’t know the answer, after all “it’s something you learn in 3rd grade” – and I’m quoting a comment of someone who got the answer wrong.
But people do this kind of thing all the time, particularly on social media. They believe they know something when they wrong – they have false knowledge.
Having false knowledge can be problematic for decision-making, if you’re basing your decision on that false knowledge.
Doing a quick Google search will undoubtedly give you the right answer to a simple maths question, and the consequences of getting it wrong is nothing greater than a little social embarrassment, but there are situations where having false knowledge, while believing you are right, can cause significantly more serious consequences.
The answer to dealing with false knowledge and misguided belief, is not to hold beliefs with such certainty. Question them, look for proof that you are right or wrong, before acting on them.
The moment you believe you are right, is the exactly the same moment you stop looking for evidence of contradiction. You look for confirmation you are right, which further entrenches you into that belief mind-set.
One solution, drawn from a famous insight of philosopher Karl Popper, who argued that in science, evidence against a hypothesis, called
disconfirmation, is much more important than evidence for that
hypothesis, called confirmation.
So, let go of beliefs, and instead look for evidence that disconfirms them. If you believe “all politicians are self-serving”, then you only have to find one that isn’t self-serving, and you’ve disproved your belief, good luck with that, only joking. But you get the point, it’s easy to fall into the trap of finding evidence that supports your belief, after all, there are many politicians who you can find evidence of being self-serving, if you look hard enough, and this further embeds the belief.
A word of warning before I finish this post, if you find yourself using generalities such as “all”, “most” or “none” you’re over-relying on stereotypes and biases, and this is a lazy and foolish way of forming beliefs.
Comments like “All BMW drivers are arrogant”, and “most politicians are self-serving”, play on stereotypes, prejudices, biases and vastly overgeneralise, so stop holding such beliefs, and start looking for contradictions. You’ll undoubtedly find that many of your beliefs are based on false knowledge.
Just one last point, the answer to the maths question, if you didn’t already know, is 21 – the rule that makes it so is called “order of operations”, so now you really do know the answer.
They are doing [blank], so must be [blank].
They look like a [blank], so must be one.
The blanks are full of stereotypes, prejudices, biases and generalisations.
This makes us feel satisfied, because it helps us think we understand the world around us.
Understanding the world keeps us safe, but we have no idea, if we’re actually right in our instant evaluation.
But that doesn’t matter because we’ve already moved on to something else.
Not jumping to conclusions means we have to admit to ourselves we don’t know, we can’t know from just one look at somebody and this isn’t satisfactory, because it means we don’t understand the world around us after all, and this could be dangerous.
If you’re of adult age, you’ve probably experienced a fair amount in life.
You’ve probably fallen in love, and maybe out of love again, at least once.
You’ve probably been to school, witnessed or been the victim of bullying.
You’ve undoubtedly experienced a loss of some kind, whether it be someone close to you, or loss of a valued possession.
You’ll have most certainly have experienced many different emotions; such as happiness, sadness, anger, embarrassment, longing etc.
Through all these experiences, what has been the one thing that has remained constant?
If you said your “thoughts”, then we know this isn’t true, your thoughts come and go like clouds. Sure you experience many thought over and over, these form beliefs that shape your life, but they do still come and go. You’re not thinking the same thing all the time.
If you said your “emotions”, then again these are constantly in flux.
If you said your “behaviours”, then again these have changed as you’ve grown and unless you do exactly the same thing all the time, they are constantly changing as you undertake different tasks.
So what is the one constant, that has shared every second of every day?
The answer to this is the “awareness” in which all experiences unfold. The “presence” that watches, listens and is.
This presence can be described as consciousness, awareness, or even space. It is the space into which all life unfolds, but it isn’t empty space. It isn’t a vacuum of nothing, but it a space of “NO THING”.
You can not view it in the same way you can your mind constructed self. The self you describe when someone asks you, who you are.
I am [whatever age you are],
I am a male or female
I am a professional whatever
I am a father, mother, daughter son, only child
Whatever you label yourself as being, is not really who you are.
This labelled self is your mind constructed identity, used to tell stories about, to describe, to understand, to point to, but it isn’t the real you.
You look at a flower and you call it a flower, you have a mind constructed idea of what as flower is, what it should look like, where you should find it.
In the same way you do with anything you’ve ever experienced.
You label it, so it can understand it, and your mind does the same with its version of you.
When you say I’m trying to find myself, this is a false way of thinking about it. The real you, can’t be observed, or lost like an object because you can’t removed yourself from it. “You are it” and “it is you”. You can’t do anything other than “be who you are”.
It’s not about finding yourself, it’s about losing everything that mentally and emotionally blocks your realisation of the truth, that all the constructed versions of yourself are not you. The real you is what’s left when all the labels are stripped away.
You are awareness, presence, the space in which all experiences play out, without the layer of thought and interpretation getting in the way. The space that just is, without any need to add anything else. You are consciousness.
I love these two quotes that say it all…
“Thoughts are like clouds, you are the sky. ”
“You are the Universe, experiencing itself from infinite points of view. ”
That means you and I, and all life are connected because we are all a manifestation of the Universe experiencing itself.
We are all storytellers, it’s built into our instinctive mind.
For example, I recently heard, in separate news bulletins about a “Super spreader” of the Coronavirus who had infected 30 people after a travel journey.
I had separately heard that some people were refusing to be quarantined after being suspected of contracting the virus.
As a result of these two bulletins my mind created a narrative that this guy must be self-centred with no consideration for other travellers.
Furthermore I assumed he was one of the people that didn’t want to be quarantined.
My mind began to built-up a picture of what the guy possibly looks like, a sense of his arrogance, visually pushing authority away to break free from his imprisonment. Great imagination.
In reality, I don’t know who he is, what he looks like, if he indeed, actually, refused quarantine, if he even had symptoms at the time he was spreading the virus.
I found it interesting to see how my mind instinctively created, and filled gaps in knowledge with assumptions, created out of my overactive imagination.
It got me to thinking about how the mind works, not so much with sympathy but instead with judgment, I suspect this is the case for most people. In this instance, I hadn’t initially thought about the condition of the “Super spreader”, I’d immediately jumped to the conclusion about his potential guilt in knowingly spreading the virus, before my conscious thinking mind had stepped in to question this thought process, and only then did I consider the health of the individual.
Try to catch your instinctive mind in its creative process. Bring awareness to how it reacts to things that are going on around you. This is called mindfulness, it gives your conscious thinking mind time to step in and ask questions of the instinctive mind.
Is your mind instinctively inclined to come from a positive or negative point of view? Let this be part of your self-awareness practice. My thoughts indicated I’m quick to judge. I’m not particularly sympathetically inclined, instinctively, otherwise I’d have been more concerned about the man’s condition.
I suspect this is the case with most people, because the instinctive mind is designed for self protection, so it is fear driven. It’s design to look for danger, to think the worst of people and situations, so as not to become a victim of them.
Use your imaginative, instinctive mind to create good stories of fiction, rather than waste its built-in creativity, but don’t let it shape your opinion of reality. Don’t let it form beliefs, that you hold with some degree of certainty. It’s creative and imaginative, but it’s not accurate, most of the time.
The thing with the Instinct is, it is creative, imaginative, but often light on evidence-based facts. It is directly connected to our emotions and nervous system, which means it is very persuasive in its storytelling, if we aren’t conscious of how and why it works.
The way to step out of the instinctive minds influence, is to bring awareness to it, and allow the conscious thinking mind to step in and question its ramblings. Awareness gives you the space needed to prevent being drawn into the emotions and subsequent reactions.
You are not your thoughts, and they are not you. You are the observer of them, in the same you are not your instinctive mind, it is your self-preservation instinct, but you are so much more, by engaging your conscious thinking mind to take control.
The instinctive mind is a great tool, but a destructive master. Make sure the conscious thinking mind is in control and you won’t go far wrong.
Eradicating LIMITING BELIEFS should be your focus.
Empowering beliefs can be used as a tool to help motivate, but use them wisely.
For example Saying “I’m going to be the best football player in the world”, is probably less doable than being a professional football player. Some endeavours are dependent on physical attributes and genetic limitations, while others are less so. You can be the best of your potential for sure, but if you can’t sing a note, you’re unlikely to be the best singer in the world, even with 10,000 hours of practice. But hey, if you aim for the stars you might make it to the moon.
You can aim to max out your potential in any pursuit, the best singer, the best footballer the best whatever you want, with enough desire and application.
Any sustained, purposeful practice will improve performance, remember the beginning is always going to be the hardest because it’s new and different. It will get easier and you will get better the more you do it, the more you practice, with the aim of improving on your previous attempt.
Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to try new things out because you might happen on a new path forward, that fills you with delight when you do it, which enthuses you when you wake up in the morning because of the prospect of doing it again today.
If you don’t have that something in your life that you love to do, maybe it’s simply because you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s out there waiting for you to find it. You might need to try 10 things, 100 things, a 1000 things before you discover it, but it’s out there.
Limiting beliefs act like coping strategies, they arm you with excuses not to engage, not to expose yourself to the chance of failure and disappointment. You may say to yourself I can’t do that, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the necessary skills or experience etc these excuses are tricks of the mind. You won’t start off with all that you’ll need at the beginning, but in the process of doing, you learn, and acquire all that you need to reach the next level, if you apply yourself effectively.
You can’t learn to ride a bike or walk by simply reading an instruction manual, you have to try to do it, you fall and you learn from falling, that’s how it’s supposed to work. You wouldn’t tell your child to give up walking because they failed to do it the very first time, or the second or third would you? You’d encourage them to keep trying until they could do it.
If something has been done before, it can be done again. You have an example you can model and learn from.
If something has never been done before then ask yourself why. 4 minute miles couldn’t be done until Roger Bannister did it. Men being able to fly wasn’t possible until the wright brothers did it. Getting a man on the moon wasn’t possible until Neil Armstrong did it.
Don’t let limiting beliefs discourage you, instead scrutinise such beliefs and ask of them, why can’t I, who says so? How do I know until I try? What’s the worst that can happen if it doesn’t work out? Is that so bad?
Never fear failure, because it’s an integral part of the learning process. You’re not really failing, you’re learning how not to do it. Embrace the learning process because a better version of yourself is waiting on the other side.
If you find yourself defending a Politician who is under verbal attack, let’s say its Jeremy Corbyn receiving stick from someone in a group your part of, or you feel the compulsion to defend or stick up for him, it’s because either..
#1 – You see the attack as a form of bullying that is disagreeable to your values of what is right and wrong behaviour or
#2 – You believe their opinion is inaccurate or unfounded or
#3 – You’ve psychologically invested a sense-of- yourself in that Politician or a cause they represent. You may feel you are personally being attacked through them, or at least what that Politician stands for, maybe their values, principles, cause or whatever it is you are attached to, that they represent in your perception. In the example of Jeremy Corbyn, you might share the same Political, Socialist stance or views.
The emotional response you feel, the compulsion to want to defend him, your physiological and psychological reactions, originate from a primitive part of your mind, what Spirituality calls “the Ego”, others may call “Instinct”, or survival instinct.
It’s the emotional part of your mind that needs to defend itself from a perceived devaluation in its sense of self.
Sense of self explained
Your “Sense of self” includes anything you’re psychologically attached to. If you refer to people, things, ideas, concepts using.. “my”, “mine”, “I have”, “I am”
“it’s MY car”, or “that car is MINE”
“MY opinion” or “this opinion is MINE”
“MY belief” or “this belief is MINE”
“MY friend” or “this friend is MINE”
“I AM a Socialist” or “I HAVE Socialist values”
Or even “WE ARE [Socialist]”, “WE HAVE [Socialist values]”, “OUR opinion/car/family” etc
For example if you hear a car has been stolen, it’s unlikely to bother you but if your car is stolen, a car you describe as “my car”, then you’re likely going to have an emotional response.
Well the same is true if the thing you’re attached to is tangible like a car, a person, or a possession or intangible like ideas, thoughts, beliefs, values, opinions, religious or political stances or views.
The reason you attach to such things, is because your instinct wrongly believes the more you have the more you are. You have a greater sense of self by having more attachments connect to you.
Taking control back
So what can you do about it, well if you don’t want to do anything about it and you’re happy to go along with the INSTINCTIVE part of your brain, and your emotions, be my guest.
But is you don’t want to be a slave to your instincts and emotions, understand one important thing, there is another part of your mind that can and should always take control.
If your instinct is the child-like reactionary part of your mind, the Intellect; the conscious thinking mind is the grown up part.
This part of your mind is where rational decision making resides. It’s the part that of your mind that says eating that piece of cake is not a good idea, and dismisses your instinct is craving for a slice.
It’s the part of your mind that says, stop taking drugs they are going to kill you, when your instinct is craving another fix.
It’s the part of your mind that says, stop investing a sense of yourself in Political ideologies and the people that represent them and start thinking rationally about such matters, when your instinct is craving the attachment.