It’s What You Believe That Matters

Don’t the image fool you, this is about more than sports alone, but since sports is a big influence in many people’s lives, the football playoffs have started and the Olympics are coming, I chose this particular image.  Whether it’s sports, your career or life in general, what we believe to be true is a major player in how life goes.

If I believe that life is going to be hard, then it probably will be.  If I believe life is happy and full of surprises, it probably will be.  Whatever we believe, with feeling, is very likely to happen.  Some call it a “self-fulfilling prophecy” because what we believe at a deep level is what we move toward.  The hard part is that we often aren’t truly consciously aware of what these deep beliefs are unless we actively and intentionally try to figure them out.

I will use myself as an example.  I grew up in a working class family and I learned some basic attitudes about money.  I went to college, got a great education and have been working for decades.  About 3 months ago, I had an epiphany:  I am afraid of making “too much” money!  What!?!  Where did that come from?  I realized that I have a comfort level when it comes to money that I didn’t really recognize until recently and it comes from beliefs that I have had most, if not all, of my life.  I wasn’t really aware of my belief all these years, but when I look at decisions and lifestyle choices I have made throughout my adult life, I can see that belief has been there all along and has greatly influenced the financial life choices I have made.

Look at any professional athlete in this same vein; they all had a deep seated belief that they were going to play whatever sport they aspired to play and they acted in accordance with those beliefs.  Some probably did it quite intentionally, but some may have been less aware that they were acting in accordance with a belief that was deeply embedded inside of them.  I have heard athletes talk about being “lucky” to be playing professionally when we all know that it requires quite a bit more than luck to play a professional sport.  Yet, just the same as my attitudes about money coloring choices I have made, attitudes about how we get where we are in life can color how we handle things.  If someone believes they are “just lucky”, they may have a harder time handling challenges or conflicts than those who “know” they are where they are supposed to be in life.  This is equally true of any other profession or life choice.

The great news is that once we identify a belief, or beliefs, that are present, we can either go with them consciously or, we can work to change them if we find they aren’t really working for us in the way we would like them to work.  I have been doing some real work on understanding my belief and how I can change it to work to my benefit.  Studying up on financial topics and challenging myself to make some substantial changes are what I have been doing recently and I have had some good results.  We can all do this, but please remember that it isn’t an easy road to take, especially by yourself.  Having a coach or a counselor is sometimes necessary to keep us on track and to provide support that we may not always be good at providing ourselves.

If there is some part of your life that you would like to change, I highly recommend that you do some honest and serious soul searching and see what you find.  Then find someone who will help you move to the next step if that is what you want to do.  Good luck with your journey!  Today really is the first day of the rest of our lives, make the most of it!

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