Our belief systems are wide open when we are born. We develop beliefs about the world we live in during the early years in our family, then in school and our community. Our young mind is a sponge soaking up everything we notice, experience and imagine. Along the way through life our rules of living become more solidified and we believe them.
Some of the rules we have woven into our book of living create stress, tension, pressure and discomfort. A large part of our population suffers with depression, relationship frustrations, unhappiness and stress related coping behaviours that have their root in believing these often rigid rules.
What “Rules” have you been following that cause you pain?
Lester grew up in a family that lived through the depression. Food was scarce and his parents were happy for any work that would put bread on the table. Mom and Dad wanted the best for him and his sister, sacrificing long hours of work so the kids could get a good education and then find a professional position. Lester grew up believing that success came in the form of a suit and an office job, the only problem was that he found working in an office very routine and boring. To counter his boring day Lester started to create excitement at night, gambling without telling his wife what he was doing.
Eventually his extra curricular activities caught up to him and through therapy he was able to go through the process of examining and disintegrating the beliefs that were not valid for him. Lester learned that what he had been led to believe about career success did not work for him, and that was ok. He was able to develop beliefs that felt more true and resonated with him. Lester followed his new rules and used his education to take a position as a sales representative which aligned with his desire for unpredictable experiences and pressure. He was much happier and felt more like the him he had always wanted to be.
Consider the rules you are living by, do they add or relieve pressure, safety or comfort? What alternative rules could there be? Looking at our own internal belief system from a more objective point of view is something I coach my clients through.