Beliefs come from many sources – upbringing, imitation of significant others, conclusions as a result of past traumas, and repetitive experiences. We build beliefs by generalizing from our experiences of the world and those of other people.
Some beliefs come to us ready made from the culture and environment we are born into. When we are young, we believe what we are told about ourselves and the world, because we have no way of testing, and these beliefs may persist unmodified by our later achievements, because they had parental authority and became embedded as unconscious commands in the developing super-ego.
When we believe something we act as if it is true; we have then made an investment of effort. This makes it difficult to disprove; beliefs act as perceptual filters – events are interpreted in terms of the belief, and ‘exceptions prove the rule’.
Beliefs are not just maps of what has happened, but blueprints for future actions. Positive beliefs are permissions that turn on our capabilities; they are permissions to play and explore in the world of possibility. Limiting beliefs on the other hand, usually centre around, ‘I can’t…’ This may be a valid statement at the present moment, but believing it is a description of out capability now and in the future, will program your mind to fail, as it will prevent you finding out your potential capability. Limiting beliefs have no valid basis in experience.
Only in that context, knowing ourselves more fully, can we then visualize new possibilities, ones that we genuinely want to happen, without limitations, and work enthusiastically towards them with a creative (integrated high arousal) frame of mind.