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belief systems

Stop Resisting Change: What We Can Learn From The Pioneers

You can stop resisting change. Although any transition is scary, the fear doesn’t have to lead to debilitating resistance. Change means a phase of  life is coming to an end. This can apply to a job, a scholastic career or a relationship. In order to step into what is new or possible, it is imperative to recognize what needs to be released  in order to continue progressing in life.

Lessons Of The Oregon Trail

For 25 years, between 1841 and 1866, people uprooted themselves and their entire lives to head west. Estimates range between 250,000 to 650,000 people, who made the trip along the Oregon Trail.  They were looking for new opportunities they heard about through the grapevine. People had heard stories about the successes others had experienced from Oregon to California, Utah to Colorado and Montana to Washington. They were inspired to take the same journey, hoping for better lives.

What they might not have taken into consideration was how difficult the journey would be or what they would have to let go of in order to get there. Many wanted to bring their entire lives along with them. They brought all the precious items that would remind them of the people and places they left behind – grandfather clocks, pianos, books, china and more. Along the journey, as they realized how weighted down they were with material things, the trail became littered with any items not considered crucial to survival.

In order to get over the mountains, these pioneers realized there was a lot they needed to let go of. They had to release what was comfortable and familiar to be successful in completing their journey. After all, when creating a new world and adapting to a new reality, that’s what it takes.

Let Go Of Old Belief Systems

When we are going through any transition, large or small, pay particular attention to what is difficult to let go of. Notice the thoughts that come to the surface. Just like the pioneers had to let go of pianos, grandfather clocks and pot belly stoves to make it through the mountains, we must let go of our old belief systems and modes of operation which are no longer effective.

Sometimes, we must close old doors to allow new doors to open in our lives.

Balance,Beliefs,and Relationships

Relationships can be very complicated, and these complications are increased when your life is out of balance.

Balance is achieved through being aware of your belief systems and noticing how they affect your physical, emotional and spiritual states. Belief systems include everything from perceptions of spirituality to the value of money. When you have a strong belief about something, you form your opinions, make decisions and form relationships based on these beliefs.

For example, if I believe in order to have success in life I must achieve a certain level of financial income, I will make it my mission to reach that financial goal. I will believe my happiness depends upon that goal. People who are severely religious base their entire lives on the dogma of their chosen religion. Anything that deviates from that belief system is unacceptable and is subsequently rejected.

Our external life is a reflection of our internal belief systems, and the same holds true for our relationships: they reflect our internal belief systems and these beliefs form our reality.

It is very important to know what you believe and why you believe it. Throughout my life, my belief systems have changed. For example, I grew up in a specific religion; however, as I got older, this particular religion stopped meeting my spiritual needs. It’s not because the religion is flawed or because everyone who participates in it is wrong; it simply stopped providing me with what I was seeking. Rather than blame this religion and do everything in my power to debunk it, I chose to look in a different direction to find spiritual fulfillment.
It doesn’t make sense to automatically try to destroy something because we don’t agree with its philosophy or because we have chosen to find something else. We try to fight it out of fear, and fear creates a very limited scope of the world. People who are negative about what they don’t believe never seem to find pleasure or joy in anything. Having a solid idea of what you believe and why you believe it, without the fight, will enable you to pursue ideas with joy to further your growth. Focusing on what you disagree with will only stop you from having an open mind and being able to relate to others.

Here are a few important points to keep in mind:

•    Your belief systems are reinforced by your actions. The combination of action and belief forms your reality.
•    Once you are aware of your limiting belief systems, you have the power to let them go!
•    Your relationships will become more intimate as you form a clearer definition of success and happiness.
•    Your personal mission statement is formed by your definitions of success and happiness.

Pay attention to what you believe and how you reinforce these beliefs. Your actions will provide you with the guidance you need to determine what is truly important to you. With this knowledge you are empowered to enhance all of your relationships.

If There’s Trouble, You Can Resolve It

      Most relationships that go sour are usually sabotaged by poor communication. Whether it is due to someone’s inability (or unwillingness) to be openly expressive or a misinterpretation of emotions, with better tools we can not only salvage certain relationships but enhance all of them. In my book, Relationships for the Intimately Challenged, I provide an overview of how people’s faulty belief systems and scripting lead to the repetition of useless and negative habits. I also point out the value of having a personal definition of success and happiness based on your individual experiences and beliefs rather than on scripts or other limiting codes of behavior. 

     In the series of workshops that I am facilitating right now, I provide some insight into ten techniques that I believe can help resolve most conflicts that come up in any relationship.

·      Pause before speaking

·      Listen to the other person…….no, seriously listen to the other person

·      Avoid accusatory statements based on assumptions

·      Avoid ”should” statements

·      Discuss rules/guidelines rather than impose rules/guidelines

·      Communicate concerns rather than attempt to arbitrarily control behavior

·      Understand the other person’s perspective (kind of an extension of #2)

·      Be willing to walk away to allow emotions to calm

·      NEVER speak out of anger

·      Own your behavior first

       If you are experiencing conflict in any of your relationships, try one or more of these techniques. If you are willing to take action and make the necessary changes in your life you can find the joy you seek in any significant relationship. Never limit yourself with beliefs that no longer serve you.