On a subconscious level, each of us is convinced that our beliefs are both true and accurate. After all, they must be correct, otherwise why would we choose to believe them, right?
Here’s how the dictionary defines – Belief: “Acceptance by the mind that something is true or real, often underpinned by an emotional or spiritual sense of certainty.”
In part one of this series we talked about how our beliefs provide a structured process through which we evaluate everything in our lives. In part two we saw how our beliefs become the foundation for our internal map of reality.
Now it’s time to take a closer look at how we subconsciously alter the meaning of our experiences and relationships to make sure they fit our map. We will also discuss how we attract people and situations into our life in an effort to verify the accuracy of our version of reality.
Part 3: Defending Your Beliefs
Do you know what the granddaddy of all human emotions is? Every person on the planet has an inherent and insatiable desire to feel safe and secure. Efforts to fill this desire shape the actions of individuals and the course of world events.
This is why we are subconsciously programmed to make reality fit our core beliefs about who we are and what we deserve. When our perception of the world validates our beliefs, we feel secure in the fact that our view is the correct one.
Limiting or empowering, it doesn’t matter!
As odd as it might seem, we work just as hard to validate our limiting beliefs as our empowering ones. Why would we do this? Remember, the process takes place on a subconscious level. Our subconscious does not analyze a belief to see if it’s appropriate or not, it just bends reality to make it fit.
Do you see the possible consequences here to our sense of self-worth? If our limiting beliefs seem to be supported by every experience, how likely are we to overcome those beliefs? All the logic in the world is no match for real world validation provided by our version of reality.
3 Ways we bend reality
Let’s consider the three primary ways that our subconscious adjusts how we experience life so that those experiences conform to our map of reality.
1) Attraction. We will attract, and be attracted to, people who confirm our beliefs. This is why some people experience one bad relationship after another. They continue to be attracted to people who affirm their limiting beliefs about themselves.
Something deep inside them believes that they don’t deserve to have a happy, meaningful relationship. This same ‘something’ is irresistibly attracted to, and attracts, the very person who will validate their perceived worthlessness.
2) Interpretation. We already talked about how our internal map of reality is based on how we interpret the events and situations in our life. If our map says that life is wonderful, then our interpretations, and our map, are empowering.
What if our map says everyone is out to take advantage of us? Then we will misinterpret the events in our life to fit our map. Perhaps we will take neutral experiences and put a negative spin on them. We may read negative messages into harmless conversation, or unkind motives into a meaningless glance.
If we are convinced (believe) on a subconscious level that people are out to get us, then we will find ample evidence in the world around us to confirm that belief.
3) Denial. What if we believe that nobody likes us, and then someone starts being kind, and treating us like a friend? Wouldn’t that convince us that our belief is wrong? Yes, on a logical level it would, but beliefs are usually immune to logic.
So, how might we respond to this ‘friendly’ input that doesn’t fit with our ‘nobody likes me’ map? In a word, denial. We would simply respond in a way that corresponds to our negative beliefs about our self. See where this is headed?
If we ignore their attempts at friendship, and treat them as someone who’s out to get us, what will they finally do? Eventually, they will begin to act in a way that confirms our limiting beliefs, providing validation for our map.
How do we change a limiting map?
As you can see, if our internal map of reality is built on limiting beliefs, life becomes a great big negative reinforcement loop. So, the question remains, how do we create a new map that serves us?
The bottom line is this: when you change your beliefs, you change your map. Building your internal empowering beliefs will transform the way you experience your life. This will be the subject of part 4: Upgrading Your Beliefs.
Editors note: This is the third in a five part series of articles about
How Your Beliefs Create Your Reality.
Here is a list of the subjects we will examine:
Part 1: What We Believe to Be True
Part 2: Your Internal Map of Reality
Part 3: Defending Your Beliefs
Part 4: Upgrading Your Beliefs
Part 5: Beyond the Map
What kind of beliefs is your map based on?
The lines are open!
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