How Your Beliefs Create Your Reality part 5

how beliefs create reality part 5

So far in this series we have focused mainly on the role of our internal map of reality. We have also talked about how our beliefs serve as our internal map makers.

Learning to create a reality that empowers us, rather than limiting us, is certainly a powerful and advanced life skill. This skill, perhaps more than any other, has the ability to totally transform the quality of our lives.

Editors note: This is the fifth and final part in a series of articles about
How Your Beliefs Create Your Reality.
Here are the links to the other articles:
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

But wait, there’s more!

Creating an internal map of reality based on empowering beliefs is definitely something everyone should endeavor to do. With that said, I don’t want you to conclude that mastering this ability constitutes the final frontier, because it doesn’t.

In fact, the real key to a life of wonderment and awe is not found within the confines of a intricately detailed map of reality where every square inch is ruled over by some established belief. That wouldn’t be much fun! The real key to such a life actually lies…

Part 5: Beyond the Map

The problem with being too locked in to a minutely detailed map is that everything is (seemingly) accounted for. Perhaps this point can be best made by looking at our earth.

What happens to people’s perception in areas where every square inch of land is accounted for? Don’t they tend to live by, and be restricted by, precisely drawn boundaries? And doesn’t that reality have a way of fostering preconceived ideas about how things are supposed to be? To a large extent, those boundaries put very real limits on their life experience.

A different perspective

Now, what happens to our perception of the earth when we view it from space? About the only boundaries we can still see are the continents and oceans. And from that vantage point, what is our impression of the planet? It’s beautiful, right?

The point is, too many details and boundaries tend to shrink our focus. They can easily blind us to the beauty that surrounds us. If everything is precisely defined, we can quickly lose our sense of wonderment and awe.

Balancing beliefs and boundaries

What does it take to experience life in a productive and meaningful way, and still maintain our sense of discovery and adventure? At what point do the boundaries on our internal map of reality cross the line from empowering to limiting?

In parts 3 and 4 of this series, we established that it is our beliefs about who we are, and what we are capable of, that are either empowering or limiting. So, once again, it all comes back to how our beliefs create our reality. Only this time, we are looking at the concept of limiting and empowering from a completely different angle.

Treasure Hunting

When you think of a treasure map, what kind of image does that conjure up? Usually, it’s a map with some notable place markers, but not too many details. At least that’s how it is in the movies!

Finding the treasure always involves an adventure of discovery. The treasure hunters have barely enough details to keep them moving in the right direction. Everything else is discovered along the way. It’s the adventure that keeps them fully engaged and living in the moment.

Your internal treasure map of reality

For life to be an adventure of wonderment and awe, we need to treat it like a treasure hunt. We need our empowering beliefs to keep us headed in the right direction. To maintain our sense of adventure, we also need to avoid the trap of beliefs that create too many precise boundaries and preconceived ideas.

Living beyond the map does not mean that we don’t have a map. It means that we choose to discover the details along the way, rather than try to fill them in ahead of time. It means approaching situations, people, and experiences with a sense of open curiosity. It means that we look for the treasures that are unfolding with each new day.

A shift in perception

When we are truly empowered by our beliefs, life gets simpler. We tend to let go of judgments and expectations, and replace them with compassion and curiosity.

When we look at the earth from space, there are no national boundaries, conflicts, agendas, or disappointments. There is only beauty! Once we learn to view life from beyond the map, it’s pretty much the same scenario. It’s a beautiful treasure of wonderment and awe.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of articles on beliefs!
Your comments make the circle complete.

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Find Your TRUE SELF is the fastest inexpensive way I know of to make positive life changes very quickly. Do you want to discover your core standards and personal values? Would you like to make a deeper connection with your real self? Find Your TRUE SELF will guide you smoothly through the process.


  1. Eduard November 27, 2009 Reply

    Well said Jonathan! :)

    I believe in changing our maps continuously as we experience and learn, never assuming that our beliefs are NOW the right ones. Some beliefs get reinforced as time passes, but some need to keep changing for us to have the edge.


    • Jonathan November 27, 2009 Reply

      Hi Eduard, I agree with you when it come to evaluating our beliefs to make sure they still serve us. Living beyond the map is really about letting go of all but our foundational beliefs and becoming a curious observer of our own life. We actually allow things to just be whatever they are without the need to judge them. As a result, we can stay fully engaged in life, present in the moment, and open to almost any possibility. It’s kind of a belief minimalist approach.

  2. John November 27, 2009 Reply

    I especially enjoyed this. I am all for dropping those walls and boundaries that we set up. They truly do limit our perception. How far can we see from behind a wall?

    • Jonathan November 27, 2009 Reply

      Hi John, I was just thinking how a few simple walls with lots of windows make a home. But too many walls, and not enough windows, make a prison.

  3. Steven Aitchison November 28, 2009 Reply

    A great end to this series Jonathan. If we contrast our lives with the evolution of earth we will see that the world map has been constantly changing and is changing as we speak, so it is with our own ‘internal maps.’ and that’s what makes life so interesting, and blogs like yours Jonathan help us read the map a lot better – you are like the GPS for our internal map :)

    • Jonathan November 28, 2009 Reply

      Steve, I am really touched by your comment. What a kind thing to say. I can’t tell you how much your support means to me. Thank you my friend.

  4. Robin Easton November 28, 2009 Reply

    Dear Jonathan,

    This is BEAUTIFUL and so important if we are to live not only a rewarding life, but also if we are live FREE.

    Freedom is a funny thing. It’s usually referred to in terms of people who are “set free” from bondage of one kind or another. However freedom really starts with the self, with a willingness to let go and let Life, a willingness to move toward our fear. We are never truly free if our entire existence is mapped out in detail with rigidly defined boundaries, judgments and well established automated presets that are never questioned. We DRASTICALLY reduce our life experience and miss the great adventure that’s available to us all…no matter what is going on in our lives.

    The adventure is in being open to Life and the Unknown. When we can do this we become what we already are…divine beings.

    Thank you my dear friend for reaching and seeing “beyond” and sharing it. Hugs, Robin

    PS It’s interesting. We must be on the same wave length as the post I wrote a few days ago and edited yesterday is of a somewhat similar nature. I actually may add some of my comment here to my post. You ALWAYS being my voice to life. Thank you for that, Jonathan.

    • Jonathan November 28, 2009 Reply

      Hi Robin, I must tell you that I was thinking of you when I wrote this. Of all the wonderful people I know, you are the best example of living “beyond the map” that I can think of. Your example is an inspiration to everyone who knows you, including me. Others may not fully comprehend what makes you the way you are, but they can all feel the way you touches their lives. For all you do – this post is for you my friend. Thank you!

  5. Stephen November 28, 2009 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, I really liked this one. When I was reading you and John’s comments about the house it reminded me of something I read once about how people really like homes without walls the best. They like partial walls and differences in ceiling heights marking off different rooms. It was rather intriguing.


    “Living beyond the map does not mean that we don’t have a map. It means that we choose to discover the details along the way, rather than try to fill them in ahead of time. It means approaching situations, people, and experiences with a sense of open curiosity. It means that we look for the treasures that are unfolding with each new day.”

    Very well said indeed!

    • Jonathan November 28, 2009 Reply

      Hi Stephen, I think the more densely populated an area is, the harder the people who live there try to define their space (more walls). Put that same person in a totally natural setting and they adopt a more open attitude (more windows, less walls).

      I think the same could be said with regard to beliefs. If we form a firm belief about everything in life (dense belief structure), those beliefs will act like walls that insulate us from the experience of living. If we adopt a more natural, relaxed belief structure (keep the core beliefs and let go of the unnecessary ones). We will be more open to the experience of life without the burden of trying to make everything fit with our preconceived ideas.

  6. Karlil November 29, 2009 Reply

    I love the concept of treasure hunt. I think many has got into the trap of over analyzing the road we choose to take, instead of just solving it as it approaches us. Though it’s not bad idea to be cautious, but being overly cautious is never a good thing either.

    • Jonathan December 3, 2009 Reply

      Hi Nik, I would rather be searching for the treasures that surround us all than thinking “what would life be like if only…” It’s like the guy who traveled the world looking for diamonds. Then after he died they discovered diamonds in his back yard.

  7. Rocket Bunny November 30, 2009 Reply

    I think you have to be flexible.Sometimes things happen but you should always have a backup plan. Stay focused on what you want and if obstacles a rise then turn them into opportunities.

    • Jonathan December 3, 2009 Reply

      Hi Bunny, I just love how you are so confident with your comments.

  8. Steven Handel November 30, 2009 Reply

    This was a beautiful ending to a truly great series! This last part reminds me of a quote by scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski: “The map is not the territory.”

    I also love what you wrote right here:

    “Living beyond the map does not mean that we don’t have a map. It means that we choose to discover the details along the way, rather than try to fill them in ahead of time.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! Thanks.

    • Jonathan December 3, 2009 Reply

      Hi Steven, I am so pleased that you liked this series of articles. I thought I would include a related quote by Alfred Korzybski since it is very relevant to this entire series of articles: “Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” Smart guy, thanks for mentioning him.

  9. Dragos Roua December 2, 2009 Reply

    Well, the whole series was a blast. I don’t really know what attracted me, but I think it was the clarity of the writing. You certainly have a gift here, Jonathan, and I think you’re doing great using it. :-)

    • Jonathan December 3, 2009 Reply

      Thanks Dragos, this one is pretty close to my heart and it means a lot that you liked it. Thanks for your support my friend.

  10. Lana December 2, 2009 Reply

    Give up control, live with curiosity and be open to what comes next and expect that whatever it is, it is going to be for the best – that’s what living beyond the map is for me too. Thanks for great series Jonathan, I truly enjoyed reading it!

    • Jonathan December 3, 2009 Reply

      Nice summation Lana, thanks for being here.

  11. Zee September 14, 2011 Reply

    I really do appreciate this blog – I stumbled upon it and it has already created a whisper of change in my way of thinking. With that said, I hear everywhere now some variation on this new catchphrase: that ‘you cannot be the way you want to be because of the way you have chosen to think.

    I am an intelligent person, and I understand the logic behind this theory. The really frustrating thing is that everyone can tell me that my thoughts are skewed or limiting, but no one can seem to tell me HOW you truly change them. Perhaps it would be better to say that I need someone to show me the “mechanism” of change – meaning that I know where I am, and where I want to be, but no inspirational message on earth will get me there if no one can tell me HOW.

    I’ve read everything about standing in front of a mirror and saying nice things about yourself, of trying to re-frame a natural, negative thought into a weakly positive statement, etc. I have tried what seems to be every possible technique for changing limiting thoughts into freeing ones, but always there is something missing, that magical step, from this old paradigm to the new one. I have all the clarity and purpose that everyone tells me I need; all I need to do now is ACT.

    • Jonathan September 15, 2011 Reply

      Guess what Zee, you are exactly right. You hit the nail right on the head when you said but always there is something missing. The notion that some simple exercise like standing in front of a mirror and saying nice things about yourself will change deeply entrenched limiting beliefs is ridiculous. Such things might make you feel better for the moment, but they won’t do much beyond that.

      Seeing this lack of vital information was one of the big reasons why I covered the subject of dismantling limiting beliefs and replacing them with empowering one in such detail in the first module of Find Your TRUE SELF. This first module and its six lessons walk you through the process step-by-step.

      Helping people get unstuck by getting rid of their limiting beliefs is also the cornerstone of my coaching practice. The interesting thing is, dismantling limiting beliefs is not really difficult, but it does require that certain steps be taken in a certain order for the process to work. That is the missing ingredient referenced in your comment.

  12. Berit March 13, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    I want to thank you for this wonderful series of articles. This was exactly, the questions I didn’t know how to ask. You have given me a chance to change my life, and how I view it. The questions in part 4 really are well thought and worked very well for me.

    Thank you so much :-)

  13. Holly November 14, 2012 Reply

    Beautiful :-)

    I feel very much intune with the advice given in this article. I believe that it’s never too late to transform your life into a positive way of living and for each and every new morning you get is a chance to turn your life around.

    Theirs no need to regret the things done in life, only far better to regret the things that haven’t been done in life. I believe that things happen for a reason, or they wouldn’t happen. Live and let live, live life in the moment, you can only plan so much because you just never know what’s round the corner. I think that it’s probably for the best because it gives opportunity in life to grow and developed as person

  14. Michelle August 23, 2013 Reply

    Fantastic series, you really made an impression on me, and have given me so much to think about! Thank you so much, I look forward to checking out the rest of your articles :)

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