Beliefs are the core of who we are, what we do, and the success that we acquire. In 1948, Claude M Bristol wrote a wonderful book entitled, The Magic of Believing. In his book he explains that there is one common strand woven throughout the many cultures and religions he investigated. All people, whether primitive or civilized, have shared a particular philosophy that is central to their culture. People of all ages have ascribed to the idea that if you believe that something will happen, it will take place. It is the power of belief that causes things to happen in our lives.
Most people define beliefs as inward convictions, a feeling of certainty about what something means. They are what you hold dear and are rooted deeply within. A belief is both mental and emotional. It is imbedded in the mind and in the heart.
Your beliefs will dictate your action. Isn’t that true? If you believe in a cause, you fight for it. If you believe in your religion, you live it. If you believe in others, you support and uplift them. Beliefs drive us. They are at the root of all purpose and all action.
History is replete with famous people whose belief in a concept or a cause drove them without question to accomplish remarkable things. Think of Gandhi and his belief in a free society in India. He gave his life for the cause he believed in. He is famous for saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Those are not just words to Mohandas Gandhi. He fully believed them. We know because he lived them.Nelson Mandela has had a life struggle against the Apartheid in South Africa. He has been willing to suffer because of the passion and belief he has for freedom. Another example is Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King had a dream (a belief) that one day all people would have the same freedoms in the United States, and that belief drove him to fight for change. It dictated his actions.
Unfortunately, while beliefs can be very empowering they can be equally disempowering. Many times our beliefs are negative, or pessimistic about a person, situation, even ourselves, and they limit us and sabotage our results. It is important to stop and take time to analyze your beliefs. Are they helping or hindering? Do they move you forward or hold you back?
Successful people think differently and believe differently than most of the world. These beliefs that they adopt lay the foundation for the level of success they experience. You see, beliefs are not necessarily what’s true or factual in the real world. The power of each belief comes only from the individual believer. That means you can believe whatever you want to believe. As long as you believe it to be true, it will be true in your life. Consequently, you will attract events, experiences and people in your life to match your beliefs. For this reason, it is crucial to adopt only the beliefs that serve you and to let go of those beliefs that limit you.
Many years ago I read a book by John Milton Fogg, which gave me a tremendous insight into the word belief. When you study the root of the word belief you gain greater understanding of its depth and meaning. The true definition of belief will teach you why our beliefs are so powerful. The word belief comes from two words.
Be and lief
Be comes from being, which is a state of existence. To be is to live.
The second word lief comes from the Indo-European word leubh which means – love.
So when you put that together it changes the entire idea of the word belief.
Belief means to be in love with.
Belief doesn’t mean you have to know for a fact, all you have to do is love it. It takes concrete knowledge, which is a mental process and changes it to love, which is a function of the heart. A true belief is something that resonates both in heart and mind.
Think about this in your life. Instead of letting the lack of an immovable belief hold you back. You just need to start because you love the notion. When you believe in someone else; your spouse, a friend, whomever, what you are really saying is you love them.
Let me give you an example. Most researchers would say that less than 5% of the population writes down their goals. Why is that? Most likely it is because they didn’t believe with absolute certainty they would attain them. Have you avoided writing down your goals? If so, what kind of damaging message are you giving yourself? Goals not written are only a wish. What if instead of having to have unshakable conviction, all you had to do was to be in love with your goals. Love the idea, love what they stand for, what they would do for you, just simply be in love with them.
If you love them, you will act. Not only will you act, you will also attract all that you believe into your life. James Allen, the author of As A Man Thinketh stated, “The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves.” It is a liberating concept! In my life there are a lot of things that I love, and because of that I believe them.