You may have heard the saying “What you believe, you become.” But what does that really mean?
I’ve spent the best part of my time on this planet consciously, and quite often unconsciously, studying this concept through my life experiences. And there’s a lot of scientific evidence to back it up too. Studies have shown that our beliefs can actually change our physiology and brain chemistry. For example, if we believe that we’re going to be successful, our bodies will produce more of the hormones and neurotransmitters associated with success, like dopamine and serotonin. On the other hand, if we believe that we’re going to fail, our bodies will produce more of the stress hormones, like cortisol.
Like Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” In other words, your beliefs can either limit or empower you. And don’t I know it – I’ve lived the extremes of the spectrum and have also bounced up and down like an excited kid on their Space Hopper.
If you believe that you’re not good enough, or that you’ll never achieve your dreams, then chances are, you won’t. But if you have faith in yourself and your abilities, then anything is possible … and that’s what we want, isn’t it?
So how do your beliefs impact your life?
You know those people who always seem to be able to get out of sticky situations? Well, they aren’t magic—their mindset is helping them. They tend to have a growth mindset, meaning they focus on possibilities and how to solve problems and are more likely to take risks, push themselves out of their comfort zones, and ultimately achieve success.
On the other hand, people who get trapped by the stickiness of situations tend to have a fixed mindset, where they believe their abilities are set in stone and there’s no way of getting unstuck – it’s just the way it is. They play it safe and give up when things get tough.
It’s not just what they do that affects their beliefs – thoughts and emotions are impacted as well. For example, when people believe they are not good enough they tend to feel anxious and insecure and fall into the often-all-consuming imposter syndrome.
But for the people who believe they are capable and deserving of good things, they channel their inner superhero, feeling confident and positive and ready to conquer anything they put their mind to.
It can’t be denied, your beliefs impact your life. If you want to create positive change in your life, it’s important to focus on creating empowering beliefs.
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
More about the negative impacts
If you don’t believe in yourself, it can hold you back in a number of ways.
You’ll be less likely to take risks: If you don’t believe in your abilities, then you’re probably not going to want to put yourself out there and risk failure. This can limit your opportunities for growth and prevent you from reaching your full potential. This has been a biggie for me over the years and still comes to visit from time to time!
You’ll give up more easily: If you think that you’re not good enough or that you can’t do something, then chances are, you won’t even bother trying.
It can also take a toll on your health: If you’re constantly doubting yourself and your abilities, it can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety which can have a negative impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. Stress can also weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illnesses.
If you don’t believe that you deserve good things, you may stop taking care of yourself which can lead to unhealthy habits like neglecting your diet, not getting enough exercise, and not getting enough sleep.
So, how can you change your beliefs and start living a life you love?
Here are some tips:
- Begin by examining what you believe about yourself, about others and about the world around you.
- Are your beliefs empowering or disempowering?
- Do they inspire you to take action or do they hold you back and limit you in some way?
- Become aware of your thoughts and what you are telling yourself on a daily basis.
- If your inner dialogue is negative, start to change it.
- Speak kindly to yourself and others and see how your life begins to change for the better.
- Acknowledge your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.
- Too often, we focus on our failures and not our successes … this one has been way too prominent in my life over the years. I’m pleased to say, it doesn’t come up nearly as often as it used to.
- Start to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how big or small, and watch your self-belief begin to soar.
- Write down your goals and what you want to achieve.
- When you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, it’s much easier to believe in yourself and take the necessary steps to make it happen.
- Take action towards your goals, even if you don’t feel 100% ready.
- Procrastination and perfectionism are often driven by fear and self-doubt.
- The more you take action, the more confident you’ll become in yourself and your abilities.
- It’s also useful to get comfortable with not being perfect (I know some of you will want to stop reading now, but keep with me – it will be worth it, I promise)
- Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and your abilities.
- Positive relationships are key to a happy and successful life. Find people who will lift you up, encourage you and believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself.
- The people we spend time with have a big influence on our lives. It’s time to make some changes if you’re surrounded by negative people who don’t believe in you.
- Find friends and family members who will support your dreams and be on your cheerleading team.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to take risks.
- Believe in yourself enough to step out of your comfort zone and go after what you want in life.
- There is no such thing as failure; only lessons and feedback … I’ve had lots of them over my lifetime!
- You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve when you push yourself to new limits.
Believe in yourself and what is possible, and life will soon start reflecting that back to you. Start making changes today and see how your life begins to improve.
Remember, “What you believe, you become.” Start believing in yourself and what you want for your life, and you’ll be well on your way to making that happen.
As always, hugs and happiness