March 22, 2013

Beliefs are tied to actions and their consequences

We often focus a lot on what we want to be able to do and on what results we want to achieve. And we have good reason to do so. A clear picture of what we want to be able to do and what we want to achieve can be very motivating. A clear idea about our desired situation gives us something to focus our energy on.

But there is something else which is also very important to focus on: our beliefs about reality. The reason is that beliefs are tied to actions and their consequences. For example, when we don't believe that it will ever be possible to improve a relationship with another person we will probably not put much effort into improving it. When we believe that we are not smart enough to learn something, we won't do our best to learn it. Our beliefs can constrain us and liberate us.

What we believe does not have be carved in stone. While it is certainly possible to try to hold on to our beliefs and to defend them against any attacks it is also possible to develop our beliefs. We can do this by viewing our belief system as a dynamic system. Our belief system can be seen as something that can evolve throughout our life and which can mature and improve and become more realistic and useful. We certainly don't have to abruptly let go of everything we believe. But we can start researching our beliefs and by perhaps challenging them a bit. Over time, our belief system may substantially change for the good.

My beliefs about people, about change processes and about the process of helping people have changed quite a bit over the years. This change happened gradually so that I could get used to and adapt to these new ways of thinking and so that I could test them. The way I experience my work life has been become better because of it.

Our beliefs can evolve and improve. Our beliefs are tied to our actions and their consequences. How we continue to develop them is quite important.

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