Believe is Believing

Whether you are aware of them, or not, whether you perceive them as useful, or not, beliefs exert a tremendous amount of force upon our lives. They shape and influence our behaviors, dictating how we live.

Thinking of the beliefs you are conscious of as things – you are believing – does several things: It changes them from a nominalization (noun) into a verb, thereby allowing you to experience and realize that what you are believing isn’t static – it has movement. And as such can be altered, strengthened or weakened

Information, be it: resources, personal metaphors/meanings, emotions, images, sounds, etc. contained in our memories (past experience-s) and/or in our future plans (hopes and dreams) cyclically interact with our reigning beliefs to strengthen them. For example, an athlete with a healthy, successful history of winning in his or her chosen sport will most likely have a current belief (believing) co-operating with their illustrious past. This combination acts as an additive, aiding this athlete in winning their next competitive event. Seven-time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong comes to mind.

This looping effect is also true for someone without an enriched past, but has a compelling and attractive future collaborating with their present beliefs (believing). The phrase, “you have a bright and healthy future in front you” comes to mind.

The reverse is also valid; elements contained either in our past and/or in our future can weaken our beliefs. For example, a person can possess a firm belief, believing that they can be an incredible public-speaker. However, if they allow what they perceive as negative and unhealthy images, sounds, emotions, etc. from their past and/or future to constantly interfere with what they are believing, they will have difficulty making their goal a reality. In short, if a belief and its support contradict each other the belief short-circuits itself.

To strengthen beliefs and their support various techniques abound. One such technique is reframing. Simply put, reframing is taking what is interpreted as a negative experience and looking at it from an empowering point of view. This technique also aids in transforming dis-empowering emotions into useful (use fuel) ones.

This reminds me of the skilled boxer who had a string of successful bouts. He eventually lost one of his fights. Instead of looking at this experience as a true loss, this swift pugilist saw at it as – an opportunity to further learn and to further improve – upon his technique for subsequent matches – which he eventually won. In short, this boxer was mentally agile to reframe his ring experiences and use them to fortify his beliefs for future fights. The Greatest of all time comes to mind.

Reframing may be used in any type of interpersonal communication and relationships, i.e. sales and customer service couples and friend’s relationships, etc. In sales clients sometimes get in their own way of something that is good for them because of an unpleasant past sales experience. Reframing the client’s past experiences also assists in freeing the positive emotions that are then used to procure a win/win sale.