Day 4 of RTP – pgs 11 thru 16 – Designing Your Own Belief Tree
Ok, so maybe not like the picture but it got your attention, huh?
Our beliefs are the motivating factor behind our actions. We decide to take particular actions because we believe they will produce particular results. In many ways, our beliefs make us who we are. They determined which jobs we applied for and what relationships to pursue. A belief tree can help us to map out all our beliefs about life. The highest level of boxes are for the main roles we play in life. Each box below each role is for the rules or expectations that we’ve learned to associate with the role. Notice how each role has a set of rules and expectations. Some of the rules may conflict with each other, others may conflict with our goals and dreams. When taken as law, roles can restrict our personal growth.
When you do this exercise, try not to think too hard or too long when thoughts come to mind. Not everything you believe now may have anything to do with what you write down. Just as for some the role of “wife” may come with a rule you write as “must cook,” even though you don’t know how to boil water or if you hate to cook. You may have been raised to see or believe that wives must cook, so you internalized it. There is no right or wrong answer. This exercise will just help you to see yourself in a clearer light. Besides, you can’t fix what’s broken if you don’t know where to start.
The most important part of this exercise is to be honest with yourself and write down those first things that pop into your mind concerning each role. Your answers may surprise you and that might be a good thing. And the main objective to take away with you at the end of the exercise is to realize we must break out of limiting rules and roles. We can change the rules and we can learn to see ourselves in broader terms — as unique individuals, not as simply a sum total of roles and rules. And while you may play one certain role, that is not all you are.
We must bend and flow with each and every role we play.
As human beings, we’ll always have days when we feel like we aren’t living up to our expectations of ourselves. I have soooo many days like that.
We must take charge of our lives. To do that, we must begin by taking responsibility to examine the beliefs in our belief tree and see where they came from and whether or not we want to keep them. If you feel the need, redefine your rules and your expectations, but do that as the second part of the exercise. Be honest with yourself first.
Changing Your Actions, Not Your True Self
This book is not about changing yourself to conform to the outside world, nor how to become popular, how to “play the game,” or try to make others think you’re successful. Nope, this book is about getting yourself in touch with your own unique talents, skills, values, and attributes, then allowing what you already possess to guide you to success. Wow! I’m game! How ’bout you?
As we read this book, we need to try to let go and clear our minds (or at least try) of negative thoughts and ideas we might have concerning our past self-sabotage. Let go of the labels and the past mistakes. The past is back there. You can’t change it. Deal with now, the present. That’s all you have is now. Know that every belief is learned and in turn, can be unlearned. We can learn just about anything with practice and to stop sabotaging ourselves can definitely be learned with practice.
Task List and Action Plan
Before you go on to the next chapter, take time now to do these activities. They will help you get more out of the rest of the book.
- Write your current concept of success. Where did you learn it from? Is there anything you’d like to change about it?
- Write a list of people who you think are successful. What is it about them that makes them a success?
- Write a list of people who are successful based on your expanded definition of success.
- Write a list of qualities that define you.
- Write a list of roles you play in life.
- Choose the top four roles and place them in the top four boxes of the belief tree at the end of this chapter.
- Complete the following sentence in relation to each role: “A _____ should . . .”
- Place your top four answers in the boxes below each role.
- Go over each rule and ask yourself, “Where did I learn this?”
- Put a star next to the roles and beliefs that are productive and beneficial.
- Put a check mark next to the roles and beliefs that may be creating tension or self-defeating behavior in your life.
Good night. God speed. Sleep tight. Sweet dreams. Love ya! *hug 😉