I recently spent several days with someone (who shall remain nameless). I noticed that many times when something did not go her way, she said “Of course”. She only uttered these two words but her tone and inflection implied “Of course it didn’t go my way. That’s just my luck!” If one has a belief that they are jinxed or unlucky, then it is easy to see proof of this belief where ever one goes. We usually magnify incidents that support our belief and minimize events that run contrary to that belief. In this example, any thing big or small that supported her belief that she was born beneath an unlucky star, she notices quickly and even reinforces her negative belief with her words: “Of course”. However, if something good were to happen, she would might say something like “I don’t believe it!”, “That never happens to me” or “Even a broken clock is write twice a day.” I am sure she is not aware that she is minimizing and maximizing to validate her belief system. I am equally sure that she has not consciously taken out her belief system, held up to the light of scrutiny and asked, “Is this REALLY true?”, “Is this what I really believe?” or “Is this belief serving me?” And that’s how people usually operate. Though our belief is a choice, it is often one we overlook. We make decisions (big and small) based on the belief assumptions without question – until something comes along that is big enough to jar us loose from autopilot to question that unchecked belief. That “something” might be as subtle as an article. Maybe even THIS article.
So, what unchecked beliefs are YOU operating on?
Do you think you’re unlucky? Do you think God is against you? Do you think that deep down you’re no good or unlovable? Do you think most people will take advantage of you if they can?
I invite you to think about it. Scrutinize it. If it’s not working for you, you might consider changing it. After all, you are the architect of your life.
Frank Clayton, LPC