Facts or misconception?: Innocent mistakes we make in life because of Wrong Beliefs

Facts or misconception?

Innocent mistakes we make in life because of Wrong Beliefs

By Aditi Raman Shridhar
Rewrite your story if it isn’t going the way you like. As simple as this sounds, I had no idea what rewriting a life story even means. But a year ago, a close friend of mine had suggested that I do this and boy! It has changed everything. My life is not the same and this simple suggestion has changed everything for me.

The truth is that we are all extremely heavily influenced by our parents and family and the environment we are born and grow up in. I was too and had unconsciously picked up a lot of misconceptions about life and relationships and work and most of them were not working well for me. It was only when my friend told me about how our subconscious mind makes us act and think that I started clearing a lot of misunderstandings from my mind, creating new beliefs and positive affirmations and saw amazing changes in my life.

You see the brain waves of a child until the age of 8-10 years are said to be in ‘Theta’ waves, in which the subconscious mind picks up nearly everything from the surrounding and absorbs it as the way of the world. So, if a child sees a very happy parent who is always carefree and manages everything well with a calm, positive attitude, then the child is destined to pick up this trait and make their own blueprint of behaviour. The opposite is also true. The dominance of the theta brain waves is precisely the reason why childhood memories are deeply etched in each of us regardless of how old one gets. My grandfather who is 90 years old is able to vividly narrate stories from his early childhood than his adult years.

Childhood memories are special and they also get stored in a very special way. Every scene, every dialogue, every information passed down to us in our childhood is attached to an emotion and it constantly corresponds to a meaning and ‘our’ own position in the world in comparison to everything around. A child is constantly drawing meanings from every action and word that he or she hears. An example of this would be – when a family is sitting together for dinner and the father suddenly takes a phone call in the middle of the dinner by abrupting a conversation with his child or any other member on the table, the first meaning the child draws from this action is – My father’s phone call is more important than me. I come second in my father’s life. I am not as important to him as the phone call. Therefore, he doesn’t love me as much as I thought. And this triggers the first withdrawal of a child from the father in order to protect self from the pain it causes. And if this action isn’t rectified, the patterns of behaviour start turning silently aggressive during the teenage years. Some of you who have teenage sons and daughters might have heard atleast once from your child – nobody loves me, nobody understands me, or leave me alone.

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This is not unusual. The child has found a way since childhood to protect oneself from the hurt that the neglect brings and it is bound to come out at the slightest triggers, taking parents by surprise. As a parent you might think – I didn’t even say or do anything and my child is reactionary. Well, this is simply a trigger that has its roots in your child’s early years of growing up when a single act of ‘abruption’ in your time and conversation with your child was seen as a ‘neglect’ by them.

Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley (a world famous personal growth transformation platform) calls this particular trait of a child’s mind, a meaning-making machine. He says that after he started understanding this crucial part of child psychology he made amends in his own home. The next time he had to ‘abrupt’ his conversation or time with his child in order to attend to an important phone call, he told his son – I don’t want to interrupt our time together with anything but this particular phone call is important for the work I am doing so I am going to be real quick in disposing of the matter and will be back with you in a minute. We can resume our play in just a minute. I love you the most.

Lakhiani undertook this step with his son and reported that in a month’s time, his relationship improved manifold with his son. His child showed several changes in his behaviour such as he was less irritable than before, developed a better appetite showed healthy emotions for long periods of time, along with deeper and restful sleep.

What does this mean to you?

You might think that human beings as a species only have cosmetic similarities and feel the same emotions, but are different in terms of cultural backgrounds. This is not, however, true. In my experience, human beings exhibit surprisingly familiar traits of behaviour and thinking patterns all over the world and one of the many deep conditioned beliefs we all have is that – The way you behave is how I will respond.

Human beings are taught to be reactionary from early childhood. This came as a survival technique but it is completely flawed as it only ruins one’s own chances of improving a situation or a relationship with another person. This is also why, the teachings in Bible and other holy books on unconditional love and talking sweetly to those who even do you harm, sounds hard to apply and ‘not practical’.

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It is only a fault in our programming, that’s all. And people live their whole lives just cursing others who did them wrong and usually stay in the ‘victim’ stage throughout. Meanings that our minds have created long ago in our past actually serve as the blueprint for our behaviours all our lives. Meanings are triggers to our emotional bodies and the cue for us to react or respond in a certain way to a person, situation or thing. Meanings are like blindfolds that we wear on our eyes and live our whole lives without questioning it or taking it off.

Let’s break down some meanings that most of us have created in our childhood and which are so deeply ingrained in our heads that we forgot about them. To put them in a context, let’s take the example of a married couple.

Say your spouse walked out of the room to take a phone call and disrupted your flow of conversation, the trigger could be – He doesn’t care enough for me to tell me that he has to take the phone call. He has left because he has more important things to attend to than me. I am not good enough for his love and attention.

If a wife has spent a lot of money of the husband’s and talks a little less on a particular day, his trigger could be – Did I do something to upset her. She spent all my money but doesn’t have the courtesy to talk properly. I just bought her everything she needs and she is not even polite to me. She has not thanked me enough.

If the wife is asking the husband to change a part of his behaviour for his own good, for example exercising more or eating some high calorie food less, the trigger could be – how can she stop me from doing what I want. Am I not handsome enough for her anymore. May be she likes someone else. May be she is trying to run me down on my confidence.

The meanings are endless, but these are just some examples that may or may not be true for everyone, but they exist.

Debunk that belief

Naturally, the third step after understanding wrong beliefs and what they do to us and our relationships, is to debunk them and rewrite new ones.

Every belief stands on three premises – the first experience, an emotion related to that experience and the inference drawn from it. So, the first time you didn’t score very high in your school, then that would be an experience. The emotion is sadness, frustration and feeling less than other students, and not good enough. And the inference drawn is – I am not a good student and I can’t score well.

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If you are the kind who has a lot of determination, will power and takes up challenges, then your mind would have created the inference – How can I not score the highest? If anyone can, that is me.

It is just that one inference that your mind draws and your life can change.

If you are first type and you have found out where you went wrong in your inference, you now need to find atleast two or three references when you came out victorious and debunk the first inference. So, if you performed well in some other subject or in some activity in school and were seen as ‘better’ at it than others, then know that your first inference is absolutely wrong as it is contradictory to your other references and experiences. And fix your new belief – I might have scored low in that school year but I can score high as I have enough proof of my good performance.

Change your meanings and change your life. Do not live any longer in misconceptions. Choose facts. Until next week!

Some beliefs that need to change right now

Life is hard and painful ­– Life is easy and simple and what you want it to be

Life is not fair to me – Life is the same for all and you can change it by changing your beliefs

I don’t have good genes – Genes are only as good as early physical development is concerned. From teenage years, you can consciously change the shape and size of your body and the way you appear.

I will always be overweight/ underweight – Your weight is not only dependent on food but also your emotions. What you believe is what you get

Love is pain – Love is sweetness of emotions rising within us

Love comes from external sources – Love is a sweetness that rises within us and is first experienced as self love. You can only feel as much love as much as you radiate to yourself.

Happiness is momentary – Happiness is eternal and not dependent on anything outside

Being humble means thinking less of oneself – Being humble means thinking of oneself less

I am not in control of my life – I am the only creator of my life and a co-creator with God/ universe. There is no other power controlling it.

Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian writer, wellness and health instructor.

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