If someone were to ask you: “How would you describe yourself?” What would you say? What words would you use? This question can have many answers.
We are good a knowing who we are as an individual. We generally know our strengths and our weaknesses, but did you know that some of the beliefs that you hold about yourself, particularly the negative ones, may be false beliefs?
What Are False Beliefs?
Any belief that you believe to be true about yourself that is actually untrue is called a false belief. Throughout our lives, experiences have shaped us into who we are. Our perceptions of ourselves are a result of these experiences, however, they can be skewed without us even realizing it.
False beliefs can truly negatively impact our lives. We may become self-conscious, lack self-esteem, and our perceived beliefs can hinder our relationships.
Recall a Time
Think of times in your life when you felt a certain way about yourself, yet others have told you otherwise. Maybe you felt unintelligent, that you lacked social skills, felt unorganized, not capable, possibly you felt like you were unable to keep relationships intact, or that the world was out to get you.
As we go through life, we may consciously or even subconsciously look for things in our lives that “prove” our false beliefs to be true. We are extra keen on experiences that validate our false beliefs and sadly this helps keep this belief going.
Imagine you are having a rough day and your false belief is that “the world is out to get you.” Possibly, you start thinking of the list of things in your head that have happened to you that day and how this truly must mean that the world is against us.
Next, imagine that you have been dating someone and things got off to a pretty good start, however just a few months into the relationship you feel like things are slowly falling apart. You try to make things work, however, sadly the relationship wasn’t meant to be, and it ends. You have a false belief that you are not capable of relationships, so naturally, you feel like this belief continues to be true given what you are experiencing.
How Can We Fix This?
There is one simple way that we can implement in our lives to start melting away the false beliefs that we hold so tightly onto. For every negative belief that you hold onto, challenge it with an experience that proved this belief to be untrue.
If you think that you cannot have a successful relationship, then write down all of the people that you have a good relationship with, this could be your neighbor, friend, or family member. If you feel like the world is out to get you, write down all of the ways that life has blessed you and keep a note of the days when you feel that things went well. You will see that the world, though harsh, is also on your side.
Someone who feels like they lack social skills can write down the times when they had a conversation that meant something to them, or someone else. Think of a time when a casual “hello” was said to someone at the store, that is a success. Some people may think that they are not capable to function in this world. Recall all of the times that you did, possibly without even realizing it. Something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning, going grocery shopping, taking care of family, or completing a project or a goal, you can see that you are capable.
I Challenge You
When you have a moment, grab a pen and paper and divide it into two columns. Write down a list of beliefs in one column that you have about yourself. In the column next to it, write down some experiences that you have that contradict this belief. You may be pleasantly surprised to see that this belief of yours is false!
Our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves tend to be sneaky and it is important to visually see that we may just be perceiving ourselves incorrectly. I hope that you will find this beneficial in regaining confidence in yourself and the world around you!