Some unknown boogyman in the dark...
…Most kids you and I know (maybe even ourselves, that’s you and me, way back when…) have been spooked by that apparition. Those munchkins can be totally certain that they heard or saw something. To talk them out of that “certainty” is almost impossible.
Then, if all goes relatively well, we all grow up into some sort of functioning adult. As we mature, our boogymen in the dark take on more sophisticated forms, notions and attitudes. Our continuing life experiences add additional color, texture, feelings to what we sincerely believe to be true. Sophisticated notions and attitudes began to take on a life of their own…whether really real, or not, truth, or self-imposed fiction.
What follows is a large, important question.
I know. I own that.
About the varying experiences
within your own active life dimensions,
what is it you sincerely believe to be true?
There are two extreme edges to core beliefs. If honest, we humans, given our individual life experiences, can lean too far in either direction.
One edge is leaned into when a person stays on the surface of their personal belief system. They use the excuse that they are just not deep thinking people, they leave that to the smarter people. The implications here have long been lodged deeply in a person’s life experiences. They often will question that what they think, feel, say does not have much merit. Somewhere, some how, they have been sadly wounded.
Listening long enough, listening creatively enough, knowing how to ask the questions that take some good soul deeper into who they are and what their experiences have been, core beliefs do begin to emerge. Always. No one is “belief-less” unless they are in a coma, and even then there’s some intriguing research on what people bring up from being in that “dark hole” experience.
A second edge that can be leaned into is equally serious and deep, often because of extremely pain-filled circumstances. Painful physiological and psychological issues can combine with life experiences to create core beliefs that also seem really real. In serious cases these false beliefs can be listed as a psychosis, neurosis, narcissism. Those and other terms should only be used by professionals…not “arm chair psychologists.”
Stating the obvious, if a person thinks they are a “klutz,” non-coordinated, consciously, or unconsciously, they may tend to lean in that direction. Now, there are names, listed above, if a person leans too far the other direction and thinks they are a “car” and then go around making motor and gear shifting sounds.
This is being written with the 2016 Olympics taking place in the background on our television. The first day every athlete from every country is there to win, not lose. They long for their countries to be proud of them, or they would not even be on those teams.
Simone Biles, the 4’8” USA’s gymnast hopeful, is not hoping she can beat Missy Franklin in swimming. Missy, 6’2”, is also not going to try a triple somersault off the balance beam. They are fairly centered young women on what their core belief’s are with what they can accomplish with their athleticism.
In Leadership Design Group’s Whole Person Mentoring Model we can look at a child, a thirty-something, a person who is 50+ and even 70+ through the lens of the 8 Dimensions of Life. Every decade of life, every human who lives through those decades is infused with belief systems. Some are learned willingly and add to life. Some are enforced systems and begin to minimize life.
Belief systems, correct or not, emerge from what we sincerely believe to be true…whether those systems are honestly accurate or not. Here are some statements I’ve heard in just the past 30 days, in person, on television, or read in the paper or a magazine:
“I’m just no good…so what do you expect?”
“I didn’t ask for this disease, so I’m done with life.”
“I’m not smart enough to think creatively.”
“Religion is stupid…any kind.”
“All politicians are flagrant nut-cases…can’t be trusted.”
“I must be a loser since my marriage ended.”
“My family is not wealthy, so I’m just going to have to work all my life just to survive.”
“What good is education anyway?
I’m not good looking enough
to do what I want to do with my life.”
“I’ve never felt like I was enough.”
The “shocker” to these statements is that if you also knew who said them, I believe you would join me in being mildly to very surprised. We all have + and – belief systems as a result of how we choose to live life.
For good. For not-so-good. You and I have beliefs, core beliefs, that can nurture us forward, or easily hamper our desired, longed-for forward progress.
I grew up in a home, way back in the last century, being told what I could not do. Due to some tragic events in my family there was a fear, I came to realize through exceptional life-giving mentoring and counseling, that dominated in my formative years. That sent me into some “creative recklessness” in my teen years that culminated in some mischief that was very creative, but not all that life-enhancing.
However, thank God, sincerely, I got put in front of an Episcopal priest in my high school days, and two men in my college days who quietly applauded the significant creativity of my mischief, but also helped me see I was way more than what I was doing, becoming, acting out. From my personal belief system, Jesus has saved my soul, but the combination of those three men believing in me and mentoring me, I am confident saved my life.
It’s way too long to print here, but should you be interested, in the Christian Bible, in the portion called the New Testament, a redeemed scoundrel of a brilliant man, named Paul, wrote a letter to some of his new friends in a place called Galatia. He was addressing some of the crazy things that happen with controlling religious belief systems (…which still sounds all too familiar in this day and age…).
The whole letter to his friends is an amazing call to live as a whole person, to live doing good. He addresses a wide range of belief systems, that unfortunately, are still operative in our world today. Should you be inquisitive and/or bold enough, read from the current Bible called The Message, in Galatians 6:1-10.
Even if you are not prone to trust the Christian faith (which it took me a long time to do myself because of some unfortunate happenings way back in the day…) there is still significant wisdom in the words shared and taken at face value. Here, within the whole person mentoring we do with people of all backgrounds, to explore belief systems, and where crucial to life, to form new ones, is one of the core purposes of our leadership development programs.
Without knowing who you are at the core, and where your core beliefs come from, life can get repetitive, dull, boring. Knowing who you are and why you believe what you believe is crucial to living a full, whole life. And…the good news is that you, can develop the core beliefs that bring you life, to the max, no matter your age or circumstances.