“Whatever your mind can conceive and can believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
“If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you”. – Louise Hay
Quotes like these shine a light on how powerful our beliefs are. As thinking beings, we develop an opinion about ourselves and begin to perceive the world around us in a chosen way. This opinion is reinforced and grows into a ‘Personal Operating System,’ a belief system which influences our behaviour and the behaviour of others we come in contact with.
Everything we see, experience, choose, think and feel is influenced by our personal beliefs.
The animal kingdom has been an ideal source of inspiration for me to portray some of the different types of beliefs people hold about themselves.
Which animal best matches your personal belief system?
The Butterfly knows life is too short to waste. This person enjoys trying new things and has a purpose behind every move, never acting randomly. Life changes are embraced gracefully, and opportunities are taken before they disappear!
Personal Belief: “I must be swift in adapting to changes and quick in finding new opportunities.”
Tip: Life can be short, but do take time to smell the flowers and enjoy the moment.
While the Cat likes to feel in control of his or her environment, any outside influences provoke anxiety, stress and disappointment. Feeling very attached to things, people and places, this individual avoids major life changes.
Personal Belief: “I need to be perfect, because only then can I control my life.”
Tip: The truth is, perfect beings don’t exist. There would be no growth in such a world. Accept imperfections and enjoy your journey of improvement and change. Growth comes with change.
The Donkey is very often misunderstood and mistreated. This person has a philosophical approach to life that makes him or her seem stubborn. This individual has a certain calmness and full acceptance of circumstances which are beyond his or her control. As a result, stress, pain and fear are stoically hidden. You can hardly get a reaction from this person.
Personal Belief: “If I can’t change it, why bother? I avoid anxiety because it comes from the inside, and that I can control.”
Tip: This stoic approach is very handy in keeping calm and stress free, but being too detached can negatively impact one’s relationships. Keep it balanced and don’t hesitate to expresses your emotions when necessary.
This loner has an insightful nature and uses all senses (including the sixth) for guidance. While spending time in solitude, the Owl conjures the next big move, which makes him or her seem methodical. This great observer fills in gaps by gaining knowledge to solve any problems he or she comes across. Socializing and partnerships are usually seen as a waste of precious time.
Personal Belief: “I don’t need anybody’s help. I can do it on my own.”
Tip: Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Allow room for mistakes, because you learn a lot from them. Try teaming up with others. Behind every great venture is a team of two or more people driven by the same will and force.
Are you the opportunist, the perfectionist, the philosopher or the loner? Which animal best matches your personal belief system? Whatever they are, your personal beliefs must serve you and harness progress. As a child, I was taught not talk to strangers, and I grew up with a belief that people cannot be trusted. That belief may have served me well as a child and kept me away from trouble. Does such a belief serve me well now? Not anymore. As an adult with new ventures, holding such a belief could hinder me from making new friends, expanding my network and partnering up with other like-minded people. My new empowering belief is: “I can be trusted, so others can be trusted too. I attract sincere people into my life who believe in me.”
Do your personal beliefs serve you well? Do they help or prevent you from reaching your full potential? And how would your life look if you didn’t hold such beliefs about yourself? These are just a few questions to ask yourself.
Your answers may surprise you.