- James McPartland
Choose Your Beliefs About YOU, Courageously
“We’ll never become the person that we don’t ultimately believe ourselves capable of becoming.”
- James McPartland
Hey, guess what? Life is optional.
I’m talking about choices.
If we could freeze time and take a look at the paused movie screen, I'd venture to say that our lives are a net result of the words, pictures, images, and choices that each of us has made up until this point.
And yet if we look forward and recognize that we want something different or enhanced in our lives, we have to recognize that new choices need to be made and that we have options.
Most of us are on auto-pilot, doing things today like we’ve done them in the past because there's some predictability in the outcome of our familiar actions, and we like predictability more than we like change.
On the premise that today is the net result of everything we've done up until this point and we are wanting something different, the solution is to break the pattern of being ourselves.
Changing behavior is almost impossible unless we look at the underlying beliefs that drive our behaviors. I hear many of the people I work with say things like, “I want to change this specific behavior”, “I want to act in a new way” or “I want to build a new habit". And that's all vital and important.
Yet that's only one piece of it.
If I pull back and ask you who you are, it all begins with your identity.
Practice using "I am" statements: “I am (fill in the blank).”
When you are authentic in answering that question, who you are (or who you believe you are), it will reveal what it triggers inside of you.
My identity triggers my thoughts. My thoughts trigger my feelings. Based on that identity, along with the thoughts and feelings it produces, I tend to act, and I get a result.
But unless I'm really clear on who I am and who I intend to be, and practice awareness of what it is I'm thinking about, the actions and behaviors I take are not likely to lead me in the direction I want to go. They’re likely to hit the repeat button of the past.
So think about who you want to become, remember that it’s always optional, then ask yourself, "Who am I?", "What am I thinking about?", and "What feelings, especially fears, do I need to push past?"
This requires courage! And courage doesn't feel good. Confidence feels good, but not courage.
Yet in order to push past fear, we must build our confidence by practicing courage. We have to face the unpredictability of change, do something new, and then take it a step further to believe something new by asking ourselves:
Are the results I'm getting the net result of who I think I am? Or who I used to be? Or who I want to be?
We do well to focus our energy on managing how we think, feel, behave, and believe, and then continue that cycle, as we’ll never become the person that we don’t ultimately believe ourselves capable of becoming.
It all starts with beliefs yes, but more specifically who you believe yourself to be.
Life is optional. Take a look at identity.