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This article will explain to you in more detail what a belief system is and what beliefs are.
It will also help you realise that it’s very, very important to know of to be able to get over your social anxiety…
“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”
This writing is intended to be inspiring, because it will show you that you can indeed change your thinking and emotions…
And therefore solve your social anxiety!
Are you ready to have an inside look into how your brain operates? Here we go…
You, like everyone else in the world, have a belief system. A belief system is sort of like a map you have in your mind (that you have created from birth up until now) that informs you about how the world works.
You’ve created this map to know what things mean (to you) and to make sense of the world around you.
So, your belief system is basically a lens. A lens through which you perceive the world around you. That lens filters the incoming information.
OK, great to know.
But, since you speak of a belief system, what then is the system?
Well, a belief system is just the accumulation of all the beliefs you have. It’s called a system because it’s filtering incoming information.
That information gets filtered by your beliefs. And you then end up with thoughts and emotions about the filtered information.
A belief is a thought you have made real.
You decided that the thought you has was valid so you decided (most of the time unconsciously) to believe it.
After that you’ve collected evidence in ‘the real world’ to support your belief.
Beliefs are generalizations you believe to be true about yourself, about other people and about the world around you.
A belief is an idea or thought that feels real.
To clarify a bit more, here are some examples of beliefs:
A belief about yourself could be “I am good looking”. An example of a belief about others could be “People are bastards!” And a belief about the world could for instance be “The world is a friendly place”.
A belief about yourself could also be “I am dog-ugly”. A belief about others could very well be “People are awesome!” And a belief about the world could also be “The world is a dangerous place”.
So a belief is a thought/idea that YOU feel is true. It’s YOUR belief, your brain has created it for you out of past experiences.
For example, maybe people tell you that you’re good-looking. And maybe in “reality” you really are model-like handsome… But you think they’re just lying to make you feel good because when you look in the mirror you believe to be dog-ugly.
And you think they’re lying because of your negative self-belief “I‘m dog-ugly“.
Maybe most people are being nice to you, but you perceive them as slimy bastards trying to suck up to you…
Again, that is because of your beliefs (about people being slimy bastards). Would you have the belief that people are friendly, you would just perceive them to be just that, friendly!
Beliefs are THAT strong. It’s literally ALL about your beliefs and your belief system!
Your beliefs filter the information coming from the world around you and all your beliefs together form your belief system. And the belief system is in turn responsible for how you interpret everything.
Have you ever worn one of those glasses that make everything turn purple?
You can compare that with a belief system. The belief system are the glasses you wear. The outside world gets filtered by the glasses and we end up with the filtered information.
So… When we change the beliefs, we end up with different information. It’s because the filters (beliefs) have changed.
And because we end up with different filtered information, we inevitably also have different thoughts and emotions about that filtered information. So by changing our beliefs we change our thinking and emotions.
Still not a 100% convinced? Let me give you an example of how it works…
Your beliefs are formed from experiences you had, observations you’ve made and generalizations your mind has made about it all.
For example, if you were bitten by a dog when you where young, you might now be afraid of dogs… You experienced a dog biting you, so your brain (that is actually always trying to help you out) has made meaning out of that.
The meaning was that dogs will cause you pain and have to be avoided. So out of that meaning you have formed the belief “Be careful around dogs because they bite!“
So now a belief you have is that dogs will bite you and so you‘re afraid of them.
Where you never bitten by a dog, and only had pleasant experiences with dogs, your view of the world (in this case regarding dogs) would be different. You would not fear them.
Because you’ve never been bitten by a dog you will give a totally different meaning to the dog barking.
An example of a meaning you would then ascribe could be “Wow, that dog sure is enthusiastic to go for a walk…”
This is because you’ve not had the negative experience and therefore don’t have the belief about dogs being scary and/or dangerous.
In the above example of the dog having bitten you in the past the meaning you’ll assign is a negative one and this negative meaning results in having the negative emotion. This is also happening with your social anxiety.
You’ve had negative social experiences in the past…
… and these have caused negative beliefs about yourself, others and the world around you.
And so, your current negative beliefs filter the information coming from your environment and cause you to experience negative emotions.
So your belief system is basically responsible for your social anxiety!
I know this is challenging to understand, so let me give you a personal example.
When I was about 11 years old I was sitting in the classroom in front of the television watching some documentary.
From the back of the class my teacher shouted “Sebastiaan, can you please move because due to your big ears we cannot see a thing in the back!
My face got tomato red and the whole class laughed at me. For very long.. One of the meanings I made of the experience was that everyone was out to get me. That meaning then formed the negative belief “Everyone is out to get me.”
Later in life I was very self-conscious in group settings and meeting new people because I had the belief that everyone was out to get me. I was convinced that this was true.
So when for example someone would make a well-intentioned joke I would filter that information by my negative belief “everyone is out to get me” and would end up with a negative emotion.
Since I changed that belief, I no longer experience the negative emotion.
It’s because my now changed belief “everyone wants me to feel good” filters the same incoming information differently and I end up with different filtered information. And I now have different thoughts and feelings about that information. Positive ones!
So… That is a great thing to know!
Why? Because when you change your beliefs, and therefore your belief system, you change how you perceive the world. And once you change that you will end up with different filtered information and will make different meaning out of the things that happen around you.
And that will result in experiencing different, positive emotions.
Do you understand what the benefits of these are regarding solving your social anxiety?
Imagine how different you will feel if you believe that the world is a friendly place, that everyone wants to make you feel good and that you really like and approve of yourself.
Don’t you believe that believing that will make you feel more confident, positive and relaxed?
When you can successfully change your beliefs and therefore your belief system…
You solve your social anxiety!
The most effective way to totally change your socially anxious belief system into that of a socially confident one (together with changing all the negative emotions into positive ones) is through using my Social Confidence System.
Here I guide you via articles, audios and videos from social anxiety all the way to social confidence. Beware, this is not a simple change your thoughts, think optimistic, face your fears program… This changes you at a deep level, eliminating your social anxiety for good.
Changing Your Beliefs 101
Go to part 1/3: How To Change Your Beliefs
Go to part 2/3: Challenging Beliefs To Change Your Beliefs
Go to part 3/3: Changing Core Beliefs To Improve Your Self Esteem
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