Our beliefs help shape our identities, but do some of these beliefs hold us back? Recently I have been trying to help a friend come to terms with the here and now of a diagnosis of a chronic illness and it really got me to thinking about my own beliefs. I have had people ask me why I do what I do in regards to my sporting endeavours. I have never really had an answer to that question and it made me think about my beliefs around my life.
If I am honest with myself and get right down to the nitty gritty, the reason I continue to strive for goals is probably the belief that one day I won’t be able to do all the sports that I want to. That physically because of my MS there will come a day when all that is gone. But is that a bad way to think? I’m really not sure, but I do know that there are people out there that because of their beliefs, negative beliefs, this will impact their lives. Things like: I’m not good enough, I can’t be happy and successful at the same time and the big one – I won’t try that I’m afraid to fail. It’s easy to believe these thoughts because we have probably been doing it for so long, but it isn’t okay to keep believing them.
We have to try to turn those negative beliefs into positive ones and become the person we are meant to be. Instead of relying on past negative experiences that may have shaped those beliefs you have to try and reverse them. Switching those beliefs can give you energy and competence to try something new.
Getting back to that friend I have been trying to help, they were looking at the past and wishing it was the present or that they could get back to that same time. The belief in their head was that they wouldn’t be able to succeed in anything living with this chronic illness and they wanted their old life back. Unfortunately their old life is exactly that, their old life. But life goes on and there will be a whole new world out there to tackle.
It’s like my life, I wouldn’t go back and change my diagnosis of MS because it has made me the person I am. It has also given me opportunities that would have never come my way if it hadn’t been for my MS. Yes it has had it’s negatives but I chose to focus on the positives and have tried to constantly have positive beliefs in myself and my abilities to tackle anything. When I got rid of those negative beliefs I realised that I could handle this life. I have realised that I deserved to be happy and having positive beliefs gave me the competence to try anything that I wanted to.
As for my friend, I am happy to say that they have started to change their beliefs, but it won’t happen over night and it will be a whole new way of looking at their life, but they have taken that first step. Remember that your value is not in what you try to be or in what you pretend to be, your value is in who you are through your beliefs.