If you optimise the way you think about many of your life’s challenging experiences and many of your beliefs (which in turn would influence how you felt about and reacted to them), do you figure your life would have more or less problems for you to encounter?
For those who are unsure, then I invite you to consider this…
Your thoughts and beliefs create a lens through which you view and experience the world. And that view is coloured and filtered by whatever is in the lens of belief.
Because of this, sometimes parts of your view are obscured, e.g. if you don’t believe in XYZ, then your belief will lead you to literally not see or encounter evidence of XYZ in order to validate itself.
Or, you may distort a view of something based on how your were conditioned to think about it from an early age. Various “isms” people have are often created in this way, because they have created a belief based on an imbalanced view of that something.
Here’s another example, and one that nearly all readers of this post will be able to relate to…
Any emotionally intense situations you experienced, often from a younger age (although definitely not always the case), these will affect the view of life you have today and how you react to situations that are the same, representative of, or linked to the original intense situations you had.
I remember when I was a young boy of around 7, and I was playing in my friend’s garden. Darren, my friend, had a short-haired, Alsatian dog called Solo who was not very well trained at all. Consequently, Solo would often jump at you whilst we were playing, as he wanted to play too.
That was fine for Darren, but it wasn’t fine for me!
On one particular occasion, Solo became too playful for more liking, and the constant jumping up, barking, and pawing me got me very upset.
Because of that scary and emotionally intense situation, I never wanted to go anywhere that dog ever again – I was scared of him.
That experience turned into a fear of being around big dogs that I still have today.
Now, as an adult, I can of course control my fear, but the point is I know the exact reason I have those feelings about big dogs today. My belief about what they tend do was created through my personal experience over 40 years ago.
Luckily, it’s not an issue that I feel I need to try an undo today, because it’s not something that’s overly important for me. And logically I know that all big dogs definitely do not behave in this way. However, that belief I created still triggers some fear whenever as big dog is near me some 40 years later.
So the value in this last story in particular is this…
It serves to illustrate that when we have an ongoing problem with something (in my case big dogs), some kind of person, a person in particular, etc., that problem can and needs to be separated from the identity of who we are.
I am not the same as my problems.
What is happening is that we had a previous situation or situations, that led us to form a belief that influences what we say, think, and do in the now.
And it’s our relationship to the memory of those previous events that causes us to have a problem now.
So whilst we are always there whenever we have a problem, it’s not that we are the problem, it’s our relationship to a former problem. So that is the problem that needs to be worked and resolved in some way, as opposed to us.
Upon reading that last sentence, I’d image a number of you have breathed a sigh of relief as you come to the realisation that, whilst your life may not be the most straightforward, YOU are still ok – it’s what you’ve been through before that is the issue and causing you challenges today!
With all that said, in the “We are not our problems” podcast episode, you’ll discover a number of techniques to help you better handle and control future problem situations you encounter that may occur in a variety of iterations.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode in the comments below.
Until next time.