FEAR: (Suffering through superstition)
Imagined fear is like a forest in medieval times: The mystery of the forest and the supposed spirits that lived in the trees kept most people from entering except outlaws who wanted to escape the law. Similarly, for thousands of years the world was believed to be flat. This belief prevented merchant ships from sailing too close to the horizon where it was believed they would fall off the edge. It was only the foolish and the very brave who dared to question these beliefs and set sail in search of other trade routes.
We laugh at this superstition because the fears of the people were based on false beliefs. And what are false beliefs but stories that are fabricated to explain the unknown? To believe that something is ‘impossible’ makes it impossible. To believe that you will fail sets you up for failure. Undoubtedly, false beliefs are also limiting beliefs that prevent us from “entering the forest” or “crossing the ocean.” They keep us stuck.
There were three false – and limiting – beliefs that held me back:
- I am a loser.
- God is no fun.
- What I want doesn’t matter.
I have more, but these three sum up in a nut shell what I falsely believed about myself and God. I’m sure you could list quite a few limiting beliefs of your own. But I know that they are going to stem from limiting beliefs about yourself, your world, and your God. Limiting beliefs don’t match up with who you are and what you are truly capable of. They prevent you from really trying – putting 100% into what you are doing.
There’s a lot of pain in this world, and none of it can be avoided. It’s just part of life; we must take the good with the bad. But there’s no need to suffer because of it. Limiting beliefs cause us to suffer because we never are able to become who we were meant to be.
Limiting beliefs keep you tied to what is small, familiar and safe. False beliefs prevent you from putting any effort into following your dreams – the things that really float your boat. When you were a child, you dreamed big; you were bold and courageous. But when you became an adult you gave up some of your dreams because they were “not practical” and, quite frankly, they scared you.
Isn’t that what keeps us stuck? Fear of the unknown, and fear of risk? When was the last time you thought about what you really wanted? Or do you even remember what that was?
Tomorrows topic – Fear: Resisting responsibility