I truly believe that almost nothing is absolute – everything is a matter of perception. All the sensory data that comes into your brain first gets filtered by your complex brain – it goes through all your past experiences, how you interpreted those experiences, your memories, your beliefs, and even your current mood. Only then does your brain tell you what you just perceived – and what it means to you. That’s why 10 people can experience the same event, but there will be 10 different explanations of what “happened”.
Beliefs are also not absolute. Most beliefs that people hold dear aren’t even of their own making. Many of our beliefs were “downloaded” into our brains when we were children from parents, teachers, our religious communities, friends, etc.
There are only two kinds of beliefs – those that empower you or those that dis-empower you. Dis-empowering beliefs limit your life and put up walls which prevent you from doing what you can do. Your beliefs will always manifest your reality. If you believe, “I’ll never have enough money”, then you will (subconsciously) make sure that that truth manifests in your life. People desperately defend and cling to their beliefs, even when they do not serve them or empower them. And they’re always doing things to “prove that they’re right”.
It takes courage to take some time, sit down, and examine all the beliefs you hold. Try it. Make a list of things you hold to be true. What do you believe about money? People? Relationships? Work? Now go through and choose those that limit you and hold you back from being the best you can be.
Change Beliefs That Don’t Empower You
You can change any belief. Beliefs are just thoughts supported by “evidence”. There is always evidence to prove things – it’s just a matter of what you focus on.
For example, say you believe something like, “I suck at relationships”. So automatically, when you say that, your brain scans its years and years worth of data and pulls out all the “evidence” it needs to prove that statement true. Remember that friend who dumped you in 9th grade? Remember when your marriage failed and you got divorced?
However, if you say, “I’m great at relationships”, then you start looking for evidence to support that statement. The evidence is there either way. Some relationships failed. But there were also many that were good and fulfilling.
When you want to adopt a new belief, go search for proof that supports your new belief. I guarantee you that you can find the proof you need. Research. Read books. Read about others’ personal experiences. Look carefully at your own life for evidence you may have overlooked before.
For more about changing a belief, read this article.
What Is A “Purposeful Universe”?
So one belief you might want to adopt to help fight anxiety is the belief that this is a purposeful universe. Maybe you already believe it. If you’re religious, you will probably have an easy time believing this. I am not religious, however, so adopting this belief took a whole lot of research to convince myself. But I did adopt this belief in the end, and it does help me when I start to feel anxious.
It’s so easy to believe that it’s a dangerous world. Just turn on the news, and you’re bombarded with stories of bombings, Ebola, murder, plane crashes, fires, and every conceivable disaster. Add to that all those negative experiences and traumas we personally endured, and we bring up our proof that “it’s not safe”.
Instead of subscribing to this belief, why not try to believe that we live in a universe that is controlled by a Divine Intelligence, and that this Intelligence works to help you evolve and grow to become your highest self? If you believed that there was a purpose for everything (even if you can’t see it now), and that things are always working out for the highest good in the end, wouldn’t you feel safer, less alone, more cared for, and happier? Less fearful?
If you adopt this new belief, you still make plans, take care of your finances, take care of your body and your family, prepare for the future, and live life the best way you know how. However, you accept that things are going to work out (eventually), because there is a purpose for everything, and there is some intelligence who is guiding you, orchestrating events, and communicating to you in subtle ways. This Intelligence might be a Supreme Being, or it could be your Inner Self, or the Universe, but however you characterize it, it is a guiding force that is directing you toward your highest good.
With this belief, you are not alone in a random, hostile world. There is a greater force that cares about you and wants the best for you, and it actively guides you toward the growth your soul yearns for. Sometimes bad things happen, but often the biggest leaps of growth come from these experiences.
If you harbor this belief, you can surrender your need to control every tiny aspect of your life. You can be on the lookout for “messages” from this force – maybe some eerie coincidence, or some text on a billboard that jumps out at you, or some gut feeling that won’t go away. Maybe you get a vivid dream that speaks to you, or a song that has special meaning to you comes on the radio at an opportune time. With this belief, you can pay attention and trust that it’s all going to work out in the end. You don’t have to be fearful.
How To Find Proof
If you’re religious, you probably don’t need help finding convincing proof that it’s a purposeful universe. But for me, I wanted to believe it, but I most certainly did not believe it. If you’re like me, you might have to do a lot of research to find proof that there’s a purpose to everything. You might have to delve deep to find irrefutable proof (for you) that there is an intelligence greater than you that cares and guides you. Here are some resources to help you get started on finding some evidence to support your new belief.
What do you think? Would adopting this believe diminish your anxiety some? Tell me in the comments below.