Unhealthy beliefs are false beliefs that distort reality and cause stress and pain. They are almost always the primary cause of depression and unhappiness. Yet, when asked, most people are unable to describe more than a few of the many beliefs that control their lives.
So how can we tell the difference between healthy beliefs and the unhealthy false beliefs that distort reality and create problems for us?
Let’s take a look at three of the more unhealthy beliefs that most of us use nearly every day.
- The belief that everybody should like us. If they don’t, we believe that there is something wrong with us. We feel we should try harder to get them to like us.In reality, we are lucky if even half of the people we meet in life like us. People tend to like one another when they feel they have the same interests and outlooks on life. In other words, most of the people that meet us will experience us simply as acquaintances.If everyone likes us, we have probably given up our authentic self and our own needs. We have become a “care taker”. Care takers usually adopt a false “self” and wear a false mask just to please others and encourage others to “like” them. They are often unhappy and feel powerless.
- The belief that love is a feeling.The reality is love has nothing to do with feelings. True love is a behavior. If we base our “love” on how we feel, our behaviors will often be unloving because our feelings are so volatile. Our feelings tend to create conditional love. When we make a commitment to “behave” in a loving manner regardless of how we might be feeling in the moment, we can offer a more authentic unconditional love.
- The belief that life is hard. Life is a struggle.The reality is life is easy. Life is effortless. When life is painful it is usually because we are attempting to get the universe to run the way “we” believe is the “right” way……that people “should” behave and believe “our” way.
False beliefs cause unhappiness because they attempt to change the reality of “what is”. When we attempt to change reality we are fighting against the entire universe. Talk about pushing the river!
So how do we identify our false beliefs?
That’s simple. Look for the pain and unhappiness in our lives. The universe is very good at giving us painful feedback when our ego is using a false belief. When we ignore the feedback, the universe will simply bring us a more painful lesson. This cycle will continue until we “get it”.
For example, when we believe we have the right to change other person, our criticism often only creates conflict and resentment with that person.
The most powerful tool for happiness is the skill of self-awareness. When we learn to pay attention to our feelings and emotions, the beliefs behind them will become more clear.
As they say, “change your beliefs…change your life.”