Your attitudes, feelings, and life experiences mirror your beliefs. How often have you said, “This is so because I experienced it,” – never realizing that how you experienced a situation coincided with what you believed to be true. Change your beliefs and you will change your experience, including your feelings and attitudes. How we express ourselves follows our beliefs. A person whose belief system is rigid and will not allow new ideas to enter into his/her thinking, or even examine the possibility of their lives being lived any other way, will experience, express and live as though their beliefs are real. And their beliefs are real because they believe they are a real.
The word “actor” means someone who is able to take action. Your personality, your character, and how you express yourself take on life because you bring life to them. For the person who believes that his/her astrological symbol and what has been written about it is how it is, this person will mirror and reflect to some degree what they believe to be true about the astrological sign. The belief system gives them a framework from which to experience life, however rigid or flexible it may be. The belief system will determine how a person experiences and expresses within reality. A year down the road we may find that same person has altered their reality by believing and acting in a different way. Like an actor, their actions will reflect how they believe this character will act in a given situation. Much of how they act will be determined by how they have seen others act in a similar situation. To put it simply, the individual acts out reality from the structure of his or her own beliefs.
As a child, John is told that he is shy. He is told that when he acts in a particular way, and soon he determines that when he acts this specific way he is being shy. We must remember that his idea of what is shy is modeled like a map or a script. Whether or not he is really shy is questionable. In fact, when he is shy he may be observing what is going on around him, but if he begins to believe that he is shy, he will then reflect this belief into reality, and people will reflect back to him how he imagines and feels himself to be. Along the way, John may begin to realize that his life experience is being determined by what he believes to be true, which is also how he sees and thinks of himself. Frustration or dissatisfaction with his own experiences may move him to take a public speaking course or a drama workshop. One year later he appears to be a very different individual, and he is. For by altering his internal perception of himself, his actions, attitudes and life experience have changed. John’s new beliefs must be backed by action, since belief without action is dead. For someone to run around chanting affirmations that he or she is rich and prosperous but not taking any appropriate action can be quite meaningless.
I am not talking about positive thinking. Positive thinking in itself can at times create more problems than it solves, because individuals are not examining their beliefs in light of what they want. Their positive thinking is spreading frosting over a stale cake. You wouldn’t patch your roof without first finding the leak. In the same sense, if you begin to tell yourself you are valuable and deserving without also examining why you feel you are worthless, inside yourself you could experience a conflict of one belief pushing against the other. Sometimes it is necessary to create a new belief. But in many instances, when you discover what it is you currently believe about yourself and how you got that idea, the awareness of this supposed limitation can give you more choices of action.
A 65-year-old person may begin to slow down, have lapses of memory, and lose sexual vitality. That same person meets individuals of the same age or older who are vital, quick in mind, and sexually expressive. This experience can cause that person to examine their beliefs about ageing causing changes in lifestyle and now we find them expressing vitality in life.
As you look back on your life, you will notice times when you changed your environment, your friends, your job, etc. – and you begin to see that these changes also brought about a change in your personal attitudes and actions.
Beliefs can be a self-fulfilling prophecy unless checked and altered in the direction you want your life to take. For many individuals, beliefs run their lives, rather than the other way around – using and altering their beliefs in such a way as to create the lives they wish to have.
The obvious point I am trying to make here is that by altering your beliefs you alter your lifestyle and your experiences. You may feel that circumstances are taking over your life, when the fact is that you yourself create those circumstances. Examine your life situation, and also your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, and you will discover how you actually created that experience. Then change your beliefs and actions, and you will notice how your circumstances change. It’s magic – the magic of your creative mind.
Harold may feel stuck in his present job, due to the fact that he has a family to feed and children to put through college. Harold is not wrong – he is right according to his beliefs. Harold experiences frustration, something inside him is pushing him – telling him he can experience more in life. Then one night he dreams of being an architect and building custom solar homes. In the dream he sees himself as very prosperous, providing for his family very well, and enjoying greater vitality and spontaneity in his life. This dream causes Harold to examine his inner feelings, and in the process he realizes that he always wanted to be a builder and designer, but his father always told him to get a steady job and keep it.
Three years later, after going to school for design, we find Harold expressing and experiencing a very different reality. To believe in life is to believe in your dreams. Dreams acted upon are the mind stuff that brings about the reality you want. All too often people avoid or try to stifle their feelings of frustration, boredom and dissatisfaction, covering up those inner feelings with drugs, booze, positive thinking or other ways of blanking them out; they never realize that this frustration or what some people might consider negative feelings, is the emotional push to a new realization.