Posted March 1, 2002
The Conviction Of Your Beliefs
Recently, I've been searching for a better word than "belief" to describe the confidence that something will manifest. We know that we tend to attract experiences according to our deeply held beliefs. The ideas that we formed as children and young adults reveal themselves in our lives as the conditions we live with. In metaphysics and human potential training, we're told to "change your beliefs, and change your life." And this does occur. Once we let go of outdated attitudes, life does change. When we're taught to believe something new about ourselves and the Universe, the outer situations transform.
But confusion and disappointment arises when a person sincerely believes that there is going to be an improvement, and it doesn't occur. I've known people to say, "I believe that I'm going to get this job," and are despondent when they don't. They then question if believing in improving their life really works. When I talk to them, I find that they didn't have the deep, solid confidence that something good was going to happen. There was still some underlying fear, anxiety or doubt about the situation.
And then there are people who make assumptions that they'll experience what they expect to happen and sometimes get unpleasantly surprised. I've known many people who have what I call "passive" beliefs about their health, their income, their job or other things in their lives. For instance, someone who has always been healthy assumes they will always be healthy, even though they smoke, drink to excess, eat fatty foods, and don't exercise. Then they're surprised when they have a heart attack.
Or someone who has always had a secure job and believed they would always be taken care of. Then the rug gets pulled out from underneath them when they're laid off. Their expectations have been challenged, so they wonder if "The Magic of Believing" (by Claude Bristol) really works. An assumption isn't a confidently held belief. It's takes for granted that since this is the way it's always been, it's always going to be this way. Except that we're always evolving, and our beliefs have to keep up with our growth.
Trying to explain to these different people about the role of attitudes and beliefs then sometimes gets tangled. So I've tried to find a stronger, more descriptive word than "belief," "attitude" or "expectation." I recently read it in "Your Thoughts Can Change Your Life" by Donald Curtis. The word is "conviction."
A conviction is a belief that brooks no opposition. Even if the condition hoped for doesn't appear, a person with the conviction that it will eventually happen just dismisses the current situation with the thought, "Well, this wasn't the right one for me." All the facts in the world will not dissuade a person with strong convictions. Right or wrong, their strong opinion will prevail for them, and they'll filter everything they experience through those ideas.
Sounds like what we know about personal beliefs, doesn't it? The attitudes we form as children are convictions about ourselves. "I'm no good," "I don't belong," "I don't deserve," "I'm stupid." No matter what anyone tells us to the contrary, we don't believe them. A teacher could point out that Jo's making straight A's, therefore she's not stupid. But the facts don't make any difference to her. On the other hand, Joe could be making C's, and have the conviction that he's intelligent but just doesn't study enough. A person who is convinced that they're going to succeed just keeps getting up when they get knocked down. And because they learn more each time, eventually they do succeed.
A person with the conviction that no matter what happens they'll land on their feet generally does just that. They'll attract the right contacts, information, or direction into their life. But it must be a conviction about this, not an assumption or hoped for end result. They recognize that if a person can't get to their goal one way, another way will open.
Start identifying your convictions. Do you have confidence that the Universe is supporting you? That you'll always be led in the right direction? That you are deserving of all the good in the Universe? Does your conviction about experiencing good health motivate you to exercise, eat right, and release unhealthy habits? Evaluate the challenging areas of your life, and discover what your conviction is about them. When you've done this, write an affirmation that addresses that underlying belief so that it reflects the Truth about the situation. When you do this, you'll become aware of what convictions are actually manifesting in your life. And you can then change them so that they reflect the beliefs that you know to be true.
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Copyright Ó 2002 Linda Ann Stewart