I’ve been writing about self-awareness, inner monologue (Reality IS Your Friend) and how we can improve our connections to others through better self-knowledge.
This next exercise builds on the previous exercise where you simply write down your inner monologue. It is a little harder because it requires you to pay attention to your beliefs and write them down. During a week or more, write down about a dozen beliefs or interpretations gathered from your self-talk.
We generally don’t notice how our minds work with beliefs. For one thing, they are embedded, we take them for granted, and we assume they are universal truths. But beliefs are a way the mind filters out information. So as not to be overwhelmed with incoming perceptions, the mind forms a mental model or a representation of reality for a purpose.
Most people confuse their perception of the environment with the actual environment, concluding they can’t change things because that’s the way things are. If we remember that our perceptions are the map and not the territory, then we realize we can be flexible in changing our beliefs and considering alternatives.
As a believer in God’s Word it is amazing how often we act in a manner that does not match what we say we believe! A classic thought that is common for many is that our work doesn’t matter to God. Often the actions of leaders in the workplace are disconnected to Jesus. Those actions overtly display character traits that are not aligned with the Christian faith. The most common are pride, greed and anger. The beliefs that may be central to this kind of thinking and acting could be WIN or INFLUENCE. Could such beliefs be more foundational for you than the beliefs of SERVANTHOOD or SACRAFICE which Jesus declares? Scary!
Unfortunately, most of us pride ourselves on quick thinking and the ability to size up people and situations, and thus we forget that our interpretation of reality is not reality.
What to Do
1. Carry a notebook, smart phone, tablet, or recording device.
2. When you notice a belief or interpretation of reality, write it down as best you can, a few lines at a time.
Some beliefs that you notice will annoy you and others you will defend vigorously. The idea is to raise your awareness levels, not to make judgments. Try connecting your actions to your faith. Is there alignment?
This exercise led me to explore my beliefs around independence and dependence. I had to replace my striving for independence with striving for dependence on Jesus and those around me. My actions were centered in seeking independence. I believed I could only trust myself, depend on myself. So, my actions supported those beliefs. However, God calls me into a dependent relationship with Him and others.
What are your actions and the beliefs behind them?
Reflection and Learning
Next, reflect on your beliefs.
· What did you notice most?
· Did you notice any trends?
· How hard was it to be non-judgmental?
· Can you identify the link from your actions to your beliefs? Ask a friend or work with a coach!
Our actions all stem from a core set of beliefs. Take the challenge to look at your actions and identify what beliefs they are attached to.
Many people are resistant to changing life-long beliefs and yet often discover that their beliefs are not grounded. God offers to every person the grounding and the invitation to truth and from truth we can step into the foundation to become the leader we are called to be with our teams, our families and our selves. Leading yourself well will have a huge impact on those around you and bring you peace.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27
The journey to becoming your best and maximizing your potential is for the courageous. Find a mentor. Meet regularly. Be open to share what you are thinking and you will find you make better decisions more quickly leading to growth and freedom. If you cannot find a mentor, hire a coach. I can coach you or help you find a coach.
or text me at 714-267-2818
I’d love to hear from you. Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple