In part 1 of this series, we explored the three aspects for how we write the scripts for our “History Channel”. These include 1) the global meanings, 2) the actual language of the narrative and 3) the levels of emotional intensity of “key words and phrases” we use repeatedly. These three aspects combined have tremendous influence for how we develop our beliefs that become the heart and soul of our stories.
Beliefs are comprised of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that form our memories, neural pathways about our stories. The degree of priming and power associated to our beliefs are directly correlated to the intensity of our emotional experiences and the nature of the key words and phrases we use to describe our stories.
In order to prepare us to mindfully construct new empowered beliefs and intentionally change dis-empowered beliefs, we need to understand how we reinforce and validate our stories. This begins with an awareness of our wonderful world of MBC – Meaning Belief Cycle.
From the time we are born, we are always evaluating in order to make sense of what we perceive. This process of making sense of our experiences occurs by how we assign meaning to the perception of the person, place or thing in our focus of attention. When we assign a unique meaning repeatedly over time, we are prone to form a belief based on these similar meanings.
his belief then becomes the reference for future evaluations for how we make sense of things. We are now primed, we have a particular bias for how we assign meaning in the future based on the past belief. In essence, we have pre-programmed our meaning machine mind to validate our beliefs.
Our journey in life is analogous to driving. As we make sense of what is in front of us, we look in the rear view mirror to assess. What we see in the rear view mirror, influences how we make sense of that moment and the decisions we make. If we see beautiful green pastures in the rear view mirror, we will be relaxed and enjoy the ride. If we see a mac truck riding our bumper with a gruesome looking driver, we will be anxious, afraid and maybe decide to take another route. So, what’s the view in your rear view mirror?
When a situation arises, within a nanosecond, we unconsciously ask three questions of evaluation. First, am I safe or in danger? If we are primed to assign based on a self-limiting belief, we are prone to answer “danger.” Next, we ask, what does this remind me of? We then look in the rear view mirror for a similar experience to support our initial evaluation. Third, what does this mean to me? We then use the reference belief from that experience to evaluate and assign a meaning associated to that reference belief. Hence, we develop a cycle of validation to reaffirm the belief.
If the meanings and subsequent beliefs are positive and empowering, no problem. But, if the meanings and associated beliefs are negative and dis-empowering, we may find ourselves fulfilling the definition of insanity. “Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.“ We live life on a never-ending hamster wheel or feel like the main character in the movie, “Groundhog Day.” We may feel confused, stuck, afraid, dis-connected, lost, hopeless and/or helpless.
Negative, dis-empowered beliefs come in two forms, fear and shame. Fear is about anything external of ourselves, which has nothing to do with us as an individual. Examples can include flying on airplanes, fear of snakes or a fear that someone is not capable of giving us the love we need from them.
In contrast, a shame belief is all about the self. The meaning of the belief is that something is wrong with us. That in some way we are defective, inferior, bad, not loveable, not accepted, and/or not good enough. Both types of negative beliefs cause us pain however shame beliefs are powerful enough to damage and destroy our relationships, which can seriously disrupt our lives and the lives of others.
Moving forward, we need a plan to intentionally assign an empowered meaning multiple times over a period of time. The goal is to help us consciously construct a new belief that is used as the reference belief for future evaluations.
Science has proven that our brain is pliable and we can change the structure of our brain with intentional conscious focal attention. We can learn how to mindfully fire and wire new neural pathways to modify our beliefs and re-write our stories. We will then be free of the confusion, pain and/or suffering stemming from the cycle of validation of our self-limiting and dis-empowered beliefs.
In part three of this series, we will explore how we can use The Five Intentions of Empowerment as a strategy to assign new meanings and mindfully create new empowering beliefs to use for future references.