Let’s talk about beliefs. Your beliefs are the deeply ingrained “truths” that you see in the world. What’s interesting though is that those “truths” are actually opinions that have been formed from your unique life history. So while you might believe something to be true, someone else can believe with the same conviction that the opposite is true. This is both an important and dangerous part of our lives, because it allows for there to be diversity in opinion, which is so crucial to innovation and collective well-being, but it’s also the root of many of the issues we experience in society.
Something to note is that these beliefs exist at the level of your subconscious. They are thought patterns that have been primed and reinforced with repetition throughout your entire life, and exist at a level that is not within your conscious awareness. Ultimately, your beliefs are tied to your identity.
Thinking is a very conscious, cognitive process, and through thinking we have the ability to make intentional, conscious choices. We don’t have the same luxury when it comes to our beliefs, which to me indicates that belief is where thinking ends.
So the takeaway to this, if you really want to grow, is to challenge your beliefs. Try to make them more conscious, observe the way you see the world, and ask questions about why you believe things to be a certain way. With curiosity you can invite a new perspective into your life that may liberate you from the layers of defense and the bottlenecks that are keeping you from reaching your potential.