As I have gotten older I have really become more open minded and much more layed back. I realized that it is perfectly fine if peoples beliefs are different than mine. This is what makes each of us uniuque.
The more I thought about it, I realized that without even being aware of it, I wasn’t thinking for myself for most of my life. And worse many of my belief systems were not my own.
Here is what I mean.
I think that a lot of what people believe and have believed for years are beliefs that were taught to them as small children by their parents, teachers, preachers, grandparents.
And many of the beliefs that we have are good and true to us. But some may not be true to us.
So I made a decision in my early 40’s to become a critical thinker.
A critical thinker is someone who is able to clearly look at a belief and come up with the honest answer to the question “Is this true?”. I like to ask myself this question…
Is this something that was taught to me? Or do I really find this to be true.
Many of my beliefs didn’t even make sense and I don’t know who I learned them from. But in changing my beliefs, I have been able to become free.
For example, I had a belief growing up that I was poor. And through most of my life I believed this. My parents never once said we were poor, but their actions and comments they made my entire child hood gave me the belief that I was poor and probably would always be poor.
I picked up on the fact that money was really tight. My Mom always reminded us that preachers, like my Father, didn’t make much money. Some of the things I heard as a child were,
- “I’m making a poor man’s meal for dinner.”
- “We can’t afford that.”
- “I don’t have the money for that.”
Without even relizing it, I would hear myself saying the same things to my kids. And I realized that I had a belief that I was poor. And this certainly isn’t true.
I think it is true with many people who believe certain things. I think what may have been true for my parents were not true for me.
When kids are young they pick up on the beliefs of their parents.
Here are some beliefs that are taught to kids without parents even realizing it. A child only needs to overhear a conversation to pick up a belief.
- “If you are over weight, you are ugly.”
- “My race is better than another race.”
- “I am not worth loving.”
- “Money is the root of evil.”
- “If I don’t go to college, I’m not smart.”
- “I’m not smart enough.”
I am learning to embrace the differences in others and I want to be open to changing my thoughts. I realize that my beliefs may not necessarily be true for my soul.
When I became a critical thinker I realized I opened up so much more of an opportunity to find happiness. Think about your life. Do you have a belief that may not be true? Or is it something you were taught by an authority figure?