How we create our own reality
With our world on pause we have a perfect opportunity to reassess our lives. It’s a a good time to have a hard think about why our lives are what they are and plan for the future. For many people this means lives that are dissatisfying and fallen short of the life they always dreamed of. In this post we will start to discover how our beliefs shape our reality. We will also discover how this knowledge can help us craft the sort of lives we truly desire.
Life Crafting Limited will help you discover what lies at the heart of this dissatisfaction. Why don’t you have the life you dreamed of and what can you do to change this? How can you craft the life you have (perhaps secretly) always longed for?
The answers to these questions are linked to how our beliefs shape both our reality and the lives we craft for ourselves.
A muse of fire
Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention!
(Henry V – Prologue 1-4, 8-11)
William Shakespeare’s play Henry V begins with the Chorus calling on divine inspiration (what they call ‘a muse of fire’) to make possible the impossibility of presenting the events of the story that is about to unfold on stage – namely both subtle drama and armies clashing in battle. How can this be achieved on a simple theatre stage? The audience is urged to help create the world in which the play is set to help achieve this spectacle.
The muse of fire, will be the imagination of the audience members themselves. This will allow the play to come alive and impact the audience emotionally, intellectually and physically. By their imagination, the audience will create in their own minds kings and armies and horses thundering across vast battlefields.
The power of belief
Through believing they are there, the audience will create in their own minds the world of Henry V and the events that unfold in the play, and respond almost as though the events that transpire were real.
Of course audience members could easily slip into the make-believe world of Henry V. We all, as humans, are familiar, from childhood onwards, with constructing imaginary worlds, stories, ideas and identities in our minds. And we allow ourselves to believe all sorts of fanciful things. Many of these fanciful things (such as belief in Santa Claus or in the Tooth Fairy) disappear with time. However, other beliefs, including stories we create about ourselves, are more substantial than mere fancies and settle. They remain lodged deep inside our subconscious minds, quietly guiding, informing and shaping our lives. This is how our beliefs shape our reality.
How our beliefs shape our reality and define our lives
These more lasting beliefs – about our lives, throughout our lives, and for our lives – help us understand, negotiate, survive and overcome the world in which we live. It is through the stories supporting these beliefs that we create the personalities we allow others to see, and map out the shape and breadth of our lives. The stories we tell ourselves begin in early childhood, as we adventure and play. Over time, during adolescence and early adulthood, they become more specific and refined. They serve to shape and give form to the beliefs we come to hold as we find our place in our family, at home, at school, in society at large and in the world of work and relationships. This telling and repeating of stories about ourselves is an essential component to how beliefs shape our reality.
The power of stories shape
Just as the Chorus in Henry V urges and helps the audience to create a mental vision of the cast of characters and locations and events of the play, so we help ourselves along in our real lives, by repeating in our minds the things that we believe about ourselves.
For example: “This is what I’m going to be when I grow up” “This is what I am like,” “This is what I can do and what I can not do,” “This is how attractive I am,” This is how much salary I am worth,” “This is the life I shall live,” “This is the limit of my ambition,” etc. We may or may not be the ‘hero’ in the story of our lives that we play out in our minds, but the story is created and seen from our point of view and we are the author, the producer, the director and the star – given all that power, is it any wonder that we believe our own story?
Our beliefs shape our reality and the stories we repeat bout ourselves maintain that reality. We are the divine inspiration that constructs our identity, directs our behaviour, describes and defines our world. We creates the limits of what we want and achieve.
What exactly are beliefs?
Over time, the stories we tell ourselves become things we believe about ourselves, deeply and profoundly and with lasting impact. Author Lovelyn Bettison puts it like this, “The current state of your life is a direct result of the stories that you tell yourself, and what you really believe is possible – not what you say is possible, but what you believe deep down in your core.”
Defining what is meant by ‘Belief’ is fairly straightforward but layered, and the following examples illustrate what is meant by ‘Belief’ in the context of life coaching.
The Oxford Dictionary of English defines ‘Belief’ as:
“An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof … something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion.”
The Noble Manhattan Coaching Diploma Training Manual notes that, “A belief is not only an idea that the mind possesses, it is an idea that possesses the mind.”
Life coach Adam Sicinski says, “Beliefs are essentially assumptions we make about ourselves, about others, and about how we expect things to be in the world.”
Finally, author and trainer Ray Dodd offers this definition of belief: “Belief is a living dream with volition, memory, dialogue, agreements, and a distinct emotional point of view. Your beliefs are a series of filters you perceive through, and without awareness they dream your life for you – whether you are awake or asleep.” (sic)
Observations about beliefs
There are some key observations about beliefs, particularly how beliefs shape our reality, that may be drawn from the definitions listed above.
- Beliefs do not have to actually be true, and neither does the evidence upon which a belief is based.
- Beliefs require our participation in order to have power. They cannot exist without our acceptance.
- Beliefs possess us as much as we possess them, and can control us rather than we controlling them.
- Beliefs are filters, which shape our perception of ourselves, others and the world around us.
- Beliefs are the foundation of our attitudes and behaviour, guiding our responses to people, events and circumstances.
- Our beliefs dream and determine our lives for us.
How life coaching can help change our beliefs and our lives
The first step to creating the life you truly want is to recognise the power you possess. You are the only person who can decide what your life will be.
If the current state of your life is a direct result of the stories that you have told yourself, and what, deep down in your core, you really believe is possible, the way to start changing your life, its shape and scope and possibilities, is to examine the beliefs you hold about yourself.
Which beliefs you hold about yourself hold you stuck to the life you currently have? How can you break their power and how can you replace them with new beliefs; beliefs that will start to change the shape, scope and possibilities for your life, transforming it into the life you have always wanted?
Coaching with Life Crafting Limited will help you recognise the beliefs that underlie the reality you have created and support you as you change those beliefs and begin to craft the reality, the world and the life you have always dreamed of!