Stinkin Thinkin and Divorce: Beliefs That Limit, Define and Defeat Us Part 1

Published: 26th September 2011
Views: N/A

Surviving a divorce and reclaiming your life is closely tied to your beliefs. Humans are largely a product of their beliefs and values. Our feelings, choices and actions are determined by our beliefs about ourselves, our world and others. How we interpret events impacts how we handle change and determines our present and future conditions.

We all have beliefs. The question is "are they serving you or hurting you?"

Our beliefs can make our lives meaningful and enjoyable. Or they can make you miserable when they arenít rational, valid or life affirming. Iím talking about the type beliefs that are self-limiting, self-hating, self defeating and have a negative impact on our lives. Another way to think of beliefs is as preconceived judgments.

As children and later as adults we have been programmed though environment and experience with a wide array of beliefs. The healthy, nurturing beliefs add meaning and value to life. The negative beliefs can be described by terms such as; irrational, disapproving, judgmental, self-pitying, inhibiting, restrictive, demanding, unhelpful, self-defeating, unreasonable or unhealthy or negatively self-defining. The effect can leave us unmotivated, unhappy, less effective, less confident, less satisfied, angry, and sad or any of the other negative emotions that we experience.

Some years ago I worked at a crisis center handling a wide variety of personal problems. I often heard clients talking about what they "should do", "must do" or were "supposed to do". All of these "shoulds" came from the indoctrination everyone receives as children.

In Al Anon they have a saying that says donít "should" on me. The point is that we are all programmed with a lot of internalized messages about what we "should or shouldnít do", "must or must not do" that become our operating rules and define our value, behaviors and choices. In other words our beliefs shape our lives.

Not knowing better, we then adhere to these "regulations" without ever assessing their validity or knowing why we believe and behave the way we do. The result of trying to march to the rhythm of that drum can leave you out of rhythm with your own life. Many of our "beliefs" about marriage, relationships, parenting and dealing with the changes life brings are defined by our beliefs.

One of the most powerful of the self-limiting beliefs I hear so often, I gave it a name. I called it the fatal "if onlyís." "If only" I could do this, or "if only" I could have that, or "if only" I could be in a relationship, or have that job, or live there my life would be OK or I would be happy. "If only" is a type of self-limiting, self-defeating belief that puts your life on hold unless and until some condition is fulfilled. Life is what happens in between and outside of the "If onlyís" criteria.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore