Alternate Perceptions Magazine, September 2022
Challenging Your Beliefs and Changing Your Path
by: Stan Prachniak, MBA
Many people go through life believing that things happen to them. This belief isn’t always true and is sometimes a way for a person to avoid taking responsibility for their own behaviors and decisions. Sure there are some things in life that do happen to people, but in every one of those situations the person has the ability to choose how they respond or behave. It is important to understand that our belief system influences the decisions we make in life and each decision we make leads to another decision point, and so on. One key to making true change in your life is to start challenging your own beliefs. Let’s examine what that might look like.
If we were to compare life to a game, the game that is the most similar is golf. Even if you have never played golf, you probably have a basic idea of how it is played. Each shot of each hole is a situation that requires a decision, which leads to another shot that requires another decision. For example, if you are on the tee box of a par four hole, you will have a belief about how to best approach playing the hole. This belief can be shaped by many different things. Things like how you played on the last hole, how far you can hit the ball with a certain club, the wind, and if there are sand traps and water hazards are just some of examples that affect how you will choose to act in this “situation.” Let’s say that you have been slicing the ball with your driver and there is a sand trap on the right side of the fairway. You may believe that if you use your driver off of the tee that you will hit the ball into the sand trap, so you decide to hit your 3 wood instead. You hit the ball straight down the middle of the fairway, but the ball is well short of where it would have been had you hit your driver. This means that instead of using your 7 iron, which you hit very well, you will have to use your 5 iron, which you don’t hit so well. You see, each decision you make leads you to another decision. This is pretty much the way life works. You take into account your beliefs and feelings before making a decision or reacting to a situation. The problem is that your beliefs and feelings can limit your possibilities in life.
What if you had chosen to challenge your belief that you would slice the ball with your driver and used it anyway. And in doing so, hit a great shot that led to using your 7 iron, which allowed you a great chance to make a birdie (finish the hole in 3 shots instead of 4). By choosing to hit your 3 wood instead of your driver, you allowed your beliefs to limit your possibilities. Understanding where your beliefs and feelings come from and learning to challenge them is one of the first steps to becoming the person you want to be—what we call your True Self. When you learn to effectively challenge your beliefs you begin to change your decision points, and this will change your path in life. If you are feeling like things happen to you or that you are stuck in a rut, then you need to make a change. You choose what you do in each moment of your life. You can choose to make a change right now. Challenge the belief that you can’t change, and begin to see that you have the Freedom To Change. Note: Many of the concepts above are derived from the book and associated workbooks entitled Freedom To Change. For more information see www.freedom2change.org