Last week I spoke at the BAPT conference about how our beliefs can help us, and how they can also hinder us. For example, I believe it’s important to always do what I have said I will do. This belief helps me by giving me a reputation for being reliable, but it can also hinder me when I become stressed with conflicting priorities.
We have an emotional attachment to our beliefs: when we fulfil them, we experience positive emotions, and we feel good; when we can’t fulfil them, we experience negative emotions which can lead us to react in ways we later regret. When I am over-committed with work, it is often my family who suffer the consequences.
Much of our behaviour is driven by our emotions and our beliefs. If we want to feel positive, it’s worth reflecting on how our beliefs help us and how they might hinder us – and then find ways to change the hindrances. In my case, planning better, being willing to reschedule and making fewer commitments would help. Of course, I could also challenge my belief – do I really need to be reliable all the time?