Emotional and mental fitness
Have you ever reacted in a way that surprised you?
How did that make you feel? Confusion or unfamiliarity?
Every day we act and react based on patterns and beliefs that we are not even aware of having. It can be inherited beliefs from our parents and elders, it can be beliefs we chose after something that happened when we were toddlers, or something a teacher said in school. Unquestioned beliefs can trigger reactions that we can not explain, and they can cost us a lot in our relationships and careers. Questioning ones beliefs and thoughts can be challenging and it require some patience, but the reward is great and the feeling of getting to know oneself better is like finding a missing piece of a puzzle.
Beliefs are chosen truths, an idea of how something is or should be. They are something that we believe to be true. But what is true for me might not be true for you. They can be based on experience and continuity, but they can also be born from a one time event if it had a strong impact on us. We can go through similar experiences as someone else but still have different beliefs.
I remember a short story I read many rears ago, when I first actively started to explore the field of awareness and personal development.
It was a story of two dogs. They were one at a time let in to a room with mirrors. One dog came out wiggling its tail and were the happiest dog in the world, wile the other dog came out growling and being fully defensive and ready to attack.
The first dog came in to the room and saw another dog (the reflection of itself) and got curious. And since it was met with curiosity through the mirror that feeling went to happiness and enhanced in to pure joy.
The other dog came in to the room and saw another dog and looked at it with suspicion. When it was met with suspicion it got angry and it escalated to hatred.
The difference between these dogs was a belief based on experience. The first dog might only have met playful and curious dogs whilst the other dog had had encounters in the past that had been unpleasant. The belief of the fist dog might have been that other dogs are kind and fun whilst the belief of the other dog might have been that other dogs can not be trusted and you have be ready to defend yourself.
Just like these dogs, we have different experiences that triggers a response that can be totally unnecessary and even harmful both to us and others. But, we have the mental capacity to investigate, question, and remodel our beliefs to constructive ones instead.