Our beliefs have varying levels of emotional intensity and power to change our actions. We can pinpoint at least three categories of beliefs, based on their ability to influence action in you. Understanding each of the three categories will empower you to create healthy and positive changes in your life.
Opinions are something we feel relatively certain about, but the certainty is only temporary and can be changed easily. For example, you might think that the head of your company’s accounting department is not qualified for his position, but your opinion may change quickly when you see how effectively he manages his staff.
A belief, on the other hand, is formed when you develop a much larger base of reference, one that’s often associated with strong emotions and based on experience. Beliefs can create such a level of certainty that they close people off to new ideas. For example, some people believe that money equals success. Other people may have a different — yet equally passionate — belief as to what success is.
A conviction, however, eclipses a belief, primarily because of the emotional intensity a person links to the idea. A person holding a conviction feels so certain that he or she will be completely resistant to new input, often to the point of obsession. One of the best things you can do to create mastery in any area of your life is to raise a belief to the level of conviction. Convictions are at the core of what motivates you in life.
Conviction, because of the passion it inspires in us, has the power to drive you to action and push you through all kinds of obstacles. For example, the conviction to never let yourself become out of shape will compel you to make consistently healthy lifestyle choices, empowering you to get more enjoyment out of your life. The conviction that you are an intelligent and resourceful person can help steer you through incredibly tough times.
So how can you create a conviction that will help you make a positive change in your life?
- Identify the basic belief that you want to elevate.
- Reinforce your belief by adding powerful references. To create a conviction around a healthy lifestyle, you might research the medical consequences of gaining weight. Then talk to people who have lost weight and kept it off.The more references you develop, the stronger your conviction.
- Then find a triggering event — or make one of your own. You need to raise the emotional intensity of the belief. If you were trying to give up smoking, you might visit the intensive care wing of a hospital to see the first-hand effects of emphysema.
- Finally, take action. Each action you take strengthens your commitment and raises the level of your emotional intensity and conviction.
What change will you create today by raising one of your beliefs to a conviction? Pick one and create an action plan, using the four steps above to influence what motivates you. Remember to put dates on your plan to keep yourself moving forward.
Sent with Love