219: Choosing Your Beliefs
How do you want to feel during this pandemic? Even though you may be feeling anxious, you probably want to feel loved, at peace, and hopeful, right? Well, you can feel those positive emotions just by choosing what you want to believe.
My husband and son choose their beliefs based on logic; I choose mine based on how I want to feel. Many of us have the beliefs our parents taught us to have. Neither way is right or wrong. But I do know that I feel more emotionally empowered when I believe thoughts that lead me to feel hopeful and peaceful.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing how you can choose beliefs that empower you instead of ones that push you into victimhood and fear. I’ll explain how to use my Thought Table tool and take you through a few common beliefs many of us are having right now. I’m sharing how to shift your thoughts so you can feel and act how you want to.
What do you want to believe? Let’s make the shift so you can experience more love, peace, and connection.
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What You’ll Learn:
- What beliefs are and where we get them from.
- How to use my Thought Table tool to feel how you want to.
- Why believing in conspiracy theories can be fear-inducing, but still valid.
- How some thoughts can put you in victimhood while others can empower you.
- How to enter a state of emotional empowerment.
- That all emotions boil down to love or fear.
Listen to the Full Episode:
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- Ep #218: Emotional Resiliency with Rachel Macy Stafford
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Full Episode Transcript:
You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 219. We’re talking about belief. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey there my vibrant happy friends. Welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women. I’m really glad to be here with you. I’ve had so much fun over the past several weeks, connecting in an amplified way, more frequently with members of the Vibrant Happy Women Club, and also with the new Vibrant Happy Women coach certification students. All this has been online and I have just had a wonderful time.
There’s something special about those of you who listen to this podcast and are in the club and in the certification. You want to be your best self. I think that’s what I’ve nailed it down to. You want to be your best self, you want to grow. You accept and believe that you can be happier, that you can make a difference, that you can take what you’ve learned and help others with it. And I think you’re all beautiful, beautiful souls. And I’m so grateful for all of you.
Well, today we’re going to be talking about belief, specifically wondering or finding out what you want to believe, especially when there are so many thoughts out there during this pandemic. And you could believe any one of them. How do you decide what you’re going to believe?
Well, what is a belief? A belief is a thought you have thought a lot of times. Many of us adopt some beliefs from our parents. Maybe your parents taught you a belief in God. Maybe your parents taught you, like mine did, that the top most important beliefs are to work hard and to be honest. Those are thoughts that they repeated a lot of times in their minds until they became values.
Well, like many adults, I grew up and I thought about the world and I interacted with other thoughts and other beliefs until I adopted my own new top two values. And mine are currently, love and connection. Thank heavens I get to do that with you over this podcast.
So the point is, beliefs are thoughts that you’ve simply thought a lot of times, you get to choose them. Now, how do we decide what we want to believe? Well, some of us, like my son and my husband rely very strongly on logic, a thinking type of stance. My son can look at the points of an argument. A leads to B, leads to C, therefore, X must be true or X must not be true. It’s very logical and sequential and it makes sense in his mind. Others of us myself included tend to choose our beliefs based on how they make us feel.
If I choose to believe in God, for example, which I do, I choose that thought because it feels right to me. It feels intuitive, and connected, and loving, and warm. And because I love those feelings I stick with that thought.
Now, funny enough I was talking to a friend recently and she said, “You know, sometimes I think what if there is no God? But then I decided I feel so much happier believing it, that I choose to keep believing.” And that kind of nails home my point here. We’re not necessarily talking about God throughout this episode. But my point is, sometimes we choose a belief, we have faith in a thought because it feels better than the alternative. And that’s okay, that’s normal, that’s part of the human condition. So a thought is a belief you think a lot of times, and you choose it.
Okay, let’s go onto the next little section here. I teach a tool that is based in cognitive behavioral therapy called a thought table. A thought table lets you look at the relationships between a fact, a thought, a feeling, an action and a result. This thought table tool which I have created, stems from cognitive behavioral therapy. And it’s an excellent way to get really clear on how your thoughts, and your beliefs, which are again a thought you’ve thought a lot of times, that you hold to be true, how they make you feel.
So let’s do some examples here. Many of you several weeks ago probably had the thought, “I might die of Covid-19.” Now, if you were to think about a thought table, we have a fact. Covid-19 exists in the world, that’s a fact. A fact is provable in a court of law. It has no meaning or adjectives attached to it. Fact, Covid-19 is in the world right now. You’re thought about it, “I might die of Covid-19.” That thought generates a feeling. Your feeling might be fear. When you feel fear it will drive an action, that action could be lying in the fetal position or streaming Netflix endlessly, and I think we’ve all been there, especially at the beginning of Covid-19.
And then that action of lying in bed, watching Netflix gives you the results of maybe you don’t interact with your family. Maybe you’re not having as much as fun as you could have. So it’s a fact, a thought, a feeling, an action and a result. And in the fact table I draw these horizontally; you can match them across the top of a piece of paper, fact, thought, feeling, action, results.
Now, the thought, I might die of Covid-19 makes you feel fear. And I want to focus on the thought feeling interactions mostly here. Do you want to feel fear? Some of us became so tired of the thought, I might die of Covid-19 or my family might die of Covid-19, that we changed our thoughts. We realized we couldn’t stay stuck in fear. So I came up with a new thought which was my family will catch Covid-19 and have a very mild case.
Now, there’s no logic involved in that thought, there’s no truth, there’s no facts to support it. But I chose that thought because it helped me generate a feeling I could live with. I refused to stay stuck in fear. What if my family catches Covid-19? That’s such a scary thought.
The new thought, my family will catch Covid-19 and have a very mild case felt much more peaceful. It enabled me to interact with the world, to not be in fear, to realize we’re going to be fine. And I could go to the grocery store; my husband could go to the grocery store. Now, does that mean we didn’t wear masks or do anything crazy? No, of course, we wear our masks to this day.
Alright, so let’s keep going with this, I want you to see. You get to choose your feelings by choosing your thoughts or your beliefs. Now, maybe you’ve had the thought or the belief if you’ve thought it a lot of times that people who go to beaches during Covid-19 are selfish. Now, that might feel very true to you. You might have logically analyzed the situation with science on your side, and that feels so true to you. But I want you to notice what feeling does that thought generate? People who go to beaches during Covid-19 are selfish. That thought immediately generates anger and frustration.
If I feel angry, what action will I take? Well, I might not interact with a lot of people. The result, I’m not feeling very loving or close with people. So I don’t want to feel that way. Therefore I have chosen not to focus on that thought, even if it might be true, it’s not a fact. The fact is some people during Covid-19 go to beaches. There’s no adjectives that is provable in a court of law.
Okay, now, let’s change it around, perhaps you’ve been thinking the thought, or heard someone else think the thought that the economy is crashing, we need to reopen. How does that thought make you feel? It might feel true. It might feel false. That’s not the point of this. We get to choose our thoughts, every thought generates a feeling. So I hope you’re catching on to the fact that we are most concerned with how does each thought or belief make us feel.
Let’s choose the thoughts or beliefs that generate the feeling we want. So that thought, the economy is crashing, we need to reopen, could be true. Science can be on your side with that one as well, so can economics. How does it make you feel? Well, I can’t control whether the economy reopens that much, maybe I can write to a senator. Maybe I could, in the previous question, write – write my thoughts in a blog about the people on beaches. But there’s not a lot of control I have over whether people go to beaches or whether the economy reopens.
So that thought, the economy needs to reopen, makes me feel maybe a sense of hope, that we could be going to stores again, or maybe a sense of fear. You’re all going to have a different feeling from that. The point is to recognize all of these thoughts generate a feeling for you. And you can choose the thought that generates the feeling you want.
Now, let’s take this further, let’s talk about conspiracy theories. This one intrigues me. So there are people on this planet who believe the holocaust never happened. I have no idea why people would want to believe that. I find it personally a horrifying thought, because I do believe the holocaust happened, and that it’s a sad thing. And it drives me to the action of making sure that we protect all people’s freedoms, and make sure all voices are heard, and all people are protected.
Well, another conspiracy theory, Sandy Hook never happened. Or the Twin Towers was all a fraud by the American government. These conspiracy theories cause me feelings of alarm, that people would even believe it. So I could focus on that. I can’t believe there are people that believe these things, oh my gosh.
Well, the same thing is happening now, and I’ve heard a conspiracy theory, that’s my meaning I attach to it, that Dr. Fauci cooked up this virus in a lab in Wuhan. And he’s going to get rich off of vaccine patents. Now, you might believe that thought, and that is fine, that is your prerogative. But I want you to ask yourself, how do you feel when you think the thought, Dr. Fauci cooked up this virus in a Wuhan lab, is going to get rich off of vaccine patents? Essentially, the thought this virus was manmade and someone’s going to get rich off of it. Whoa.
If you believe that thought you probably feel incensed, furious, angry, filled with rage. And with that rage, what are you going to do? What action will you take? Maybe it will cause you not to vote in any elections again, because why bother? Maybe it will cause you to write letters or watch videos. Or maybe it will cause you to talk with your friends about this great atrocity that has been committed against the world. The result though, because this is a situation that’s out of your control, it’s probably going to result in you spending less time in actions of love and connection, or less time doing the things that are actually valuable to you.
So my point is we have all those things during a pandemic and during regular life that we can believe. But I want you to ask yourself, how does this belief make me feel? Do I want to feel that? You get to choose your thoughts. A thought that you think a lot of times becomes a belief. And those thoughts and beliefs generate emotions and feelings that determine your actions and the results you’re going to get in your life.
Now, let me talk about life in general. By the way, all of those beliefs I presented, I hope I stayed mostly neutral. I do not judge you for any of those beliefs you hold. I want to add that I think all the beliefs are valid. All the beliefs generate feelings; they drive different actions and yield different results. So all of us get to choose what we believe. I honor that, it’s okay if you believe we should not open up. It’s okay if you believe we should open up. There is validity to all sides. I see that. There are 100 shades of gray in the middle.
And I’m not going to spend my time being furious because some people believe the opposite of what I believe. I don’t want to feel that. So I choose to believe all these beliefs are valid. It’s okay to have 100 shades of gray, because that’s what I can control in my life. It makes me feel the most peace, which helps me to show up better for my kids, and have the happier family and the increased love and connection I crave.
Alright, so taking this into a different area, when my kids – my oldest turned five and started going to kindergarten, started going to birthday parties, I had a lot of fear and anxiety about that. And I had to choose a new thought. I have thought so often it became a belief. Now, before I share these, you might find these thoughts to be irrational. You’re like, what are they? You might find these thoughts to be crazy, illogical. But I want you to notice what believing these thoughts might make you feel. And I also want to let you know that I chose these thoughts. I chose to believe them even without evidence, because they take me out of fear and put me into a state of calm and peace.
So, what are these thoughts? Number one, nobody dies before their time. Thinking that thought allows me to let my kids live their lives, so I do not stay in a state of anxiety. It is not something I have picked up from religious beliefs. I have simply decided to think this thought because it makes me feel peace. Nobody dies before their time.
The second one, life is happening for me, not to me. I have shared this one before in the podcast. How would this help? Well, during all those years when my marriage was horrible, I stayed in a state of emotional victimhood, where I thought there was nothing I could do. My husband was causing me to feel trauma, and sadness, and frustration because of our fights, and I was stuck.
It wasn’t until I started to believe the thought life is happening for me, not to me, that I could step into a state of emotional empowerment, where I could decide, oh, what can I learn from this fighting? What can I learn from my life with all these kids here? What can I learn from anything that’s happening? And I realized I could learn to love myself. I could learn to meet my own emotional needs. I could learn to start seeing the good in my husband. Life was always happening for me, and not to me, I just had to start seeing it and believing it. And it changed the game.
So the third one, everything that happens is meant to be. You might be thinking, well, that’s crazy, Jen, because then the pandemic was meant to be. I could sit around thinking, this pandemic should not have happened, how horrible. What emotional state does that put me into? Emotional victimhood, where I become powerless and life becomes unfair, this should not have happened. But if I choose the belief or the thought that everything that happens is meant to be, I can feel a sense of peace and then move forward and take more positive actions.
Let me give you an example of how this works. In April this year there was some significant voter suppression being attempted in Wisconsin for elections that were essentially based on electing a new State Supreme Court Justice. I won’t go into the details. When I believed the thought, they’re trying to suppress the vote, I felt angry. My anger just caused me to rant and rave to my husband, the result is I just stayed angry. And we had a lot of negative conversations.
But when I changed my thought to the positive end, everyone needs the chance to vote. I felt a little more hope. It drove me to take an action of signing up to help with voter turnout efforts in the coming year. The result, more people get to vote because of my efforts. It drove me to take a positive action.
The point here is with all of this, we get to choose our beliefs. Are you going to chose beliefs that shift you into a state of fear, anxiety, hopelessness, disempowerment, victimhood? Or are you going to choose beliefs that help you feel hope, positivity, calm, peace, joy, love? Those positive emotions are much more likely to drive you to take an action that will make a difference. Those negative feelings are much more likely to drive you to take an action that might hurt another person. That might cause you to just lie in bed in the fetal position and feel hopeless. And the result, nothing will change.
I want you to be in a state of emotional empowerment, to choose the thoughts that generate the feelings you want to have. When you have positive feelings, you’re likely to take an action that will make a difference. The result, the world will be a better place because of the thought you chose to think.
So let me ask you now as we wrap up, what do you want to believe? And that really comes back to answering first, how do you want to feel? You get to choose the thought that will generate that feeling. How do you want to feel right now? And what thought could you think frequently enough that it becomes a belief that would support that feeling you want to have? This is a huge part of emotional resilience, which is the topic we’re discussing in the Vibrant Happy Women Club this month.
And in the end, all this comes down to two choices. Do you want to feel love or do you want to feel fear? Wayne Dyer said that all the positive emotions can essentially be winnowed down to love. And all the negative emotions can essentially be winnowed down to fear. If you choose to believe a conspiracy theory, whether it’s true or not, you will probably feel fear or some form of it, in the form of frustration or anger, distrust, whatever that is for you. If you choose to believe that life is happening for you and not to you, you’ll feel a sense of hope, and empowerment, and emotional strength that might cause you to take a positive action.
I hope this makes sense to you. And you have the right to feel the way you want to feel, in fact, you get to choose it based on the thoughts and beliefs that you hold to. So again, I’m going to close with the question, how do you want to feel? And what thought, what belief would help generate that feeling for you? Choose those thoughts, and choose those beliefs, not only will you feel better, but you’ll interact more positively with those around you. You’ll engage in actions that will make a difference and make the world better, and that is a beautiful thing.
Well, thank you so much for listening; sending you all my love and I’m so grateful that together we can work towards choosing love over fear. I’ll see you again next time, until then make it a vibrant and happy week.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.
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Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.
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