If you’ve ever attended a religious sermon, tuned into a motivational seminar, or read a self-help book, then you’re probably well acquainted with the idea of “belief.”
In these contexts, belief is usually (and correctly) presented as a powerful concept. In fact, belief is so powerful that we often define ourselves and others based on belief: what religion you belong to, what political party you affiliate with, how you educate your children, where you spend your money, and so on.
Your beliefs make up who you are. They identify you in a way that few other things can.
For this reason, many people think that if they are going to create happiness for themselves, it must start with their beliefs.
In the Design.org Egg framework, which is based on science and observation, belief is not the first step toward happiness; that honor goes to hope, which we discuss in detail in this post. However, belief is stage two, and is every bit as important as hope when it comes to designing your life.
What is belief?
If hope is the ability to see the possibility of a happier future, belief is the ability to see the reality of that future.
It is the ability to take all of the data at your disposal, good and bad, and still say, “This is possible.”
In this way, belief propels you forward, pushing you toward the new reality you can now envision for yourself. Instead of sitting stagnant, dreaming of what might be possible, you’re motivated to progress, knowing what is possible.
What to believe in?
As we mentioned above, belief is an integral part of the human experience. Life’s vast variety of circumstances and lifestyles leaves us with no shortage of potential beliefs.
We aren’t going to tell you any specific beliefs you should or should not have, but if you really want to progress along the path toward a happier, more meaningful life, then there are a couple things you do need to believe in.
Yourself. If you are going to make progress, you need to believe in yourself. Showing faith in yourself can bring many benefits, not the least of which are increased positivity and greater chances for success. Believe in you, and you’ll feel more empowered to design a life you love. And, if you make a mistake, forgive yourself right away and keep growing forward.
Your thoughts. Your thoughts hold a lot of power. In fact, they’re the key to helping you get where you want to go. It’s important that you recognize and believe in the unlimited power of your thoughts, if you are ever going to be able to effectively use your thoughts to create change.
If you’re able to believe in yourself and in the power of your thoughts, you’re well on your way to creating a life that leaves you feeling fulfilled and at peace.
Belief and the Egg
Belief holds an important and deliberate position in the Egg framework. Once you have hope that your life can change for the better, you need to develop belief that those changes are within your reach, and that your thoughts can get you there.
We view belief as acceptance, understanding, and motivation. It is something that transforms the life you want into the life you can have.
Once that belief is in place, you’re prepared to start taking action toward creating and living a happier life.
Skipping this step—jumping from hope to action—would likely result in discouragement and self-doubt, and would ultimately hold you back from being able to design your life the way you want to.
How to develop belief
How can you discover belief in yourself and in your thoughts? Here are some tips:
- Look for evidence of things you have accomplished in the past. Let that evidence feed your faith in yourself. It’s easy to find this everywhere if you believe you can see it.
- Identify your doubts. How are they serving you? How are they holding you back? Create counterarguments against them.
- When faced with a choice, write down what your instinct is telling you. More often than not, you’ll be surprised at how spot on that instinct is. This can help build self trust.
- Acknowledge your potential—without qualifying statements. You are capable. Own it. Affirm it!
If you want to start right now, you can take the free Design.org assessment to help you determine where you’re at in the Egg.
When all is said and done, you are what you believe. As you continue on your journey toward happiness, you’ll learn how to shape your beliefs so that they serve you and propel you forward.
The future you is yours to create. Once you believe that, you’ve opened the door to lasting happiness and meaningful change.
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