There is a reason why we continually seek personal advice, from anger management programs, to weight loss information, or improvement for the quality of our personal and professional lives. The self-help book industry, alternative lifestyle information, even the reality programs are evidence of our search for something at whatever the cost. What do all those “advice givers” know that we don’t, and why do they seem to know so much? You can discover the mystery behind the guru’s advice and be on your way to happiness and authenticity. You will soon be able to quit the obsessive daily tune in to Dr. Phil, Oprah, and others to find out what ails you or how to retire from the drama and dilemmas that seem to plague your life. From relationships, sexuality, health and money, you will have the fix-it kit that will last a lifetime—the same kit they use by the way, at no more cost to you than it cost them. And, you’ll be able to enhance your life and achieve lasting personal happiness from the convenience of your own home.
Would you like to know what Dr. Phil knows that keeps him in the position of personal and professional guru to thousands today? He knows himself. Yes, himself—who he is, what he believes and why he believes it. Having thoroughly looked into his own life, values, beliefs and all, he must feel certain when he responds to our personal drama and dilemmas that he’s right. Since the counsel we give others is generally a reflection of our own beliefs, attitudes, and values—the very core of understanding that has worked for us personally, Dr. Phil has to be clear that what he believes is right in order to provide his beliefs, feelings and ideas as the answers to all of our personal dramas.
While I haven’t asked Dr. Phil, I have to assume an end goal of his prolific and astute advice is for us to become equally clear about our own beliefs and world. However, while I might be hearing I should change, I’m not hearing him tell me how to make lasting, productive, personal transformations in my life. Anyone can come into our homes, scrutinize our daily lives, assess what we’re doing wrong, give us a list of what to do to set it all right, and then leave. However, other than making us even more aware that we’re a mess, what insures we’ll change? So, how do we change? How do we get from where we are, with all of life’s struggles, hateful children, lousy diets and all, to that lucid place he instructs us to go? Once we’re there, how do we stay there? Most of us are looking for answers to some or all of these questions, and many of us believe that getting even one area under control would put us on the right path, toward that wonderful life of our dreams.
Our outer lives are a reflection of what we believe and rigidly adhere to, in spite sometimes of good common sense. It’s that simple. From our relationships to our values and personalities, beliefs are the glue of our individual expression of life. They are what keep us in chaos or choosing to live a full and healthy life. In order to move us to the promised land of love, happiness and order in life, the first step is to know what we believe, how we came to believe it, and if those beliefs continue to work for us. Our beliefs are what trigger us into action, fuel the fire of our feelings, give us passion and purpose, and provide structure on planet earth. Regrettably, our beliefs about ourselves, our relationships, our money, our career, etc. are also the triggers for hostility, an inability to have lasting relationships, low self-esteem, unhealthy sexual attitudes, living beyond our means, judgment and intolerance, etc. To quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that working out for you?” Inviting him to dinner won’t solve our problems. We need to get real about our beliefs in order to see lasting progress in our personal and professional lives.
What do you believe about being a good parent, a loving wife or husband, abundance, friendship, or health? You do believe something in every area of your life. It’s impossible to function as a human without beliefs. Without them, you would become a quivering mass of protoplasm, subject to the whims of the universe. To get a manageable view of your life, break it into five categories: health, income, career, relationships and spiritual understanding. Do a mental scan of each area of your current life and level of happiness. Are you less than satisfied with one of the areas of your life? If yes, pick the one that is dragging you down the most and put it on top of a piece of paper. Below it, list everything you believe to be true about that topic. Let’s look at relationships to give you an example:
- When people marry, they should stay together for their children even if they are miserable.
- Married people should never vacation alone.
- The man should keep the checkbook.
- Only men and women should have marital relationships.
- Interracial marriage is hard on kids.
- Partners should share everything equally, including their incomes.
- Women should keep the house clean even if both partners work outside the home.
- You aren’t complete without a husband (or wife).
- I’ll lose my freedom if I marry.
These are just a few of the beliefs some of us may (or may not) have regarding marriage. None of them carries more weight than the other but should trigger your own beliefs about marriage and relationships. There are literally hundreds more each of us could name. Now, ask yourself, “Where did I get all of these beliefs?” “Is this belief true or is it something I was taught that is no longer applicable?” “Who or what circumstance taught me to hang onto this belief?” “What feelings are triggered when I think about a particular belief?” “How can I tell the difference between a belief that’s working out for me and one I need to dump?”
In this process, you will discover in many cases you don’t know why you believe what you believe—you just do. In other cases, you’ll realize you believe what you do because you’ve been told over the years it is the right belief to have. If you aren’t clear on your own beliefs, your feelings will be equally as clouded, and if they are, chances are you aren’t getting what you want or deserve out of one or more areas of your life. In order to “get real” as Dr. Phil suggests, you need to learn more about yourself, about your beliefs and where they came from, which serve you and which ones you need to let go of. Where do you look to discover more about yourself, about the roots of beliefs that determine your life’s course? Go to your emotional core—your inner child—and become conscious of exactly why you feel the way you do and make the choices you do. This awareness of your inner child requires continual focus, but the right reminder will keep you in touch with this powerful element in your life.
You can change your beliefs. You have the ability to choose what you want to believe, and when you consciously participate in this aspect of your life, your self-esteem will soar. You become your own person, free of your inherited and learned beliefs, fully capable of choosing beliefs that will begin immediately going to work for you rather than against you. You’re undertaking a momentous challenge as you reprogram habits and patterns that you’ve formed since childhood. Don’t underestimate the significance of this pursuit or the advantage the right guidance will provide.
Don’t let your beliefs keep you online hoping for your one day in the sun with Dr. Phil or someone else. Make the commitment to yourself that he has and he won’t have anything to offer you that you don’t already have. Explore, reveal and embrace your authentic self today.