The Power of Beliefs
Sue Patton Thoele

  
Each of us functions within a set of beliefs.  In our lives, belief systems create order and structure.  They make important decisions easier, and they provide the basis for our integrity, ethics, and philosophy.  Our personalities are structured by the beliefs we learned from parents, teachers, friends, and the culture around us.

For a great many of us, our parents' spoken and unspoken beliefs have become our own.  As adults we no longer need to be told right from wrong because our parents' voices are ingrained in us, telling us how to behave and what's expected of us.

Our beliefs also arise from the ways we interpret what we see and hear as we grow up.  And it's interesting to note that our beliefs frequently are based far more on interpretation than on fact.  Virginia always broke corncobs in two before boiling them.  She never questioned the logic of that behavior until her son asked her about it one day.  She did it because her mother did it.  When he probed further, her discovered that his grandmother had a very logical explanation:  her pots were too small to accommodate the large ears of corn grown in their fields.  Virginia's belief was a habit based not on an acknowledged truth but on her own, unexamined interpretation of her mother's actions as right and proper, whatever their origin. 

Our belief systems can also be created from fear.  If we fear rejection or disapproval, we may believe that it isn't safe to disagree with others.  When our views run contrary to popular opinion, we may find it hard to speak our minds.  Why?  Because we fear the consequences.

The culture around us also propagates inaccurate beliefs, such as that men are more powerful than women or that men should make more money because they have families to support--a popular belief that statistics refute.  (At least 30 percent of all households in America today are wholly supported by women, according to the Census Bureau. And I bet those statistics are low.). . . .

Positive beliefs guide us; false beliefs handicap us. . . .

An extremely important part of our work toward emotional growth and change will come from examining our belief systems regarding all areas of life.  To gain the courage to be yourself, you need to address the beliefs that are keeping you stuck where you are.  What beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes are you holding onto even though they no longer enhance your life?  It is possible to free yourself from worn-out beliefs and acquire ones that bring happiness, strength, and self-esteem.

What we believe we may become.
  
  

Sue Patton Thoele continues her quest to help readers enhance their self-esteem and tap into their core emotional strength. Geared to women who too often find themselves meeting the wants of others at the expense of their own needs, the book provides necessary tools to help readers transform their fears into the courage to express their own authentic selves. By sharing her own journey and the journey of other women, Thoele helps readers learn to set boundaries, change self-defeating behavior patterns, communicate effectively, and become a loving and tolerant friend to themselves.

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Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you
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Iyanla Vanzant

  

  

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