Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Belief Blocks: Part 1

I was reading in one of my Outside magazines about belief blocks as applied to mountaineering. Apparently many years ago there were some mountain routes that no one in the mountain climbing community thought were possible to climb. Then along came some crazy Eastern Bloc climbers who started climbing those routes. The belief block was broken - they were climbable and soon many people were climbing them. A belief block is an idea in mind that looks something like this:

"I can't do that."
"That's impossible for me."
"No one could do that."

People used to believe that no one could run a 4 minute mile. It seemed impossible. But then one day someone refused to believe it and they did it. The belief block was broken for everyone and very soon the record breaker's record was broken - again and again. When Gandhi told people he thought that non-violence could win the war for independence against the British, no one believed him at first. But his idea did work and the old belief - that it would never work - was broken.

Belief blocks can be insidious destroyers of our lives. We get stuck in unsatisfying relationships, work malaise, depression, addictions, etc. because we fall into the trap of believing that things can't change. Or, more specifically, that we can't change.

"Lose my extra weight? That impossible for me ."
"Get a better job? Who, me? Nah."
"Have a better marriage? In my dreams."
"Invest in real estate? That's for other people - I'm not that kind of person. . ."

So often we get stuck in hopeless, impossible, negative thinking. And we stay there. Afraid to challenge those beliefs, afraid to hope that things can be different, and afraid to risk what we have for something better. Then we sabotage ourselves while our friends and family look on helplessly. I've done it. In fact, if I'm honest, I'm doing it right now.

What belief blocks do you have that are holding you back? Daring to believe that things could be different, that the impossible just might be possible, is the first step to changing your stars. If you don't believe that you are capable of seeing change, at least believe that God is capable of changing things in your life. Then go do something about it. Get rid of those belief blocks. You'll never miss them. Not everything in life is possible, but then again, not everything is impossible! And sometimes we need to be reminded of that. I know I do.

3 comments:

Dayna said...

good post! with other wording used, i've recently gotten rid of some belief blocks... now i'm encouraged to spend some time, looking to see what other belief blocks are standing in my way! (and then doing something about them)

Mark said...

Hey Dayna, thanks! I was telling Jobina last night (when she asked what belief blocks were) about how I did my big bike trip last summer. When I told people that I wanted to bike from Camp Morton (north of Gimli) to my house in Winnipeg most thought it was impossible. Actually, my Mom thought I would die! Many people tried to talk me out of it. But when I did it, everything changed. Now they all thought it was possible - because my trip had unblocked their belief. I think there are belief blocks in many areas of our lives - including faith.

Just me said...

Good post! Dealing with my own and my son's right now. Overcoming them isn't easy.