Monday, August 2, 2010

Are You Killing Your Dreams?

Setting new standards.

Why is life so hard for most people on the planet and fairly easy and successful for a select few?
 What makes them different and sets them apart? Does God love them more than He does the rest? No, as the Word says, God is no respecter of persons i.e. He has no favorites.  Two scriptures that I have been writing about again provide the answer.
Matthew 9:29  "According to your faith will it be done to you"
Proverbs 23:7 “As he (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he.”
The select few think differently and consequently have different expectations than the rest of humanity.

My purpose in writing this follow-up to the one called, “How to Make Your Dreams Come True” is to help you uncover the negative expectations that may be blocking you from achieving your dreams.
What you experience and observe about your everyday life pretty much sets the standard for your expectations about your future. It happens automatically. You have an experience and you end up thinking about it. Alternatively, you observe what others are experiencing and think about it, not realizing that they are setting the standard for your expectations and therefore for your future. Everyday thoughts produce a harvest of “more of the same”.
If you really want to impact the future of your life positively, you need to set new standards for yourself as to what you are going to be thinking about.

Thoughts of the heart.

Some thoughts that you thought as a child became habitual thought patterns. If your parents did not like white people or black people say, and often said so, you most likely started thinking that too. Once the same thought is repeatedly thought, it sinks down to a deeper level of the mind and becomes an attitude or a belief. These thoughts are what the Bible calls thoughts of the heart. Lately they have come to be known in popular psychology as core beliefs.
You may not necessarily be aware of your heart thoughts, in other words you may be unconscious of them. They do however reveal themselves when you react spontaneously to a situation or incident. Continuing the example above, say you are later faced with the task of choosing between a white or a black job applicant of equal experience and ability, you could automatically be prejudiced against one without even thinking about it. These responses are automatic, unless you become aware of them and use your will power to intervene.
You react spontaneously when a core belief is triggered. When a situation occurs that triggers a core belief, the unconscious thoughts that make up the belief sets off the emotion that floods the conscious mind as a strong feeling. Some person or some thing or some event automatically floods one with unpleasant feelings when the person, thing or event triggers a negative core belief.
Core beliefs that relate to your self-worth, your level of success in your career, finances, relationships and health, set up the nature of your faith or expectations that in turn determine the outcome of your life.
It is a fact that deep-seated negative and hidden expectations block your prayers from being answered.

The source of shifting emotions.

Everyday thoughts mostly just float into your mind being sent there from that stronghold of repeating thought patterns or core beliefs. Sometimes negative core thoughts are not even consciously thought but the feelings that they produce may just sweep into consciousness, such as anxiety, fear etc.
Core beliefs lead to thoughts that trigger emotions that lead to decisions or reactions that lead to results and consequences.
I repeat that the results that you have been getting in life are therefore the consequence of the hidden beliefs you hold.
To change the results you have been getting in life you therefore have to change your core beliefs.
A belief is something you accept as true, something that will seem just as true as it did the day before. Beliefs are deeply embedded and you live your life around them without thinking about them questioning them, or even being aware of them. You may have developed negative beliefs about yourself as a child, for example if you had been constantly ignored, one of your hidden beliefs might be ‘I am not worthwhile’
This belief may have you fit into a negative family situation even if it was not true but only seemed that way. Once you took on the belief you could adapt and so appear to ‘fit in’ better. The more your reactions to situations in life are based on such core beliefs the more true it will seem.

A child’s story.

A child lying alone in bed one dark night hears noises and becomes very frightened. He gets up and runs down a long dark hallway to his parents but finds their bedroom door locked. The door is always locked at night because the mother woke up once to find the shadow of an intruder bending over her. Pounding on the door, the child manages to wake the parents and find some comfort there until he is taken back to bed. When this event repeats itself a few times, the child develops the belief that “I am not cared for.”  The truth is that his parents loved him deeply but that he interpreted the reoccurring event to mean that he was unloved and uncared for. Based on such a core belief he grows up and starts dating and marries what seems to him to be insensitive and uncaring women, and gets divorced a few times.
Core beliefs are usually based on false perceptions of reality based on information received through the five senses.

The transforming power of God's Word .
Only after coming to Christ and slowly but surely embracing the Biblical truth that God loves him and cares for him, by dwelling on the scriptures below, does the deep seated belief make way for a new found freedom!
1 Peter 5:7 
"Casting all your cares (once and for all) upon Him, for He cares for you."
Ephesians 1:6  
" the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."

Different strokes for different folks.

The beliefs that helped you survive and fit into your childhood world were unique for you and different from even a sibling that may have gone through the same experiences. Such beliefs are usually formed through negative words or events that caused strong emotions such as rejection, embarrassment, ridicule, fear, etc. They say that rape victims react in different ways to such a traumatic event. They may be either be scarred with a troubled sexuality, a deep sense of guilt, extreme anger against men and authority figures, or retreat and view life as one big threatening event.
If you were told by an angry parent that you were a big loser and would always fail, a core belief might be “I can’t”. A sibling may have reacted by deciding, “Yes I can” to the same parent and circumstance.
Core beliefs that took root in your early years became a summary of your basic convictions that make up your self-worth, the kind of person you are, sets the path of what will become of you, your place in the family, in your career, your finances, your relationships and even your health! In time and with repeated operation of the buried thought pattern they grow stronger rather than weaker. Even though an assumed belief was based on false information or false understandings set up in early childhood, it becomes more firmly established as you grow up. Today it may still shape and guide much of your life and the way we react to those around us. These beliefs about yourself, which you hold on to so strongly also reflect your deepest vulnerability and pain and help to keep these locked within you.
Normally, learning to live with, and constantly find better ways to cope with these false beliefs gives you no opportunity to discover ways to question them or to change them.
As one person puts it, "Money, time, relationships, professional skills, family, everything has been so organized that it can be better used to distance me from my pain, my vulnerability and my fear of my negative beliefs getting any worse than they already are. In so doing I also distance myself from the love that I am so desperately seeking". 
Almost every negative belief seems to be connected in some way with your deepest thoughts or feelings about being incompetent, unlovable, unwanted, different, defective, imperfect, bad, powerless, one-below, in danger, not safe, don’t know or wrong.

Calamity at core.

Because there are countless different core beliefs, you should expect that yours would be quite different from those held even by a close sibling. Let’s look at four people who at first appear to have very similar issues and see how differently they react.
A person might believe, “It’s always my fault”, and then whenever she has made a mistake reacts by doing too many favors for other people to ‘make up’ for it.
Another might believe, “I can’t get it right”. For him this may mean failing to make decisions out of fear of making a wrong one or doing nothing.
Yet another has a not good enough belief, “I am wrong”. He or she might become a ‘one-above’ school teacher or police officer so that they can spend their days correcting others who are wrong while avoiding looking at his or her own issues.
Finally there is one whose not good enough belief is ‘I am a mistake’, with a deep seated sense of shame. This person may become very analytical or become a know it all who is never ‘mistaken’ about anything.
A second possibility is that he or she turns to drugs or alcohol to hide the shame of being a mistake, which of course that only helps feel more of a mistake.
The good news is that of course these beliefs are not true. We just act as if they were. They were based on perceptions, i.e. information that came through the five senses. What to do about it?

Decide to intervene!

I have always been intrigued by the following scripture.
Proverbs 16:32 
He who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city,”
Reflecting on this, you will realize that there is really only a few ways in which you can rule your spirit. You can only control what you think about and what decisions you make.
The scriptures instruct us to intervene. It commands us to be transformed by God’s Word and words that reflect the intent of His Word.  A loving God is saying that if we want to experience a better life, we need to think differently on a consistent basis.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So again, you need to think differently on a consistent basis by continually holding written down scriptures and other positive statements before your eyes, thinking them imaging them and speaking them out aloud.  It is therefore important to track and list the kinds of negative feelings you experience.
For example, if the feeling is that nobody loves you, make a card such as the one above, keep it before your eyes as much as you can, read it and say it out loud. Do it too, for every other area of your life, countering every negative feeling that you can identify with a positive statement.  Keep track of the negative feelings that flood your mind.
Feelings of fear may be transformed in time to a deeps sense of safety by absorbing the following scripture into your spirit.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Feelings of rejection by people can be transformed with scripture, and lead to experiencing love and respect from family, friends, loved ones, clients and superiors.
Psalm 5:12
For You, Lord, will bless the righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; and surround him with favor (pleasure and favor) as a shield.
There are little books that list the promises of God as found in the Bible. Such lists are also freely available on the internet. One of them is sure to cover and counter the negative feeling that floods your mind from time to time. Repeating them out aloud to yourself will eventually dissolve the deeply held thought pattern that is responsible for the flooding emotion. Praise God that this is so.
Go ahead, rule your spirit!

No comments:

Post a Comment