Make no mistake. We choose our own toxic beliefs. There’s nobody sitting behind you with a gun pointed to your head telling you to believe certain things. There’s nobody threatening to kill you if you don’t believe you are worthless, incapable, and not up to the job.
Nobody’s forcing you to be miserable. I know that that’s an uncomfortable thing to hear because we’re human beings. We’re trapped in a prison of weak flesh and we would love to have somebody or a situation to blame.
You choose your toxic beliefs and these are the foundation of your reality. They are the lenses which you used to filter out reality. That’s what you used to read reality. They’re not forced on you. You’ve voluntarily assumed them. You always have a say.
How do you fight back against your toxic beliefs? It all boils down to being more critical. This doesn’t mean that you have to turn into some jerk or asshole but it means that you have to be more skeptical.
Somebody might say something is right or true but filter that information through your experience. Use your logical reasoning facilities.
Unfortunately, many people are lazy because if somebody we know who we love and respect says something or make a truth claim, we are more likely to pick up on what they say and assume that it’s true.
Why? In the back of our heads, we filtered that person as someone who experienced many things and as someone who has achieved credibility and authority in our mind so why do the heavy work and be skeptical of what they say?
Basically, you transfer the time, effort, and attention to detail that you invested in developing that friend or mentor to their claims. This is a problem because people make mistakes all the time.
People say the stupidest things all the time and if you were mentally lazy and adopt what they say wholesale and absorb it, there will be a problem. Maybe they’re saying something that’s true to them personally, but it’s not some universal truth that applies to all people across the board.
The next thing you need to do is to stop assuming. Don’t be afraid to look at first principles. If somebody is saying a big claim, don’t be afraid to look like a fool and say, “Hold on, what do you mean by this and by that?”
When you do that you stop people in their tracks. You keep them from taking leaps of faith in their argumentation. Mature, very balanced and advanced thinking people would appreciate that because they understand clean logic. They understand a clean progression of argumentation in their mind.
However, people who are lazy or insecure would attack you and that’s okay. Be prepared for that but never fear out of asking to look at first principles because you will be the victim if you allow them to fool you because that’s what’s happening.
Do not assume. Don’t be afraid to look at the premises behind their conclusion because there might not be a good logical fit. The bottom line to all of this is that if you adopt the mindset of being more critical and refusing to assume things so You always think you can choose your beliefs; it is you that changes your life.
You really do. Why? You actively make your beliefs work for you instead of against you. Please understand that beliefs are two-edged swords. Learn how to craft them so they are beneficial to you and people depending on you.
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