Belief, the Source of Behavior

Sometimes we behave in a way we do not like, that does not serve us, or shows up as a bad habit.  Behavior is made up of actions and reactions. Because we behave in accordance with what we believe, we can change behavior by identifying and challenging the belief driving it.

To identify an underlying belief—the source of the behavior—start by observing yourself when the behavior occurs. One way to do this is to rely on your dominant sense. If your dominant sense is seeing, look out through your eyes as if they are not your own, but instead belong to someone else. This allows you to observe without judgment. What situations do you see bringing out this behavior? How do you see yourself acting and reacting?

If your dominant sense is hearing, listen to yourself as if you were someone else listening to you. The individual words are not as important as the message the words are conveying. What have you heard that is causing this behavior? What is your reaction to what you are hearing? Is there negative self talk happening?

If your dominant sense is through experience or feeling, monitor how your body responds when the behavior occurs. What sensations arise when this behavior is taking place? How do your actions make you feel? Do you feel insecure, anxious, irritated, overconfident, or some other reaction?

The situations that trigger behavior are clues to what you believe. For example, if you react negatively whenever someone offers you a suggestion on how to be a better parent, it is a clue you have a belief about parenting that you perceive is being challenged. It may be you believe you are a good parent and the suggestion is interpreted as someone thinking you are not. Or perhaps you lack confidence in your parenting skills, and suggestions look like someone is pointing that out to you. The reality is that the person may have simply been trying to help, and nothing more. It is your belief about your ability to parent that drives your behavior.

When you are conscious of the thought process you go through when you behave a certain way, you can more clearly identify the underlying belief. What you think, hear, feel, and say are all clues to your belief. Once identified, you can challenge the belief and decide if you are willing to change it. (Challenging beliefs is addressed here.)

I found it helpful to record what I observed—what I saw, heard, felt—when I behaved in a way I did not like or did not serve me well. When I reviewed my observations later, I could see patterns emerge. I then used the patterns to unveil other parts of my Spiritual Imprint, like repeated lessons or relationships.

*Note: Parts of this entry are based on my book, The Impact of Belief, which is available as an eBook on Amazon and iTunes.

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One thought on “Belief, the Source of Behavior

  1. Pingback: Challenging Belief to Change Behavior – Spiritual Imprint

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