Our belief systems form from a caldron of experiences we’ve had over a lifetime. They can be influenced by the values of our biological family, and the culture and environment in which we grew. Belief systems also are derived from the love and care we receive in childhood, or the lack thereof. Our race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and access to resources such as good education and healthcare all play a role in developing belief systems.
Whether we are aware of them or not, belief systems influence our behaviors and can distort perceptions of ourselves and others. Our beliefs can be so powerful as to cause self-fulfilling prophecies. Self-fulfilling prophecies occur because we behave in a manner that will insure the negative outcome. We may not realize our behavior could be the culprit, and thus our belief system digs in further.
An example of a self-fulfilling prophecy could be in the manner we dress for an job interview. We believe we are never going to get a job because, unconsciously or consciously, think we are a loser and the whole world is against us. If we are a woman, we may not comb our hair, wear clean clothes, or tuck in our shirt or blouse for the interview. If we are a man, we may not bother to shave, we wear yesterday’s dirty jeans and slouch in front of the interviewer. You were right, you didn’t get the job.
What if when you got sober you secretly believed it wasn’t worth it. Nobody loved me when I was a drunk and nobody is going to love me now. Everybody has always been against me. I’m never going to be happy. Our negative beliefs keep us stuck and miserable. That’s why in recovery from addiction we need to thoroughly examine and question them.
Think about changing our beliefs as a choice. One—do you want to be an angry, bitter, lonely, and miserable person with no hope? Two—do you want to feel better about yourself and the infinite possibilities your recovery has in store? Changing our beliefs takes time. It’s necessary! Also, it really helps to do this necessary work with a therapist.
“It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.”—Betty White
If you someone you know is struggling with drugs and alcohol, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can help to get you sober. Our 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy can show you how to adorn your soul in recovery.
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