Beliefs are an interesting thing. They aren’t there from the day you are born. They are gradually passed on to you by your parents based on their lives and experiences. These beliefs are for them a way of thinking - a way of life. They take them for granted as fact for your safety.

Without knowing any different, we take on and follow these beliefs. After all, our surroundings and environment are supporting these beliefs so there’s every reason to begin to support them ourselves.

As you grow older and begin to socialise, you are potentially exposed to a wider range of beliefs. Some of these new beliefs may be in conflict or difference to what you have taken on as your own, and some may also be the same or similar to what you have come to believe and accept as true.

So, what is a belief? If you were to break it right down, a belief as a convenient assumption that something is true or false. Quite often people mix up beliefs as facts.

This can be simply illustrated by a familiar scenario.

Let’s say there are 2 cars that smash on a suburban street, one is a red car and one is a blue car. These are the facts – irrefutable and undeniable. Let’s say there are a couple of witnesses including the driver of each car. One person says that the driver of the red car is at fault, another says the blue car did the wrong thing. The driver of the red car complains that the blue car didn’t give way for a sufficient amount of time which caused the accident. The driver of the blue car says that the red car was going too fast, which caused the accident. The differences in these stories all come back to beliefs. Believing what is seen from the angle that we see it.

Beliefs are a powerful thing, but more importantly and maybe difficult for some to swallow – beliefs are not real. Beliefs are completely made up. Remember, a belief as a convenient assumption that something is true or false. And we have a belief for everything – and I mean EVERYTHING!

We are very quickly able to assess any situation that we meet by running it through our ‘belief filter’. In milliseconds, we can choose whether something fits within our belief system or not. Even if it’s something completely foreign to us, we are able to make an almost immediate assessment and create a belief around it. We instantly call upon reference points from our surroundings, our past, and our peers – anything, so we can create a belief that makes sense to us and is congruent to our other beliefs.

When you were younger, there was very little to question in regards to our beliefs. They were generally there to keep us safe or to help us grow. But some beliefs have an expiry date and are no longer valid or useful.

I’m presuming that those that are reading this are adults and therefore I can safely talk about the belief in Santa Claus (fingers crossed…). This is a belief that a lot of people are familiar with, and has been used by many families for generations. Some will defend it and some will tell you that it’s lying to children. Those conversations are all based on beliefs! But the point I wanted to make by bringing it up here, is that there is a point that parents generally reach where they feel that this belief has reached its expiration date – that the child is ‘old enough to know the truth’.

I’m not going to enter the conversation as to whether I think it is helpful or not to indulge in this belief – that’s for you to decide. But it’s a perfect example of assessing and deciding whether a belief serves or hinders.

There are beliefs that served us at one particular point in our lives that we have carried around far longer than we have needed to. There are also beliefs that we have created that have never actually been a healthy choice but were made to get through a specific time because we thought it would help.

Are the beliefs that you hold on to and live by helping you today?
Are any of them holding you back from something far greater that you could experience?
Are any of your beliefs created based on fear?
Do you still hold on to a belief that worked for you when you were younger, but is redundant today?

These types of questions are ones that we should be asking of each and every one of our beliefs. Whenever something comes up ask yourself, “Is this belief helping me, or hurting me?” It’s not enough to just answer yes or no; you must then justify to yourself why you have given the answer that you have given. You will defend your beliefs automatically, so it is important to justify their existence.

Remember that you have spent many years living with some beliefs – yet, they are merely tenants.

There are tenants that will leave a place spick and span, and there are tenants that will trash a place with little regard for anything or anyone.

Become the property manager of your beliefs – do regular inspections. See whether your tenants are keeping the place neat and tidy. If one of these tenants is no longer suitable to live there, then it’s easy enough to replace them with another resident that will be suitable.

YOU are the landlord of your beliefs. YOU hold the deed. You are where they reside. Are you deciding the terms of the tenancy, or are they?

The day you decide to take control of your beliefs and really size up what is helpful to you and what is not, you will create major change in your life. Once you rid yourself of the beliefs that are no longer of service to you, you will find yourself replacing old beliefs with ones that invigorate and inspire you into positive action.

A belief’s job is there to serve you and the world around you. If a belief causes you to blame, hold you back from pursuing your ideal life then it has no place in your life anymore. If a belief causes you to harm yourself or others in any way, it has no place in your life.

Although beliefs themselves aren’t real, the effects that they have on us and our surroundings are VERY real.

Size up your beliefs. Be the landlord and property manager of your beliefs and conduct regular inspections. Assess whether they are keeping the place tidy or are taking advantage of you and making a mess of things.

Once you decide to take control and evict those bad tenants from your life to replace with good ones, you will immediately experience a positive change.

And make no mistake – the old tenants will bang on the door complaining that they’ve been loyal residents for years and years. They’ll tell you that they’ve kept you safe from a bunch of bad things, but what they won’t tell you as they try to get back in is all the good things that they’ve stopped you from experiencing. They won’t tell you about all the pain they’ve caused while being a resident. They won’t tell you about the lost opportunities that their existence has caused you to miss. They won’t tell you the hurt they’ve caused you, your family or friends.

They’ll lie to get back in the door. Don’t trust them.

You’ve asked the right questions, you know that they aren’t suitable tenants. There’s a list of good tenants patiently waiting for you to give them a place to stay. All you have to do is make room for them.

At the end of the day a belief is either helping or hurting, and being that they are made up I recommend choosing beliefs that are there to help you and those around you.

Do your homework, and choose your tenant wisely!

Author's Bio: 

Youarn Bell is a coach and trainer based in Australia with a growing reputation for helping people from all walks of life to push past their perceived limits and drastically improve their life rapidly. Visit: for more information.