What is it?
What does it mean?
Why is it important?
What is Belief?
Merriam-Webster defines it, as follows:
- a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
- something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
- conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
More than likely, Merriam-Webster has hit the nail on the head but I think it's more important that we learn to define it for ourselves.
What does belief mean?
How you define belief can define your life. Some people define belief as being the same thing as faith, but they are indeed different. Faith is more of an action word. Personally, I would associate belief with the word: HOPE.
It may be different for you but I think that is a good approximation of the word and the remainder of this article will focus on that concept.
Hope, I think, places more emphasis on the idea that our dreams, aspirations and desires affect the way we think and inevitably act.
Think of hope (or belief) like a seed.
If you plant that seed and allow it to grow, it requires some action to do so (that's the faith component). But the seed remains the initial kernel of truth to which we cling. The idea that something special awaits. Something life-changing. Something beautiful.
If the seed is a "good" seed (e.g. an apple seed) it will produce the intended fruit. If the seed is bad (e.g. poison ivy), well, you get the idea.
The end result is dependent upon the initial thought. That first seed we plant in our minds and hearts will determine the behavior we manifest in our lives. You are what you think...
Why is belief important?
Let me break this down.
I hear my clients' desires to change on a regular basis. Whether that's quitting smoking, overcoming anxiety, feeling happier, more confident, losing weight, or overcoming phobias. I listen intently to their words; every word.
I am listening to their definition of hope.
Usually, that hope is simply defined as being without whatever issue they've come to see me about.
As we progress in our session, I help them to define all the thing they'll have.
Remember that the seed contains (or can contain) all the potential for growth within it. The better we define that seed of hope, the more abundantly it provides it's potential as we nourish it and it grows.
What seeds have you planted?
Think about all the seeds of hope you've planted in your life. Do you believe that you can fulfill those hopes and dreams? How do you plan to see them come to fruition?
Take the time to define, for yourself, what these things mean to you. Build those dreams within yourself or write them down. Be specific.
Then, go to. Exercise your faith. Feed that seed. Grow.