Well, I just submitted my first lengthy graduate paper.  I feel pretty excited about it, as it revolved around our life philosophy and how we would incorporate that into our therapeutic practice.  It got me thinking; I wonder what other’s life philosophies are on how we come to believe what we believe, and behave how we behave.  In my first three weeks of school, I have already been doing extensive reading on the major theories utilized in psychotherapy, and it is truly astonishing how varied they are.  

I also realized, through my readings, that a great portion of my transformational coaching training was based on the Adlerian theory.  I was absolutely shocked and admittedly giddy to have a name for the transformational skill set that I have utilized, not only in my own life but with my clients, to witness extraordinary change.  However, as I journey into these other areas of theory, I feel mesmerized by what is possible, and how many variations there are to interpret our psychological life stance.

So, where do you believe that your behaviors stem from?  Are they a response to your upbringing?  Are they based on your childhood educational or social developmental stages?  Are they simply a part of who you are and were born to be?  And with that, do you believe people are capable of genuine change?  Why do you believe that?  Now, here’s the important thing to realize with these answers… they are simply your opinion, not facts.  As hard as that may be to believe, the way you feel about all of these areas is rooted in your individual perspective on life.  There is nothing that proves your ideas right or wrong. 

In this paper, we were given a three page listing of potential questions to uncover what it is that we believe to be true.  Now, since you all have been reading my articles for over three and a half years, you know that I just cherished this because this is the kind of thinking I tend to be doing a majority of the time.  Uncovering beliefs, the habitual patterns of belief, and how do we effectively create change in our lives… I live for these curiosities.  I thought I might share with you a few of the questions that we were asked, just to start you in this direction, as well.

“Imagine that you have been transported through time to your own funeral where your family and all of the friends in your life have gathered.  As part of the ceremony, an open microphone was provided for all of the people who want to speak out their remembrances of you.  What do you think people would have to say about you?  What would you like them to be able to say? (Adams State University curriculum, Counseling Theories, and Helping Relationships, 2018)”  I found this to be an interesting question as it almost stops us in our tracks to consider who we have been to others.  Not just who we perceive ourselves to be, or who we are striving to be, but who we are as we are striving to get there.  To me, this exercise was about uncovering our values, and what it is that we hold so dear that we would want people to attach it to our essence even in our passing.  And then, we have to consider if our behavior towards others, or the world at large, has reflected those values.  If not, what keeps you from acting through the lens of those values?  Do you believe that is changeable, and if so, how?  Is it worth it to you to make the changes needed to have your friends and family recognize those attributes in your approach to life?  How much would you be willing to change to have that?

It’s powerful, I think, and quite thought-provoking.  The reality is though, that so many feel they are locked into their behaviors, and that even if they muster the will-power a portion of the time, they are still explosive the other portion.  Is this you?  Do you feel like you are standing in a place of conscious choice at every moment, or most moments?  Or, are you simply a victim of what you feel you learned or were raised with?  Are you willing to settle for that?

When we stop to investigate what we believe, and why we believe what we believe, we can realize how much those beliefs impact our lives.  Our beliefs create the perspective that we filter all of our life through, in my opinion (and those who support the Adlerian theory).  How are your belief filters serving you? 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *