I was talking with a colleague the other day, and he was expressing to me that he was incredibly angry over a miscommunication he had experienced with his acupuncturist, which had left him feeling disrespected.  After listening to the details of what had transpired, it sounded like a genuine misunderstanding, not really intended to produce ill-will; but what I was also hearing was that he was holding a deeper belief about himself that left him feeling triggered by it.

Following our coaching session, I began to ponder how many times a day this must happen on this planet.  Each of us maneuvering from our own operating system, if you will; impacting one another, and the beliefs that each of us hold.  It made sense to me how there is so much conflict and animosity that can be witnessed each day.  Cut off in traffic – and we take it as a personal offense.  A rude customer service representative – and we want to switch vendors.  A comment by a co-worker – and we assume they mean something unkind.  A disagreement with a loved one- and we hold that resentment for sometimes years to come.  The truth is, this is all happening based on our beliefs.

A person believes they have gotten the short stick in life.  Their upbringing was challenged, their relationships were all rocky, their job is unpleasant, they are too busy for fun.  All of this is beliefs. Us humans tend to make everything about us, and we are filtering and interpreting each moment through the lenses of our beliefs.  We are making meaning out of every interaction, and not just situational meanings, but we are making it mean something about who we are.

Follow me here:  A person holds the deep belief that no one respects them. They have based this belief on growing up in household with many children, where they often felt they were unheard, or their needs were pushed aside. Or, their ideas went overlooked.  Or they wore hand-me-downs.  Or they spent hours alone in their room.  Likely, there are many complex reasons for all of these possible situations; but as a child, we don’t see the whole picture.  However, that doesn’t stop us from creating a full picture in our mind, and typically our ego takes the hit, making everything personal. So, this person believes that no one ever truly respects them.  Now, imagine that someone cuts them off in traffic.  Imagine they get a rude customer service agent.  Their belief creates a filter that is searching for the disrespect in all interactions, to prove to themselves that they really are disrespected, because our egos always want to be right.  This filter shapes their whole life, and their reactions to their life, and it continues to prove, in their mind, their theory that no one respects them.  Now, this may all be subconscious, but it is certainly affecting their daily life, as it is what they have aligned themselves to.

After receiving transformational coaching over the past couple years, I can say I am absolutely astonished by the beliefs I have uncovered that were creating and shaping the direction of my life.  And no matter what I was saying I wanted for my life, or the steps I thought I wanted to take, those beliefs were there to prove to me that I couldn’t have those things, thus continually keeping me from having them.

So, notice how you are listening.  Are you listening to learn about the other person, or are you listening from your mind, making it about you?  Do you immediately rush to talk about you as soon as they stop talking, even if you tell yourself you are just trying to share something relatable? Do you feel you are being judged by people around you, in all the walks of your life?  Do you tell yourself that everyone feels a certain way about you?  Or, can you see the pattern that reveals a deeper belief you may be holding about yourself, others, or the world?  A great resource, or tool, is to write out your reactions to a situation you have encountered.  Write all of the details of the words and actions.  Then, go back through that writing, and scratch through all the parts that are emotions.  Then go back through that writing and scratch out all the parts that are your assumptions, where there are no clear and specific facts.  Typically, what is left is the raw bones of the words said, or the actions that occurred.  Take notice of all the beliefs you laid over the top of the encounter.  This is your guide to those deeper beliefs, because once you see them, you can shed light on them.

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