What do you believe?
It’s a big question.
We hold beliefs about everything – the job we’re supposed to be in, how attractive we are, whether we’re good at painting, running, math, or being a leader. Our beliefs affect how we work, learn, love, and live.
I inadvertently began a deep dive into my own beliefs in January during a discussion on spirituality with Andy, a friend (and fellow coach!) I had recently met. I referenced my past Christian upbringing when describing the connection I felt in the world by saying, “I guess that’s what some people would call the Holy Spirit.”
“You can call it whatever you want.”
It wasn’t exactly a spiritual awakening – more like a spiritual startling. I had to pause for moment to let it sink in.
He was right. This was my belief. I could call it whatever I wanted.
I continued examining my beliefs in preparation for a panel discussion on generations and faith at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in February, the church where I grew up and worked for many years. During a meeting ahead of the panel, someone mentioned they didn’t understand what it meant to be spiritual and not religious. So I decided to share my perspective during the event.
In front of 200 people.
In the same room where I had been confirmed 23 years earlier.
The irony and impact of the moment hit me about an hour before I went on stage. A million thoughts went through my head. Would people be disappointed in me? Would they look at me like I was crazy when I described spirituality as being in the flow and feeling like I was stepping into the river of the universe?
Maybe. But I did it anyway.
It was a true adult moment. I stood on a stage with a microphone and put a stake in the ground on my beliefs. And I called them what I wanted; what I chose.
Last Thursday I attended a workshop on creating happiness. The facilitators told us that we are constantly cultivating our beliefs – and it’s our job to weed out the beliefs that no longer serve us.
Think for a moment….
Are you in a job today because of a belief you held at nineteen that no longer applies?
Do you avoid art classes or public speaking or asking someone out on a date because somewhere along the line you believed you weren’t good enough?
How many of your beliefs were given to you by your parents? Your teachers? A former boyfriend, coach, or manager?
Do those beliefs still serve you?
Or is it time to do some weeding?
Heather Whelpley is a writer, photographer, and coach that works with clients to create meaningful careers and fulfill their own potential. See her home page to learn more. She is also the host of Destination Soul Shine, a community dedicated to nourishing your soul and making your spirit shine. Like Destination Soul Shine on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @destinationsoulshine for resources to inspire you to live a meaningful, creative life.