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Thread: Says who?!!

  1. #1
    bearsbeetsbattlestar's Avatar
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    Question Says who?!!

    So,

    It's starting to hit me that I have about a million beliefs about everything and everyone around me that I just kind of accepted without thinking about them, questioning where they came from, the validity or reasonableness, or (maybe most importantly?) considering the source.

    I'm sure this is a normal part of growing up around humans, and in many cases it probably serves me really well. But I also think it's holding me back from being truly the amazing, powerful deliberate creator that I really am. Specifically I have a habit of assuming that certain things 'aren't possible' for me, but it's not really a conscious thought, more of a program running in the background.

    I want to use this thread to help me focus on the subject of identifying various beliefs that I've picked up along the path of life, and question them, pick them apart, and decide if these beliefs and assumptions are valid or useful to me- and if not I will replace them with something more fun and helpful.

    I think this will be fun!!


  2. #2
    I can't wait to see how this expands for you!

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    Super Moderator Hands in the Clay's Avatar
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    Very cool idea. I am a big fan of identifying beliefs and massaging them until it starts to become "tangibly, emotionally clear" that they are just thoughts that I keep thinking, and not truths! Oh, what an amazing, mind-bending exercise you've planned! Awesome, way to go!

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    Eostre's Avatar
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    This does sound fun! I too am looking forward to watching this thread. I bet I have some of the same beliefs.

  5. #5
    bearsbeetsbattlestar's Avatar
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    I've talked about this at length in other threads but I like to repeat it a bunch because I still get a huge kick out of it.

    I quit smoking 3 weeks ago and it was super easy. I smoked for 23 years and I quit, cold turkey, no gum or patch or cutting down first. I did do a program, which consisted of watching 3 1-hour DVDs with a little hypnosis component, but that was it. I didn't try 25 times and finally succeed, with a will of iron and white knuckles. I tried once and was successful once.

    Literally no one has ever said this sentence, ever: 'I quit smoking and it was super easy.' But I did it- no drama, no muss, no fuss.

    Let's look at all the 'evidence' that quitting smoking is so hard.
    ~It's generally accepted that cigarettes are more addictive than heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines
    ~SO many books have been written about quitting smoking; a quick search on amazon shows 35 pages of results
    ~smoking cessation aids are a $1b industry
    ~apparently most smokers try to quit an average of 30 (!) times before they successfully quit. And that's just the result for the ones who actually succeed!
    ~anecdotal, but my own father said it was the hardest thing he's ever done in his life. And this is a man who can do just about anything he puts his mind to!
    ~When do you attempt to quit you will be a nervous wreck, you will be nasty and shout at your loved ones, you will have terrible headaches and cough up some really disgusting stuff
    ~In other words, it will be awful, you will hate yourself and everyone else, getting up in the morning and going to bed at night and every moment in between, you will probably fail a bunch of times and have to go through this over and over again, it will be bad for weeks or months, so, you know, good luck.

    These are the messages about quitting smoking. These are the widely held beliefs. And obviously these are most people's experiences as well.

    The question I have is: are these the widely held beliefs because that's what most people experience, or is this what most people experience BECAUSE THESE ARE THE WIDELY HELD BELIEFS?

    I didn't go on my quitting journey with a "F you, I'm gonna buck the current and show everybody!" attitude, not at all. I honestly didn't even think I would succeed on my first try. But the DVD I watched said that it's only so hard for people because they are doing it the wrong way, and that this guy's way was easy and simple. And I went with it, I guess.

    This is my first exercise questioning common beliefs of those around me; I liked the idea of starting with something easy that I already felt really confident about. I mean it's so crazy how SO MANY PEOPLE CAN BE SO WRONG about something! I mean these are really super smart people, too- doctors, science-y people who are so good at designing studies and writing papers about them, big smarty pants university researchers who get big grants and sit on boards and chair committees and get tenure, and design programs to help people, and they are ALL WRONG.

    I mean obviously they are right in some respect, because many people do have this type of experience...but it doesn't have to be this way.Why isn't anybody talking about this? Why isn't EVERYBODY talking about this????

    And if SO MANY PEOPLE can be SO WRONG about this one thing, doesn't it logically follow that tons of people can be wrong about so many other things? Creating wealth, recovering from illness, maintaining healthy relationships, aging well, whatever?

    I'm starting to understand that 'conventional wisdom' is an oxymoron!
    Last edited by bearsbeetsbattlestar; 03-18-2017 at 04:03 PM. Reason: added pretty colors

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    bearsbeetsbattlestar's Avatar
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    The next topic I'm considering has to do with gender roles.

    This morning I was perusing the new Forbes billionaire list (like one does) and it occurred to be that there were very few women on that list. And so I started clicking through every time I saw a woman on the list and the vast majority of the time the female billionaire inherited or married into her fortune, vs. the men who are self-made much more of the time.

    On the one hand, who am I to begrudge someone for inheriting a big pile of money? She didn't ask for it, just the way a person doesn't ask to be born to a poor family. On an individual basis, good for her! Get it, sister! But as a pattern, it's upsetting to me that women seem so passive when it comes to creating wealth, while the men are out there in the world, doing things, making things, creating things. It feels like (at least among the billionaires of the world) that it's the men who are building empires, and women are only sharing directly in this bounty if they are lucky enough to be born to one of these men or hot/lucky enough to marry one.

    I know there are lot of crap assumptions and beliefs in what I just typed out but it feels really REAL and TRUE to me right now. I feel like I have a lot of evidence to support why this is true. And now I realize that I have to leave for an event and don't have time to explore further right now but I will throw this out to follow up on later:

    ~I didn't actually click through to many of the men, so it's very likely that a lot of them inherited as well. This is hardly a comprehensive or scientific study.

    ~It's possible that if I was looking at a millionaires list instead of a billionaires list this could look much different. It's not like the billionaires list is very representative of all of society.

    ~To add to the previous point- most people/families who have built empires this large, it probably took a really long time, like multi-generations. This necessarily means that SOMEONE had to inherit- the Campbell's soup fortune was built in the 19th century.

    ~It's true that there aren't many women in STEM fields, and it's true that women are more involved in philanthropy and charitable causes, and professions like teaching. But why do I have such a bias that any one of these fields are more valuable than any other? What makes being a scientist more highly rated on my personal scale than a teacher? Obviously society values one more than the other, look at the wage difference. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I also have to think a scientist is so much better than a teacher or sitting on the board of some charitable cause.

  7. #7
    bearsbeetsbattlestar's Avatar
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    The fact is, there are way more ultra wealthy self made men than women. It's just a fact, the numbers don't lie.

    However...women haven't been a part of the paid workforce in large numbers for a long time, compared with how long men have. It's just taking a while for everyone's beliefs about what's possible for women to change. There's some old momentum playing out. At this point I can make a choice to focus on how few women there are at the top of their fields, or I can choose to start to looking for evidence of things changing and progressing. I saw a buzzfeed article the other day highlighting really influential black female scientists throughout history and did I stop to really read it? Nope. This is the very evidence I'm looking for, but I chose to skim right past it. I wasn't ready to see that and look for that, but I think I'm ready now.

    For me it's not about changing the world, it's about changing my focus. There's plenty of evidence that things are going well, I just haven't been in the right place emotionally and vibrationally to see it. I was too busy railing against the patriarchal system, lol. Classic example of focusing on what you don't want vs. what you do want.

  8. #8
    Eostre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearsbeetsbattlestar View Post
    The fact is, there are way more ultra wealthy self made men than women. It's just a fact, the numbers don't lie.

    However...women haven't been a part of the paid workforce in large numbers for a long time, compared with how long men have. It's just taking a while for everyone's beliefs about what's possible for women to change. There's some old momentum playing out. At this point I can make a choice to focus on how few women there are at the top of their fields, or I can choose to start to looking for evidence of things changing and progressing. I saw a buzzfeed article the other day highlighting really influential black female scientists throughout history and did I stop to really read it? Nope. This is the very evidence I'm looking for, but I chose to skim right past it. I wasn't ready to see that and look for that, but I think I'm ready now.

    For me it's not about changing the world, it's about changing my focus. There's plenty of evidence that things are going well, I just haven't been in the right place emotionally and vibrationally to see it. I was too busy railing against the patriarchal system, lol. Classic example of focusing on what you don't want vs. what you do want.
    Excellent point! I have been doing the exact same thing. I'm enjoying your insights.

  9. #9
    bearsbeetsbattlestar's Avatar
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    Right now I feel like exploring something that I already feel good about (like the smoking example below).

    So, I live and work in Manhattan. This place is supposed to be really tough, like, it'll eat you up and spit you out. 'If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,' etc. When I travel and people find out that I live here, they are SO IMPRESSED, like it's a really BIG DEAL.

    Truth is, I've never found it very hard at all. It's all been super easy. I moved here with Mr. BBB more than eleven years ago, a few months after we got married. We found jobs and an apartment, made friends, etc. Those jobs, apartments and friends have changed over the years (some of the friends are the same, thankfully), as we've refined our preferences and made upgrades. But we've never struggled or had to go without. We don't live an especially lavish lifestyle but we're very comfortable.

    I live in one of the most expensive neighborhoods, not just in the city, but in the country. I have a lovely apartment with plenty of room (would someday love another bedroom, but for now we have more than enough space), a giant walk-in closet which I recently painted a very sassy aqua color, and a huge terrace that I'm currently looking at, and which is strung with pretty lights.

    I have the best landlords a person could ask for. I really love them. Not just because we're paying WAY less than market rate on our place and have been for more than 6 years, but because they are genuinely lovely people and I know I can count on them for anything if I need it.

    I have a pretty easy, lovely life here. I walk to and from work so I don't have an awful commute on the subway (and I walk THROUGH CENTRAL PARK, which is gorgeous). I get groceries delivered every week. Someone else does my laundry. If something breaks, I call the landlords. I meet friends out all the time for great food and drinks, and lots of times I can even walk home because everything is so easy and close- or there are buses, cabs, uber, etc. There's so much fun stuff to do at different price points, and so many creative people and big thinkers and dreamers. It's awesome. I'm having a ball.

    All that to say: this is NOT the typical experience you hear about when you think of living and working in Manhattan. People 'back home' thought we were crazy when we told them we were moving here, and I'm sure a lot of them thought we'd try it for a few years and come back. This happens a lot. If I'd listened to all those people and conventional wisdom, I probably never would have done it!

    Living in NY is SO HARD, baloney. Again, 'conventional wisdom' is so often anything but wise.

    This shit is just a bunch of thoughts that people think over and over. It doesn't mean that these are thoughts that I have to think, or beliefs that I have to believe. I write my own story!

  10. #10
    bearsbeetsbattlestar's Avatar
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    Here's something I've been thinking about: changes in my physical experience.

    I have Crohn's Disease. I've had it for nearly 20 years. It's being managed very well with medication, and I have no intention of making any changes to that program any time soon; it's something I have to go to the hospital for every six weeks and I've made it into a little mini vacation- I always take the day off now, come home after and have a nice meal and take a nap. The medication makes me sleepy so I use it as an excuse to act like a cat for the rest of the day Plus I have kick ass insurance that pays for almost all of it.

    Despite this however, I still have some issues because of the Crohn's, more of a quality of life-type thing. Minor stuff that I've been easily working around, but now I'm starting to wonder if there's another way.

    I'd like to get to a place where I'm not just accepting that this is the way things are because this is the way things have always been for me. I'd like to start considering that these tummy issues are maybe just a combination of old momentum and old beliefs that I have. (Old momentum: details are not important but there was some emotional trauma going on when this disease first appeared. Old beliefs: taking everything the doctors said as gospel.)

    The truth is, there are TONS of people with Crohn's Disease who are in awesome health, who are super active, not on any medication, travel the world, eat whatever they want. One of my best girlfriends is like this, it's really neat. There are also tons of people who are really super sick, in a debilitating way, who have to be fed through a tube or have many surgeries.

    Maybe it's possible to break apart this belief I have that my disease just 'is what it is.' Maybe I could change this. Is it possible? Could I actually change this and start to feel better and do more things??

    I feel like it would be really easy because despite how serious it sounds and how bad it's been in the past, it's pretty mild these days. Plus I totally believe that the gut is connected to emotions, that's been proven over and over again in my own experience and others.'

    People go into spontaneous remission for no reason all the time. Doctors are still pretty clueless about this disease so it seems more possible for me to just suddenly get better for 'no reason' vs. another disease that's well understood.

    It's going to take some focus on my part and I'm willing to do that but I love baby steps, so for now I'm just going to consider that hey, maybe this is a thing that could happen. I might be able to get totally better. I don't necessarily have to live with this disease forever. It might be possible to heal my own body. Also I like the thought that doctors are often totally full of shit. None of them know my body better than I do!

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