We meet two types of people. One believes they can change. The other believes they can’t. Which one is correct?
So much of our existence is made up of our thoughts and beliefs. These shape how we see the world around us, and how we ultimately live our lives. Even if we may believe that we are objective, rational human beings, underneath there is a whole layer of how our beliefs shape our existence around us.
For example, if we see the world as a cruel, unfair place of conflict and disaster, the parts we will notice will be all the wars and destruction in the world. in turn, the way we act in the world will be potentially more nihilistic or negative. We are more likely to be governed by fear and mistrust, than adventure or curiosity.
However, if we see the world as a place full of opportunity, happiness and freedom, we will focus upon the the opportunities, and how we can feel fulfilled in life. This gives us license to be more carefree, ambitious and content. We will perhaps try new things more regularly, and be more open to meeting new people.
But which one is correct? Is the world a cruel, unfair place, or is it full of opportunity, happiness and freedom?
That is up to you. Each of us gets to choose how we see the world.
Unfortunately, very few of us actively make this choice. For me, I saw the world as a place of stress and grind. Internalising the difficulty of being ‘successful’, I saw it a constant marathon of tasks – school, university, career, marriage, children, death. I internalised this from my own expectation from my family, as well as the environment I grew up in. I was also told I was acdemically gifted, but far less so in creativity and sports.
I learnt that everything in my world had to be grafted for, and I would have to struggle to meet the expectations placed on me. happiness was a secondary factor, so unsurprisingly I was not happy under the weight of expectation.
This didn’t need to be my destiny. It was possible for me to change my own world view. By revisiting my fundamental beliefs, I started to notice the other parts of life that I had neglected. I learnt to appreciate the beauty of difference, and how interesting different people are across teh world. I also learnt to appreciate the abundance that existed within the world, and how much limitless possibility exists for us as individuals. In turn, I took agency within my own life, and decided to shift my priorities to do more things I enjoy, whilst also changing my mindset towards the day-to-day activities. Compared to my past, I am happier. I am also more ambitious, successful and creative. It meant that writing articles, starting a podcast, or getting into coaching didn’t feel like a big deal. Because for me, it is part of my open curiosity and interest in the world.
How did I change my worldview? I spent time looking at myself. Through my own personal development via reading, coaching and writing I understood how much of what I felt was based upon what I thought the world was. I learnt that the world did not need to be a hyper-competitive race if I didn’t want it to be. I also learnt that there is no such thing as one ‘truth’ about my existence, instead ‘reality’ was a malleable concept that I could shift to live how I wanted to.
One of the most powerful changes people can make is changing the way they see the world. Much of the day-to-day issues that plague us such as confidence, weight issues, happiness and needing success ultimately come down to our belief about the world around us.
For example, someone who feels they are never good enough may have a belief that what makes them valued in the world is being successful. This is usually internalised through strict schooling and parentage, or a strong identification to being ‘academic’ or top in class. Whilst this world view might come externally originally, we often adopt them as our own. These views can remain throughout our adult lives, and can lead to a crisis of confidence for someone who is only ‘average’ in their career, when their world view was formed that average is not good enough.
What this person can do is revisit what they believe. The first place to start is to identify their ‘reality’ of the world , and through exploration understand what formed that experience. Sometimes this needs a period of healing some sort of trauma which has marked their experiences. After this, they can effectively forge the worldview that they actually want, rather than the one they’ve adopted.
This is not easy to do. So is it worth the effort? I believe it most certainly is.
People who are more content have built a worldview where they are in balance with what they want to do. They are not governed by fear or unhappiness. Quite a lot of these people go on to do extraordinary things in the world, like worldwide philanthropy, rising to the top of their profession or simply becoming the best version they can be.
This can be you, if you want it to be.
So I would invite you to reflect on your world view, and how it shapes how you live your life. It will help explain many of the external forces around you that you do not currently understand.
If you have gotten to the end of this article, I would love to hear what you find. Feel free to drop a message below or message me via LinkedIn. I always love hearing from people about their beliefs and values.
How do you see the world around you?