By Mary Rogers McMaster
A false belief is an idea that you live by, and it doesn’t help you at all. In fact, it most likely causes you a tremendous amount of stress.
We often form these false beliefs as a survival tactic when we are very young. We are looking for connection and acceptance constantly, seeking clues for behavior from the adults in the room. Children are very clear about what they want—love and acceptance. This is where false beliefs begin.
While you developed your sense of self as a child, the adults around you were offering rules to live by that you either accepted or rejected. Whatever was the shortest route to love, you took. If you were very joyful as a child but your mother was not, you found ways to hide your joy to gain her love. If you were a very sad child but your father was constantly laughing, you found ways hide your sadness so that he accepted you.
We are a reaction to the adults around us, and, whatever the scenario, you formed a structure around their beliefs. By the time you were three years old, you had a pretty solid sense of survival rules. Now you’re 47, and you have no idea why things have to be so intense all the time. You chalk it up to being “just a thing you do.”