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Belief is Everything

Belief is everything.

For most of my life, I knew I had beliefs, but I didn´t know belief is everything. I didn´t think about my beliefs. I was too busy with my nose to the grindstone. But in 2000, following a particularly grueling therapy session with parents of an adolescent I began to ask the question, ¨What is thought? ¨

Change Your ThinkingFor 20 years my therapy was based on thoughts, even though I had no idea what a thought was. My work with teens and families was rooted in a theoretical perspective called Family Systems Theory. I worked with families as one unit with individual members acting as part of the whole, independent, yet dependent upon the entire system. I believed a change in one family member facilitates change in the system. I didn´t know belief is everything.

My tool of choice was  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT emphasizes patterns of thought, helping patients identify cognitive distortions (stinking thinking), then making conscious choices to think differently about themselves, others and their world. Many of the parents I treated could not think of anything positive about their wayward teen. We didn´t know belief is everything.

I now know belief is everything. Working with families for 20 years proved this to me over and over. Parents with negative and debilitating beliefs about their children force the family system to support only these beliefs. Children struggle in these systems and they struggle to find their identity. These teens felt terrible about themselves, their families and their future.

Beliefs are thoughts which are repeated until they become true.

Vladimir LeninI learned beliefs are thoughts which are repeated until they become true. At that point they become beliefs. Once a thought becomes a belief it is supercharged with the emotion it triggers. Therefore, if you think something and you think it enough, it becomes a belief and the sum of your beliefs is your truth. Vladimir Lenin knew this when he said, ¨A lie told enough becomes the truth.¨

Most thoughts are lies and each thought triggers an emotion. Thoughts like, ¨I´m ugly.¨ or I´m stupid.¨ or ¨I´m worthless¨ all have corresponding emotions, causing you to feel ugly, stupid and worthless. Whether a thought is true or not, you will still feel it. Emotions are energy and they fuel the life you experience. Emotions are powerful and can keep you stuck in a life that is unfulfilling and painful. What are some lies you keep telling yourself? How do they feel? Are you stuck?

As Lenin pronounced, these lies become truth for anyone who thinks them over and over. How many people do you know who feed themselves a steady mental diet of negative lies? How do they feel about themselves? How do they feel about their lives? Probably not very good.

Stop repeating negative lies that makes you feel bad.

Turn them into a positive lies that makes you feel good. As you do this, prepare to meet your ego and discover more negative beliefs. Your ego will scream, ¨Yeah, right! You are just as stupid and ugly as you ever have been¨. The ego is not you. Ignore its efforts to keep you down.

The ego can only be in charge if you choose not to be in charge. Move forward regardless of what your ego demands. And it will demand. Change doesn´t happen overnight so you must be consistent and persistent.

New positive lies needs to be plausible in the first place.

Your ego will not believe a lie such as ¨I´m beautiful.¨ if you believe you are ugly. Start with something like, ¨I´m better looking than I think I am.¨ and attach a feeling, such as satisfaction, to this thought.

If you believe you are stupid, then start with, ¨I´m smarter than I once believed.¨ and attach the feeling of confidence. Feelings are the secret. You´ve been feeling stupid or ugly because you´ve attached these negative feelings to thoughts. By attaching affirming feelings to positive thoughts, you make these new thoughts powerful and they negate the effects of the ego.

Change is good.

Change BeliefsI keep saying this, but, belief is everything. For life to improve, change what you think and believe about life. Wayne Dyer said, ¨You will see it when you believe it¨. Keep telling yourself, ¨I´m beautiful, I´m smart and people like me.¨ Say it with feeling. Say it enough and it becomes your truth. When it becomes your truth, it becomes your world.

With love and affection,

Ray Erickson

About Ray

I was raised in a small town in Michigan. I was the middle child of 3 boys in a moderately dysfunctional family. I was fortunate to fall into the Hero role hat afforded me the very best that my family could provide. As a hero child, I was the first to go to college. College opened my eyes and my mind. College also turned out to be the bane of my family. To make along story short, at 38 years old and a new social worker, I learned of the dark secrets my family held. The more I reached out to help the family, the more the pushed me away until, I could not longer have contact with any family members. It's been nearly 30 years now. It's just better that way. As a result, I've focused my career on helping families, especially families with teenagers. I've always worked with teens, since I was 19 years-old I've worked with teens as a teacher, counselor, social worker and psychotherapist. I am still passionate about working with teens and their families, but am focused on working with large groups with multiple families in attendance. Part of my desire to accomplish on this website is to create a place for discussion of families, adolescents, their ever present angst. I want to share with parents of teens some of what the wisdom I've gained from 30 years of working with teenagers and their families. Please visit for awhile. Read some articles, make some comments or share a post with your friends or colleagues. I'm at your service.

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