How to Change What You Believe

“If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.” – Eddie Colla

On my office wall hangs a sign that says, “You’re awesome. If someone doesn’t see that, f@ck ‘em. It’s true of everyone who visits me because if it’s not I send them away. I don’t know how to help people I don’t believe in.

The difficulty is that believing in yourself is really hard to do when it hasn’t been instilled within you. Too many of us were robbed of our birthrights:

-  Unconditional love & acceptance

-  To be taught faith in ourselves and in something greater than ourselves

-  Nurturance and room to grow

- Guidance, constructive criticism, support and encouragement

“When you’ve never been moved, it’s really hard to move on.” Eyedeas & Abilities

I make my living helping people discover who they really are. I find it easy to believe in them but they counter that I’m “paid to be nice.” I tell them their insurance company doesn’t pay me enough to lie. I’m paid to help people find their own truth and powerless over what they do with it.

I offer my insights when asked. The problem is that my truth usually feels “too good to be true.” Folks tell me they want to believe and embrace what I see, but that it’s just not:

-  How they see themselves. (Our self perception is warped by fear, pain and shame)

-  What they were taught to be true. (They passed on what they were taught)

-  Consistent with how people treat them.  (How selfish people behave has nothing to do with our worth)

“According to you (mom, dad, partner/spouse, boss)
I’m stupid,
I’m useless,
I can’t do anything right…

But according to him (my therapist…WTF!?)
I’m beautiful,
incredible…”   – Orianthi “According to You”

Reconciliation of conflicting views requires that we choose what we believe. I find that folks are generally waiting for both inspiration and permission. We want see ourselves as loveable and acceptable. We want confidence in what we do and faith in who we are. We want to realize our own potential and access it…and we got stuck waiting for someone to teach us our worth and to tell us it’s okay to become something greater than we are.

“Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

Ultimately, we find that everything we want is everything we fear. This doesn’t mandate a leap of faith. We can get there one step at a time. Lasting and positive change hinges on our willingness to honor the truth of our Higher Power and everyone He/She/It places in our path.

How does God see us? What do those who care most for us believe about our worth? What if they’re right? That’s the real fear. If they’re right we have a lot of change ahead. It’s easier to be on the fence and unsure. Knowledge creates responsibility. If you know you are worth believing in then you have to believe and believing means taking risks and doing cool shit.

It will always be easier to explain away or minimize the truth good people have of us. Our shame dictates, “If they only knew…”  A good therapist will help us spot our hypocrisy. We find that how we judge ourselves is different than how we judge others. We find that we seek the best in others because we fear they’ll see the worst in us.

We’re free to treat ourselves as we do others. We’re free to set ourselves free. If you need someone’s permission, take mine:

From this day forward, you have every f@cking right to think, feel, believe, and act in whatever manner works best you. Not only do you have this right – you have this responsibility.

To thine own self be true.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in assisting people in recovery (whether from drugs, alcohol, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.