WHAT ARE CONVICTIONS?
“I’m like this, I can’t help it”, “I’ve always done like this”, “It’s impossible”, “I can’t” … Have you ever heard these sentences?
They are convictions, things we believe to be true.
When we believe something could be possible, we act consistently to achieve it. If I know how to use excel I think it is possible to create the expense report and keep the progressive sum every month, right? If I find it impossible to use excel, I won’t even try to learn it.
Convictions are generalizations, they are never based on a logical structure or on a realistic experience: we take a single fact and make it the general rule.
The things we believe to be true don’t always correspond to reality. We see reality through our filter, so that reality would get closer to our convictions. In practice, we constantly seek confirmation of our convictions, convictions reassure us.
An example: “It is useless for me to ask for help in organizing the workshop, nobody will help me.” My tone of voice, the attitude and the words I use will be conditioned by this conviction. Most likely nobody will accept my request. This doesn’t mean that I have to pretend or adopt extremely positive attitudes, but it means that I have to work on the conviction, that in this case is limiting.
Where do convictions come from?
The environment affects our beliefs and our desires.
If I grow up in a positive environment, I mature positive beliefs. By environment I mean both the place and the family. It is different to grow in Kenya or in Italy, isn’t it?
Events, experiences that we live and that we generalize.
“I tried to ask for help, but nobody helped me.” I asked it only once, to one person, the evening before the workshop, and from there I’m convinced that nobody wants to help me!
“I guess traveling on business is very exhausting.”
So our beliefs can support and empower us just as they can limit us.
They support us when they derive from a representation that we have made of our experiences that makes us feel good and helps us achieve what we want.
“Every time I put on a nice dress and have my nails done, I feel good in front of the client, I feel I work.” So I link taking care of myself with a greater chance of feeling good and influencing a situation in a positive way.
They limit us when they derive from a representation that we made of our experiences that makes us feel bad and that doesn’t help us to achieve what we want. Limiting convictions interfere in the change process and paralyze our resources .
It is never the limit itself that blocks self-realization, but the attachment to that idea we have of ourselves. We remain attached to what hurts us and we resist to what could make us feel better.
Being these interpretations, we can work on the experiences lived and learn from both positive and negative events. We turn obstacles into opportunities by becoming more resilient.
This is a typical work we do during an individual session, which can also be done in a video call!