By Julie Holliday
Recently I was reminded of the importance of my beliefs in terms of my well-being. What we believe has an enormous influence over our experience. First of all, if we don’t fully believe in the benefits of an action, we’re unlikely to be very motivated to take that action. But did you know that our unconscious mind is set up to search for evidence that supports our underlying beliefs and ignore evidence to the contrary? How we see our reality is shaped by what we already believe. So, if we want to be able to take control over our wellness, if we want to find better health and happiness, we have to believe it’s possible. What do you believe?
I have always believed that there are many things we can do to take control of illness like ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease. I have a pretty good belief that they will all help a bit and each little thing adds up, so mostly I find the motivation to do those things and I see the evidence that they do help, so I keep doing them––when they’re not too hard. But If I truly believed that they would lead to full recovery, wouldn’t I be even more committed?
As a result of an amazingly generous free coaching challenge run by Paul Webb*, I found myself looking at whether I really do believe that after 10 years of a second incidence of ME/CFS I could completely get better again (the first time I’d recovered within 5 years). If I fully believed, would I be more effective at my self-help? Wouldn’t I be a lot more motivated to do what it takes?
The first thing I was invited to do was to suspend disbelief: just like when we go to the cinema, to fully enjoy the experience, we suspend the disbelief in the story’s reality, at least for that 90 mins or so.
If I were to let go of my disbelief that I could get where I wanted to go, what difference would that make to my behaviour? I realised that there are things that could make a real difference that I don’t do consistently because they’re a bit of a hassle, and there are things I could do that I’ve had an intention to try but have just never get around to starting.
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My next step was to find a good foundation for the belief that I can still reach a complete recovery. OK, so I’d got there before, but my belief had slipped to “this time is different, more complicated, maybe this is as far is it gets this time.” To reach that belief that full recovery is possible, I needed to refocus on my belief in the mind/ body/ spirit connection, quantum physics and the nature of the universe. I’ve reconfirmed my belief that we are energy, that everything in the universe comes from the same source, that entangled particles exert an influence on each other even when separated and that particles behave differently when observed. These scientific discoveries are a perfect foundation for me to believe that I can exert an influence over my body and the universe as a whole with my intention combined with action. I also have a belief that recovery from ME/CFS is about finding a way to flick the hypometabolic ‘hibernation mode’ switch. It may be a different route for each of us, but I’m going to find a way to flick mine.
Now that I have that belief, I feel really excited to take all the steps that will support my well-being again. Although I’m only adding new steps into my daily practise one at a time to make sure I succeed, I can’t wait to get to the next step on my list. I track my all my supportive practices with a tick box and I’m getting so many more ticks on a much more consistent basis now! Finding a renewed sense of belief in how I can shape my future is making a huge difference to how my daily practices support me in the now!
Another part of my belief is that I do not have to strive. I can trust that my intention and consistent steps are exerting an energetic influence on the universe that will create opportunities that will take me where I want to go. I also know that with these beliefs, my thoughts are giving my biochemistry the right messages. With a complete trust that I can get better, my body is never getting a message that it is under threat, and with this psycho-energetic environment, appropriate nutrition, hydration, pacing and gentle movement, I believe that my body will realise that it has everything it needs, and it is safe to flick that switch back to normal homeostasis!
What could help you believe that recovery is possible?
Julie Holliday, ProHealth’s Inspirational Editor, is a holistic life coach and writer committed to helping people take back control from energy-limiting chronic illness to live a more relaxed, balanced and fulfilling life. Julie loves spending time in nature, growing her own vegetables and spends as much of her day as possible in a comfortable pair of yoga pants. Writing as the ME/CFS Self-Help Guru, Julie shares tips on her weekly blog. You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.