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The power of belief

education Updated: May 12, 2010 10:31 IST
Chitra Jha
Chitra Jha
Hindustan Times
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The other day I watched this film on HBO called, Two Brothers. It is about two tiger cubs in the jungles of Cambodia. As happens in most families, one of them is the daring, spirited sort while the other one is timid and easily frightened. The entire family, including the brother, is very protective of the timid one. He, too, always depends on them for support and to take decisions on his behalf. As luck would have it, both cubs are trapped by hunters. The spirited one is sold to a circus while the timid one lands in a Royal household. The movie moves one year forward in time, and we see the changes in our two protagonists. The spirited cub grows into a tame, frightened tiger. His spirit is broken. He forgets that he is a mighty beast (even his body language has changed). The other cub too undergoes a metamorphosis. He is a confident tiger now. He walks majestically and roars proudly. The difference in their changed personalities is shocking.

The beliefs inculcated in them (by their new environments) affect them greatly.
Do you get my point? The same principle applies to us humans.
Our childhood beliefs are very important in determining what we achieve or do not achieve in our lives.
So what beliefs are you carrying around with you?
Sometimes we believe something without knowing why we believe in it. Such beliefs are like viruses. They can harm any aspect of our lives, without us being conscious of them. Such thought viruses travel feely through our system and affect our attitudes and behaviour.

I often hear statements like:
. I am not good at maths.
. I can manage maths but English is very tough.
. I am from a vernacular medium so I am very poor in English.
These beliefs are an over-generalised view of your shortcomings and some belief-viruses can be passed on from one person to another (just like the flu virus). Most of us have never really analyse our beliefs. That is because we use the word, ‘believe’ in a very loose sense. We don’t really give it the respect it deserves. We need a little help to get inside and explore. It is very important to understand our beliefs and their origin. We should evaluate them from time to time to determine if these beliefs are empowering us or not. Ask yourself, “Are my beliefs right here, right now adding to the construction of life I desire?Are my beliefs keeping me away from success?” Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The man I want to become, if I believe myself to be, I will become.” Whatever you seek to achieve must be in the realm of what you believe to be possible.

Have you heard of the ‘placebo effect’? Doctors give fake tablets which contain no medicines, to the patients for pain (and many other ailments) and the patients in their belief that they have been given painkillers, feel relieved of their pain.

In 1994, a surgeon named J. Bruce Moseley conducted a successful experiment with ‘placebo surgery’ on a group of patients for arthritis. The patients were given to believe that their knees would be operated upon, while in reality only superficial cuts were made and stitched up to make them look like real surgical procedures. To the surgeon’s astonishment, all these patients reported improvement in their condition. Such experiments have been repeated (with great success) on patients of osteoarthritis since then.

According to The New York Times, “The researchers found that patients who underwent placebo surgery were just as likely to report pain relief as those who received the real procedure. It seems for osteoarthritis patients, the relief is all in patients’ beliefs.”

Belief is a powerful tool and its power can be harnessed to do more than just cure you of diseases. You can achieve super success with your positive beliefs. Get into the habit of thinking big and believe that it is possible to achieve your dreams. Build your belief system by acknowledging your strengths and accomplishing bigger and bigger goals. And expect good things to happen. Finally, what you believe determines who you are.

Co-create your life and expect success.
The author is a life-skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer. Contact: chitrajhaa@gmail.com

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