What ultimately creates lasting change in us?
A mentor taught me this helpful formula:
Beliefs = Thoughts = Actions = Outcomes
It means that our beliefs create our thoughts, which creates our actions, which results in our life outcomes.
Let's break each of them down:
- Belief = A conviction that you hold about something. This can be influenced by experiences or facts - or it can exist independent of these.
- Thought = This is what you say to yourself. Oftentimes, our thoughts are not verbalized to ourselves and are instead felt as impulses of emotion, or as a compulsion to take action
- Action = The actions (or non-actions) in the physical world that you take
- Outcome = How things turn out in your life as a result of the actions you take (or don't take). Your outcomes may also affect others as well
It may seem that the outcomes you get in life are created by your actions.
But a closer examination shows that it starts with your belief. The convictions you hold drive your thoughts, which translate into actions, which then ultimate create your life.
If you find that you can't change something about yourself (or that it doesn't stick in the long-term), it's likely because you're trying to effect change at the wrong level.
Instead, what you need to do is change at the deepest level - the level of your beliefs.