The Power of Belief (and Disbelief)

A man standing on a cliff with his arms outstretched because he believes that he can achieve whatever he wants.The saying ‘No matter whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are right’ is a fairly accurate statement. At least the most likely outcome will be the one we believe will happen. The power of our focused thoughts, feelings and beliefs about a particular outcome usually transform through our actions into physical reality.

Having the belief you can accomplish something is the key ingredient in actually successfully completing that thing. To some it is a very grandiose and far-fetched statement to make that “virtually anything is possible with belief and nothing is possible without it”. This is perhaps partly due to the loose way different people define belief. To some, having a belief in something is having a general acceptance in it, or the possibility of it. On the other end of the scale, some people won’t believe in anything until after obtaining irrefutable evidence that satisfies their every objection to it being true. Some use a lot of faith and others need firm evidence to believe.

believe-in-yourself-sign-No matter how you satisfy your criteria for belief, your belief must be satisfied before you really commit to anything that will really challenge you. You must believe you can successfully accomplish it, and that in doing so, it will benefit you and/or others in some way. Complete success is unlikely if you go into a difficult challenge half-hearted because you either don’t believe you can do it or don’t believe there is any real point in doing it. You won’t have the motivation or commitment to see it through or do it well.

The power of belief has been documented in many medical situations and research experiments. Some people with medically declared terminal conditions have refused to accept that conclusion, and instead developed a staunch belief and faith they would recover and miraculously they made a full and unexplained recovery. Others have been told they would not be able to walk, or talk, or have children, or see, only to prove the medical profession wrong by drawing on the incredible power of belief. In some countries the indigenous shaman, witch doctor, or kurdaitcha man could perform rituals that were so vehemently believed that the recipient could be healed (or even killed) without physical contact.

Belief and Attitude PosterIn my book, Alcohemy, I refer to Dr Bruce Lipton’s work and book, The Biology of Belief, and his examples of where Multiple Personality Disorder sufferers have been known to completely change medical conditions in minutes and even eye colour between personalities. They so firmly believe they are a different person that their body physically changes to suit the different personality. Now that really does give us a glimpse of just how powerful ‘real’ belief can be. This isn’t at the end of the scale that says “I sort of believe” or “I guess it might be possible”. It is at the very other end of the scale where there is no doubt; you ‘know’ it is true. It is at this end of the belief scale where the real miracles happen. It is a book I highly recommend you read to help you with your alcohol-free journey (it’s in audiobook format as well).

Having a lack of belief was the reason I spent most of my life with an alcohol dependence. I didn’t believe I could enjoy myself or fit in with the social circle and cultural environment that I lived in if I didn’t drink alcohol. I did believe drinking alcohol was so ingrained in me since early teenage years that I would remain an alcoholic until I died. It was only after understanding the power of belief and then changing my belief about my need for alcohol, was I able to use that power to stop drinking and become totally and permanently alcohol-free.

I would be interested if you have any personal experiences where belief has been a big factor, or know of other situations where positive or negative beliefs have had a significant impact on someone else’s life. All comments are most welcome below.