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Personal Development: Belief not required

I don’t believe in therapy.

I don’t believe in positive thinking.

I don’t believe that church communities, 12-step programs, or self-help groups will benefit me.

I don’t believe in western medicine.

I don’t believe in alternative medicine and holistic health.

I don’t believe in New-Age mumbo jumbo like creative visualization, chakra energies, and the law of attraction.

I don’t believe in behavioral psychology, attachment theory, gestalt therapy, or neuro-lingustic programming.

I don’t believe in the seven highly habits, the silva method, or EST.

I don’t believe in that author, or that expert, or that book, or that person’s testimonial.

I do not believe!

I hear statements like this all the time from real people who are hungry for practical solutions to their problems.

When confronted with a suggestion (not necessarily from yours truly), they immediately go into a monologue about what they don’t believe.

For many of these people, a lack of belief in something is, all by itself, enough reason to dismiss most new proposals without discussion.

When people declare their list of non-beliefs to me, my response is usually, “well, luckily, personal development is not a religion and there are no belief requirements you need to meet in order to qualify.”

The willingness to experiment and explore is far more pivotal than is the ability to make oneself believe in the objective absolute truth of a particular theory, philosophy, or therapeutic technique.

If we truly want to learn and grow, we don’t need unwavering faith as much we need a sense of wonder, a spirit of adventure, and a mild dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Belief is nothing. The courage to try something new is everything.

Believing in exercise wont make you physically fit, but going to the gym and working out, even if you’re a skeptic, will.

When a scientist goes into his lab, he doesn’t say “hey I believe in this stuff with all my heart; rather he thinks “let’s investigate and see what happens.” Then he measures, probes, mixes, dissects, and so on, until he stumbles upon some observation worth noting.

In the end, he may or may not have a belief, but he definitely has a result. And that’s all he needs.

And that’s all you and I need.

Instead of trying to make yourself believe in something bigger and better, try taking more chances on activities and practices that offer you the opportunity to make new discoveries.

At least that’s the way I do it.


T.K. Coleman

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