Frequently, I ask people during coaching sessions to reflect their selves. A subject that I address is to think about your own belief-systems. In particular, the hidden belief-systems that drive us all.

“Hidden belief systems are what drive our life. Limiting beliefs are hard to see because they are unconscious and influence our behaviors and thought process without us realizing it. We are often unaware of our limiting beliefs, because they were ‘passed down’ to us by the attitudes and beliefs of others. These kinds of beliefs have a powerful impact on the way we see ourselves and the world and can potentially hold us back from achieving our fullest potential and experiencing joy.

The good news is that becoming aware of them, minimizes the power they have to affect your life. In addition, as long as you choose the belief-systems voluntarily, there is nothing wrong with adopting beliefs from others ? “

Belief-systems is a topic I ponder regularly. One of my personal mantras ‘your truth doesn’t have to be mine and vice versa’ I embraced, the moment I realized I no longer wanted to live by some ‘passed down’ belief-systems. At the same time, I also (at the very least try to) stay open to the beliefs and opinions of my neighbors.

I think two of the worst threats to humankind are ignorance and distrust. We all judge, but condemning is something I (again, at least) try not to do. In case I don’t understand why someone does what he/she does, I either ask my neighbor in question directly, or I search for information about the why. Like I write about in my articles ‘Knowledge can increase compassion and kindness”, in which I explore other religions and belief-systems.

One could be unaware of the emotional pain he or she causes by what seems a harmless phrase, word or belief. I believe it is both the messenger as the receiver’s responsibility to think twice about what and how something is said or done. A lot of harm could be prevented by putting oneself in the other persons shoes, stay aware of the fact we are all unique and we are entitled to believe whatever we want to believe.

Ignorance, however, within the time-period we live and thus information accessible everywhere, is no longer a valid excuse to hurt a neighbor.

To me, once a dispute occurs based upon ignorance, it will be very difficult to stay connected in a compassionate kind way. Condemning other persons’ belief-system due to not having educated yourself: it could lead to irreparable distrust.

Once we start to distrust our neighbor(s), I feel it will be the hardest challenge to overcome. As much as one can like or even love a person, the moment the connection is violated based upon ignorance, empathy and kindness will be hard to show because trust is so hard to build up again.

Knowledge is KEY. However, one needs to be aware first of his/her own belief-systems and the impact it could have on our neighbors.