words in action – hidden beliefs exposed (part 3)
Richard Rodgers of the Rodgers and Hammerstein songwriting duo was the creative force behind the sentiments in the Sound of Music classic, Something Good, a song that was not in the original stage version but was written additionally for the 1965 film.
It doesn’t take a mind reader to see wisps of underlying beliefs and assumptions rising like a gentle fog from the lyrics of this refrain. The words suggest that “good things happen to good people” or at least a person who does enough good things will be rewarded. What does that mean when bad things happen? And what do the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ really mean?
The good-comes-from-good worldview is interesting but becomes a real mind-twisting, emotional roller-coaster when events are not in line with that particular belief.
Your unscripted words are the proving ground for what you truly believe. Beliefs that may be deep and dormant come to life in the following phrases:
“Don’t do that! What will the neighbours think?”
“This job will be the death of me!”
“She makes me so mad. I could just scream!”
“I give and I give and I give. He owes me big time!”
“I can’t believe she didn’t invite me. I must have done something to upset her.”
“This is so hard. If this relationship is really right then it should be easier than this.”
“Flat tire? Just my luck!”
“Don’t get too excited about this good news. The other shoe will drop eventually.”
While it is easier to discern the beliefs of others through words like these, it is more challenging for us to hear our own words, let alone to understand what they reveal. This is especially true since most of us speak more than we listen. How could be possible be aware of every word we say?
To Thine Own Self Be Known
Get to know your personal filters through which all your experiences flow. How have your life events, personality, temperament, significant influences and preferences created those particular filters? How do your filters inform your worldview?
Notice and Note
Begin to notice your word choices especially those that are repeated or those attached to significant level of emotion. Keeping some method of recording what you notice handy will be helpful to notice just how often you reveal your hidden beliefs and underlying assumptions through your words.
For the truly brave and bold among you, give someone close to you permission to point out when your words reveal a distorted thinking pattern from part two of this series.
Consider the Source
When you begin to notice pattern of distorted thinking revealed in your words, consider from where this pattern may have originated. Sift through family patterns, significant events and your personal temperament that may have firmly rooted this thought pattern into your belief system.
Next time, we will take one particular thought pattern through a process of review and revision to see how we can re-wire our brains to develop new, more useful thought patterns grounded on beneficial beliefs. Discover one of your patterns to put through the process.
Be well, be aware and stay tuned!