When Consistent Stories Become Beliefs

Golden gate San Francisco

A few days ago, my boyfriend gifted me an air cooler. This was supposed to help diminish mosquitoes and heat, two of the things (besides flies) that annoy me the most around summertime.

I proceeded to read the manual and installed the thing myself. And as soon as I turned the cooler on, the room felt as fresh as sea breeze. However, when my boyfriend got home from work, he asked me why the room was so hot. It turned out the cooler was faulty and it wasn’t working at all! The on button light was on, but the fan wasn’t blowing. I somehow managed to spend the whole afternoon with windows and doors closed while it was 35 degrees outside. I made myself believe it was fresh inside the whole time, even though it wasn’t. He told me this was a placebo effect. But I have a different explanation:

We have the ability to make our minds (and bodies) believe whatever we want. Share on X

Something similar to the air cooler story happened to me back in my college days (around 10 years ago). I had always dreamed about going to San Francisco (the U.S.), riding a cable car, and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. However, I had the limiting belief that going to the States wasn’t easy, and that getting an American visa would be almost impossible.

Like most visa procedures, this one consisted of filling out an online form/questionnaire, paying a fee, and going to an interview at a U.S. Consulate. This all sounds doable for many, but it didn’t sound doable to me.

I used to believe that traveling to such a country was only meant for privileged people.

And that I wasn’t educated enough.

And that I wasn’t rich enough.

I listened to stories of friends who had gotten their visas rejected. And those stories became engrained in my mind. I solely focused on the things that could go wrong, which paralyzed me and led me to not taking any action.

After some time, I realized that I was never going to be ready. So I decided to apply for the visa last year. I changed my focus and started seeking out success stories. And to my surprise, I found a bunch!

And when the day of the interview came, they did ask me the habitual questions as expected, but guess what? I got my visa approved! I wasn’t richer than before, I didn’t even have a steady job. I just believed with all my might that it was my time. Just as I believed that the air cooler was working.

Golden Gate Baker beach

If we listen to the stories we tell ourselves often enough, they will become our beliefs. These are some of the stories/excuses we tend to tell ourselves:

“I don’t have time.”

“I don’t have enough money.”

“I don’t have the right equipment.”

“I don’t have enough experience.”

“I don’t have the qualifications.”

“It’s difficult.”

“It’s impossible.”

“I’m not good at….

“I can’t have everything.”

Be mindful of your thoughts and words. Perception creates reality. If you believe that something is difficult, impossible, or not good enough, you will experience just that. Create new stories and believe that anything you set your mind to is possible.

Start seeing everything with fresh eyes, regardless of what others have to say. The moment you believe in yourself, possibilities will arise.

My visa experience was an eye-opener. And something I learned is that there is no such thing as the perfect time. I honestly don’t want to wait another decade before I apply for my newfound dream job (will explain in another blog post). I truly believe that we all have enough potential within ourselves regardless of the titles we hold. And the most important resources we have are our character strengths.

Some things will require certain preparation and waiting time, but if we obsess over the preparation stage, we risk permanently delaying what could become an extraordinary life. Share on X

Finally, here’s a little activity for you:

Think about some limiting beliefs, stories, or phrases that you tell yourself or others often, and write down a new positive believe for each one of them. And if you feel like it, you can share them in the comments!

Author: Jessica Araus

Jessica Araus is a mixed media artist and illustrator living in the Netherlands.

6 Replies to “When Consistent Stories Become Beliefs

  1. Great post, Jessica! Love the example of you and the broken air cooler – talk about demonstrating the power our minds have! It’s so true that shifting our beliefs can open up a world of possibility/potential that we wouldn’t otherwise see. I recently did a similar experiment with myself, when I recognized that I was filling my own head with negative self-talk about some projects/deadlines, and how impossible it was to finish everything on time. I shifted to repeating over and over that it was possible, and I would get them done – and amazingly enough I did! Thanks for this reminder (and can’t wait to hear about your dream job 🙂 ).

    1. Thank you Susan! Yes, it is all about perspective and shifting our thinking/beliefs. I’m happy to hear you finished your project on time, way to go! 🙂

  2. Great article, Jessica. I am with you that we allow, most of the time, our limiting beliefs to guide our life. It’s greatto be reminded we are more than our negative talk.

    1. Thanks for reading Edel! You’re right, we are greater than our negative talk. And we all have the power within ourselves to change our beliefs at any moment in life. Sending you love. <3

  3. This is a great post Jess. There are always opportunities around us but we limit ourselves. When we change our perception and are determined, things change. Thanks for sharing.

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