How Your Beliefs Drive What You Do

by: Michelle Ogden, CFP®, CRPS®, CKA®

Though you may not be consciously aware of them, your deep-seated beliefs override what you know and influence your actions

To understand how your beliefs impact your life, let’s examine the knowing, believing, and doing continuum. You start with knowledge, move to belief, and that guides what you do.

We all know the Bible has ten commandments, but do we really believe them? If we believe them, we’ll conduct ourselves in a way that is consistent with them. If we don’t, our conduct will reflect that disbelief.

When it comes to financial management, you may know the basics of what you should be doing to handle your resources, but do you genuinely believe you are worthy of financial wealth and security? If deep down inside you don’t feel worthy, you won’t take the necessary actions to achieve what you know you want.

Benjamin Franklin said, “A small leak will sink a great ship.” The belief that you aren’t worthy is a small leak. The belief that you can’t overcome certain circumstances is a small leak. The belief that your goals are unattainable is a small leak.

Until you get your belief holes patched, you won’t be able to stay afloat and reach your destination.

I am a perfect example. I had the knowledge about money—I was well-trained and I knew what to do. But I had a scarcity mentality that prevented me from believing and doing what I knew for myself. Because of that, I was attracting clients with the same mindset—and I couldn’t help them because I hadn’t helped myself.

I will never forget the moment I realized that I was the problem. It was about 15 years ago, and when the light came on, I was overwhelmed. I suddenly understood that what I believed didn’t match up with what I knew, and it was negatively impacting what I did.

And then I realized: If I’m the problem, I’m also the solution.

I finally understood what actions I needed to take to move along the knowing, believing, and doing continuum that I really wanted for myself, my family, and my clients.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV)

For me, a big part of the process centered around language. Words are so powerful. I committed to speaking life over my life and everybody else’s lives. I would think or say something and ask myself if that word served me. If it didn’t, I vowed to never say it again. I was patching my belief holes and making my ship seaworthy.

You probably know plenty of people who get stuck at the belief stage of the continuum. Think of the person who goes from one bad relationship to another because they don’t truly believe they’re worthy of being treated with care and respect. Or the person who manages to sabotage their financial plan just when they’re getting to a goal. It’s easy to see in others and much harder to see in ourselves.

If you’re not getting the results you want financially or in other areas of your life, examine your own knowing, believing, and doing continuum. You may find it helpful to talk with a trusted advisor—someone who will listen objectively without judging and help you identify what’s holding you back.

Once you figure it out and put together a plan to deal with it, give yourself grace. Speak life over your life. Be willing to take every thought captive and make it obedient to what the Word of God says about you, so not only do you know it, you believe it, and then you start living and breathing it.

That’s my recipe for a transformed life, a life in which you will attract more of what you love and want, and everyone around you will be a reflection of what you believe.

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