Two hundred years ago, fancy wigs were in vogue for both men and women. These pricey headdresses weighed as much as a good sized cantaloupe and could cost as much as a new house.

Thankfully, today no one goes around wearing several pounds of frippery atop their head. Yet, some beliefs we carry are as burdensome and outdated as those outlandish wigs.

Socrates said a shortcut to serenity is to know thyself. It makes sense, then, to examine what beliefs we are schlepping around. Particularly the negative ones.

Here’s where journaling is a great tool. One powerful aspect of taking pen to paper is the clarity it brings to our thoughts and thus into our lives. Negative beliefs, once confronted on the page, take on less frightening proportions. We stand back and view what we have written. Have these attitudes helped or harmed us? We get to decide what stays and what goes.

Exercise: Find a private spot for half an hour and, without thinking about it too much, write one negative belief you have. This could be about yourself, your career, your partner, your health or your finances. Next, list five reasons why you have that belief. When you are finished, consider your list. Do the reasons make sense? Next, write what a new, healthy belief could be, and list five reasons why it might be possible. (Note that you won’t believe these positive reasons; that’s ok. Write them anyway). Now consider. Which set of beliefs are you now willing to carry?

 

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