Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Belief Window - Hyrum W. Smith

Hyrum W. Smith is the US author of a number of self-motivational management books, one of which is 'What Matters Most.' I have just finished reading it and would like to share with you his view on 'Belief Windows'.

His 'Belief Window' and it's relationship with our basic needs is a very much simpler version of Maslo's Triangle or hierarchy of needs but it is none the less interesting.

4 Basic Needs
In contrast to Maslo, Smith tells us we have 4 basic needs in our lives that should be met.

  1. To live - basic survival
  2. To Love and be Loved
  3. To be Important - status, standing, respect, etc.
  4. Variety - Amusement, entertainment, lack of drudgery

Belief Window
He tells us that we have a 'Belief Window' through which we look and perceive our lives. This window on the world contains all our perceptions of the world. It shows us what we think we know. The view from everyone's 'Belief Window' is slightly different. We see the world in different ways, depending on who we are, our upbringing and experiences.

Our Beliefs
Our 'beliefs' are the things that we think, accept or believe are true and by which we live our lives; e.g. I never win at conflict therefore I avoid it, big dogs bite therefore I avoid them, if I don't wear nice clothes people will not like me or think I am not important, if I don't do what people ask of me then they will not love me, to be a good mother I must give up my own needs, etc.

Being a Good Mother
NB - I have to say that the belief system surrounding 'being a good mother' and, to a lesser extent 'being a good father', is a vast area of concern for us and one in which we can face and address many unresolved issues. It is an area that most councillors and therapists make a steady income from.

Exam Beliefs
We need to go discover and exam our own beliefs to determine what they are and why they appear to meet your needs, albeit in the short term. The difficulty comes when some of these beliefs may be helping us with conflict but not be meeting our long term needs. These are the ones we really need to change.

If we feel 'conflicted' or concerned in our daily lives, then it may be that our 'beliefs' are not meeting our 'needs' and we should sit down and examine them, to find the 'source' of this conflict. Of course, this is often easier said and sometimes not so easy to do.

Seek Help
It can be difficult to examine the content of our 'belief windows' on our own but a good coach or therapist can assist and at the same time, be objective. They are well trained in helping us to examine our beliefs and from this thoughtful 'examination' we are able to see where the conflict is and what is needing changed.

The change itself may be simple once it is revealed but it may also be more complex and we may need some assistance through that change. Change in all things is difficult and needs to be carefully managed to reduce the stress and discomfort of it.

Benefits of Change
We should not be afraid to seek help in working our way through changes in our thinking or in our lives. We will be pleased that we did so. We will reap the long term benefit of resolving conflict in our lives and see life more clearly through our brighter less complicated Belief Window.

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