Beliefs are rules we live by, but we often take them as facts. In reality they are a set of rules that we have each developed from our own interpretations of the world and our (or our organisation’s) experiences.
We have beliefs about ourselves, about other people, about what is possible and about what we are capable of. We can get very personally invested in our beliefs. There can sometimes be nothing more satisfying than saying, “I told you so,” because it means that our beliefs were proved right.
Some things will not change whether we believe in them or not. So for example, “in the world today somewhere the sun will rise,” is an immutable fact. Yet sometimes we set our own beliefs as if they are just as immutable.
So the belief that, “I will never be in an accident,” is not a statement of fact, it is a summation of how things are at the moment. You cannot prove you will never be in an accident, all you can say is that, “to date you have not been in an accident.”
Beliefs can sometimes act as self-fulfilling prophecies, as we can limit ourselves by believing that something is not possible – whether that is individually, in a group or in an organisation. So the statement, “You can never achieve zero accidents,” really begs the question that by holding that belief, have you put a mental ceiling on what you, or the organisation, can achieve?
You have a choice about what you believe. Groucho Marx famously said, “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them….well, I have others.”
So let’s not sell ourselves short; let’s keep an open mind and challenge ourselves. We have the choice about what we believe, if those beliefs don’t serve us….well, let’s choose others.
Kerry Jones, Managing Director