The Power of Beliefs
Spirituality is one of the guiding factors in what you believe and how those beliefs preside over your life. As your spirituality guides your beliefs, your beliefs guide your actions and behaviors. Your behavior, positive or negative, affects how you think and feel about yourself.
Your spiritual beliefs guide how you feel about issues ranging from living, death and dying, to understanding the meaning of life, to faith and trust. Among all beliefs, your spiritual beliefs are usually the strongest indicators of your actions and behaviors.
Your self-esteem is tied to your spiritual beliefs in that your esteem soars when you have acted in a way that is harmonious with your belief system and it is damaged when you act in a way that is detrimental to your belief system.
“Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals.”
— Harry Emerson Fosdick
The Placebo Effect
Countless studies have been done on the placebo effect. Patients who are suffering from various conditions are given either a “real” drug treatment or a placebo, a “false” drug treatment commonly called a sugar pill.
The power of the placebo effect is that people do not know they are receiving a placebo (the non-medicine), and their belief in the real drug and their confidence that they are going to improve is so powerful that it actually works, even though they did not receive the real drug.
Placebos were recently used by groups of scientists to treat Parkinson's disease, depression, and pain. In every study, the placebo worked as well as the actual treatment. In a study on depression, cited in Chemistry and Industry, the placebo worked as well, or better than, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. The antidepressants worked as well, but the placebo did, too. Why? Because of the power of belief!
Why are beliefs so hard to change?
Tradition and fear are perhaps the most common reasons that people do not change their beliefs. You've heard people say, “We've always done it that way.” Many people are afraid of the unknown and lack the self-confidence needed to make a major life change such as changing a belief, a custom, or a tradition.
Believing in Yourself
Imagine how powerful the brain is if it can actually begin to heal the body and mind with a sugar pill. Can you imagine the changes that could occur in your life if you gave yourself a self-esteem placebo? For one day, imagine taking a self-esteem pill and believing that you are the very best that you can be.
Imagine that all of your innate gifts are shining and ready for use. Imagine that your advice and information is the most powerful thing on earth. Imagine, for one day, that the pill helps you see your self-image so clearly that you can see your purpose, your reason for living, and you can help heal yourself and the world.
Of course, it isn't possible to take a self-esteem placebo, but it is possible to trick your brain into believing in yourself. It is possible to convince yourself that you are okay and that you have worth. It is possible to include yourself in your belief system. In believing that you are okay, you begin to be so.