Did you, dear readers, pay attention to how much our life depends on the beliefs that we consciously or unconsciously adhere to? After all, we very rarely look, or at least try to look objectively at various events in our lives. In the vast majority of cases, we pass these events through the filter of our beliefs and thus distort them. And these distortions can adversely affect our perception of reality and our adoption of various decisions. At the same time, most of our beliefs came from somewhere and from someone. They were put in us by someone. And only a small part of them is based on our own life experience. But even in this case, we must understand that our experience reflects only a small part of what happens in life. Therefore, you should not always trust your beliefs, no matter what they are based on.
Thus, in beliefs, as in everything else, there are positive and negative sides. We have to face both. This means that the benefits of beliefs must either overlap the harm they cause, or you must be able to completely abandon those beliefs that do not meet our interests, or to review and rethink them. We will talk about how to do this in this article.
To begin with, let’s find out what we are talking about when we talk about beliefs. Beliefs are a stable system of a person’s views based on his knowledge, life experience, faith, attitude to anything, desires and ideas. In a deeper sense, a person’s beliefs are that picture of the world that he accepts and adheres to. Under beliefs, we can also understand the basic ideas of a person about the world, about life, about other people and about himself. With the help of his beliefs, a person navigates this world and makes decisions. If his beliefs are mostly true, adequate to reality, then his decisions will be mostly effective. If the beliefs are wrong, then a person will make many mistakes in life. But no matter how human beliefs are correct, they have one serious drawback – they are mostly static, and therefore they are beliefs, and not living thinking, which is always in search of something new. In this sense, thinking is different from beliefs – it is more effective in solving some problems and tasks, as it allows you to find a new approach to them. Life does not stand still, and the world is not fully understood, so it is extremely naive to believe that you know and understand everything, adhering to certain beliefs.
On the other hand, beliefs based on faith, among others, cannot be dispensed with. We cannot constantly question everything and each time take a new approach to the issues and issues already known to us. For this, we have neither mental nor temporary resources. Therefore, we need to rely on the knowledge and beliefs that we have in the form of beliefs that allow us to quickly navigate in a particular situation and understand how we need to act in order to solve the problem we are facing. Thus, our beliefs are a map with which we can move from one point to another, making certain decisions. This map does not reflect reality as it really is. It presents us only with a simplified model of it, which is exactly as accurate as our beliefs are reasonable. And the reasonableness of our beliefs largely depends on how well we are aware of them. Think about what your beliefs are based on? What knowledge [verified], beliefs, experience, values and other things lie at their base? How often do you think about the quality of your beliefs? How well do they help you achieve your goals in life? There may be many such questions. With their help, you can understand how accurate your model of the world is and, therefore, useful to you. It is largely based on your reasonably conscious beliefs. values and stuff to be at their core? How often do you think about the quality of your beliefs? How well do they help you achieve your goals in life? There may be many such questions. With their help, you can understand how accurate your model of the world is and, therefore, useful to you. It is largely based on your reasonably conscious beliefs. values and stuff to be at their core? How often do you think about the quality of your beliefs? How well do they help you achieve your goals in life? There may be many such questions. With their help, you can understand how accurate your model of the world is and, therefore, useful to you. It is largely based on your reasonably conscious beliefs.
Are our beliefs always conscious, deliberate, and useful to us? Of course no. Most of the beliefs held by people are based on their blind faith in anything. We believe in some things not because they are reasonable, adequate to reality and useful to us, but because we are just used to them and we like them. Here is a simple example. We want, for example, to believe in life after death, which is arranged in a certain way [life in paradise], and we believe in this life. Because we want to believe in it, we like it, it’s so convenient for us. And at the same time, we believe that we need to adhere to a certain behavior in order to find this life after death. Therefore, we believe [some of us] that there is right and wrong behavior, the correctness and incorrectness of which does not depend on its effectiveness, and from its conformity to those requirements, by answering which we can find life in paradise, after we die. That is, it turns out that the goal we believe in determines our behavior in the present. But at the same time, this our behavior in the present may not meet our current interests. So think about how such beliefs, which are expressed in a person’s desire for unclear, distant goals, to the detriment of closer and more tangible goals, can be considered conscious and reasonable. Meanwhile, many people evaluate their behavior in this way. They compare it with the standard of behavior in their head, on which, as they believe, the quality of both their current life and their possible subsequent life after death depends. In other words, they determine the correctness or incorrectness of their behavior by the wrong results which thanks to him get here and now, but to those, that’s what they believe. This I have given you only one example of sufficiently dubious beliefs, probably the most striking, given the number of people who perceive religion in a traditional way. In reality, there are many more such examples. After all, all people believe in something, know something, have experienced something. And everything that they believe in, that they know what they saw, heard, experienced, lies at the basis of their beliefs, which will not necessarily be conscious, thought out and useful. But they will be quite durable, because people really value what they consider to be theirs. In reality, there are many more such examples. After all, all people believe in something, know something, have experienced something. And everything that they believe in, that they know what they saw, heard, experienced, lies at the basis of their beliefs, which will not necessarily be conscious, thought out and useful. But they will be quite durable, because people really value what they consider to be theirs. In reality, there are many more such examples. After all, all people believe in something, know something, have experienced something. And everything that they believe in, that they know what they saw, heard, experienced, lies at the basis of their beliefs, which will not necessarily be conscious, thought out and useful. But they will be quite durable, because people really value what they consider to be theirs.
Some of our beliefs may be illogical, but at the same time very stable, thanks to public opinion. It is of great importance to many people. Suppose a person can hold the belief that lying is bad, sinful. And he may be completely uninterested in another point of view on this issue. Even if he is pointed out that he himself often lies and that sometimes his lies are necessary, he can’t do without him in this life, he can still remain with his opinion. That is, his belief in lies will remain unshakable. Why? Because this belief is an integral part of his picture of the world. His whole life is based, among other things, on this belief. Many of the decisions that he once made and is taking now are based, to one degree or another, on this belief. What do you think, Is it easy for a person to refuse all this, especially if he has lived with this conviction for most of his life? Perhaps not. If he refuses it, then he will have to reconsider many of his other views on many other issues that are somehow related to his conviction. He and his experience will have to rethink and reconsider his views on many decisions that he made, based on his conviction. Can you imagine what kind of work this is? And what a discomfort from understanding that you were wrong for so long, considering the truth that it is not. And all this person needs to be dealt with. For if, having changed his conviction, he will not restore order in his head, he will simply lose his peace, he will be tormented by thoughts that, like on a conscious, so on an unconscious level will begin to conflict with his new beliefs. Therefore, many people prefer to remain with their old beliefs, so as not to leave their comfort zone and not to do difficult mental work.
There is another point – our ego. We somehow don’t really like to admit that we were mistaken in something, did not understand something, did not know something. This reduces our self-esteem, undermines our credibility in our own eyes, nourishes our uncertainty when making decisions in the future. This is especially difficult to do for people with a depressed psyche, because inside them there is so much negativity that must be balanced by good thoughts about oneself in order not to get depressed. Therefore, it is very difficult to admit your mistakes and errors in this state. And that is why many people resist everything that does not fit into their supposedly perfect picture of the world, in which they see themselves as very smart, good, correct, adequate and error-free people.
Now imagine how difficult it is for the same psychologist to induce a person [client, patient] to think about his beliefs, to understand how they are related to those problems that he wants to solve and begin to take the necessary volitional efforts to change wrong beliefs to more constructive ones. Sometimes it is like trying to break a concrete wall with your forehead. But psychologists manage to do this when they show persistence and ingenuity. In such cases, working on a textbook does not always work, you have to improvise a lot to find a way to the client’s mind.
So you see how much his beliefs mean to a person. These are not just the things that we know and believe in – they are an essential part of our personality and our lives.
Meaning of persuasion
The meaning of any belief is to simplify our lives. You and I can philosophize for a long time about any basic statement that exists in this world, we can turn everything upside down, question, distort, refute, prove the opposite, thanks to our thinking. But we have no time, and someone doesn’t really want to do this. Therefore, many things have to be taken on faith and agreed with those truths that only look like truth, but in reality are not. So life becomes easier and more understandable. And this simplicity has its practical benefits. The fact is that in our world sometimes it is necessary to react very quickly to certain events, without really thinking about them. For this, it is necessary to be able to correctly evaluate these events and select the most appropriate behavior template for them. This must be done quickly. This is where our beliefs help us, thanks to which we quickly put everything in its place and make the necessary decisions. At the same time, we convince ourselves that we understand everything and control everything, because we know what exactly is happening and what to do about it. Sometimes, of course, we are mistaken, but in most cases, our beliefs help us survive and achieve certain successes, so we value them.
There is another meaning in our beliefs – this is psychological comfort. We feel much more confident and smarter when we think we know, well, if not all, then a lot, or at least what we need for a normal life. In reality, this is not so. For it’s not just a single person, but in general all of humanity still does not know much about this world. But thinking that we know a lot, we believe that we can control a lot and are able to influence a lot. And thanks to this opinion, we are calm and even sometimes overly self-confident. Also, our psychological comfort is affected by the convenience for us of our beliefs. For example, if a person considers himself good, smart, talented, and so on, then he is good from such an opinion about himself, right? Other people can see a completely different personality in him and have a completely different opinion about him. But he doesn’t need to know about it. He lives in his fictional world in which he likes what he sees several times every day in the mirror, both literally and figuratively. And another important point, thanks to which our beliefs help us feel comfortable, is associated with the laziness of the human mind. People don’t really like to think long and gruelingly about something, to reason and ponder something – for real, asking difficult questions and building complex structures out of them, and not just chasing other people’s thoughts on the head or arguing about something with foam at the mouth. They therefore do not like this, because mental work is very hard work, much harder than physical. And without special need, people do not want to do it. It’s much easier to turn to your beliefs, giving an assessment to this or that event and making this or that decision. Beliefs do not require external and internal dialogue from a person, unless he is going to rethink them. They simply are and they can be imposed on different events and different people. Thinking for this is not necessary, at least a lot.
This is the meaning of a person’s convictions. Thanks to our beliefs, our life is relatively simple and comfortable for us. Although beliefs are different and some of them poison people’s lives. Therefore, you need to work with such harmful beliefs, on your own or with the help of a specialist, in order to replace them with more useful ones.
Essence of persuasion
Now let’s touch on a more interesting question and talk about the essence of beliefs. The essence is the most important and essential in anything. So, the essence of any belief is a person’s desire to live in an understandable and explainable world. This is the most important thing that our beliefs give us. Thanks to them, we have a stable model of the world in our head. Without conviction, we would be forced to rediscover this world each time, studying its features as if it had just been born. Moreover, as I wrote above, beliefs make our lives easier. And the simpler the belief itself, the easier it is to accept it. People like to smear everything with black and white colors – seeing in some things only good and in others only bad. And so they need convictions that enable them to concrete their picture of the world with the help of eternal and indestructible truths. People do not need such philosophical points of view as knowing that you know nothing. People want to know the obvious things, the evidence of which should not be questioned under any circumstances. In this sense, our beliefs make us sighted in the darkness of ignorance and give us confidence in our own abilities.
How are beliefs formed?
And now we will consider an even more interesting and important issue regarding the beliefs of man. This is a question of how they are formed, our beliefs. We must understand where it comes from and comes to what we consider our own. This is easy to understand, understanding the essence and meaning of the beliefs about which I wrote above. Therefore, knowing why beliefs are needed and what is most important in them, we can see and understand the pattern of their formation.
Beliefs are formed thanks to a person’s personal experience, his knowledge, upbringing, some bright events in his life that made a strong impression on him and made him believe in something, as well as thanks to social stereotypes and authoritative personalities that a person believed and believes . All these sources of belief have, to one degree or another, once influenced and continue to influence each of us. I don’t know if you believe that any, even the most ingenious person brings to this world no more than ten percent of really something of his own, but it is clear that much of what we know and in what we believe has come to us from other people. And this means that any information from the outside world in one way or another forms our beliefs. It makes no sense to classify it somehow, although I did just that above to show you where do we get what later becomes our beliefs. The main thing, in my opinion, is different here. We need to understand how our beliefs affect our lives. To do this, you can make the return move – think, looking at your life, what led you to it. Our life has shaped certain beliefs in us. And now they are affecting our life, making it what it is.
Each person has his own experience of gaining certain beliefs. Someone basically succumbed to public opinion and based on it formed their beliefs. For someone, the main source of his convictions was authoritative personalities, for example, parents, teachers, mentors and simply successful people in something. And someone’s beliefs were formed mainly thanks to the books that he read. Well, your life experience should not be discounted. He also teaches us a lot. For someone, this experience underlies all his beliefs, when a person believes primarily in what he once saw, heard, touched, felt, and so on. Usually people are well convinced that makes them a very strong impression. I mean what causes strong emotions and feelings. Logic and reason are much less likely and to a lesser extent contribute to the formation of beliefs.
How to convince a person of something? There are many different methods to do this. I will tell you about some of them, which, in my opinion, are the most powerful and often used. First of all, it should be said that any persuasion methods have one common basis – they are addressed to the needs and desires of people. It is easy to convince a person that in one way or another meets his interests, desires, needs. And this means that a person can be convinced of anything, because any ideas can be connected with his interests, desires and needs. A simple example is a flat Earth. Why does a person need such a conviction, especially if he knows that it is round? If he lives in a society in which it is important to adhere to the point of view of the majority, in order to at least survive, and at the very least to gain someone’s support, then what difference does it make, what kind of earth is it really? Let it be flat if others want it.
It is not the truth of the matter, but the fact that it gives a person. Therefore, it is much easier for people to start believing in what is beneficial for them to believe in or even vital to believe. For this reason, people always try to adhere to the beliefs that are advantageous and convenient for them, and not true.
Simplicity, certainty, understandability – this is another very important criterion for most methods of persuasion. People do not want to carry in their heads too complex mental constructions, theories, concepts. They do not need beliefs with variable truths, relative statements, various kinds of variations. It is easier for them to make clear and concise statements that specifically speak of specific things. Such people are good, and such bad, this is right, and this is not, this is true, and this is false. And that’s it, without options. These beliefs can sit in the minds of many people all their lives. Beliefs should be simple and easy, understandable and definite, and can even be said to be interesting, so that people can easily remember and adopt them.
The next important point in the methods of persuasion is, as I already said, the colorfulness, brightness of an event or some statement. It is easy to convince people of something if you make a strong emotional impression on them. People need emotions, feelings, energy, in which they need to clothe the truths transmitted to them. It is not for nothing that people more believe in those who speak loudest, shout, and swear. Sometimes it makes sense to even mention qualities such as courage, insolence and assertiveness, and even arrogance, thanks to which many speakers convinced people of their views. Strength must be felt in beliefs, so that most people accept them, since strength in this world is a very weighty argument.
The next method of persuasion is based on the ability to bring a person to the right thoughts, attitudes, conclusions, while not hurting his self-esteem, pride and ego. It is necessary to help a person in every possible way to save face, convincing him of something, so that he does not consider himself dumber and weaker than you. This, in my opinion, is the most useful persuasion method with which people can be taught something and help them solve their problems. This is the approach I use in my consultations, because I have long been convinced that no matter what useful advice a specialist gives to his clients, most often they do not follow them, including because of a reluctance to follow other people’s tips and recommendations, to the detriment of his own opinion and desires. This approach allows you to bypass many of the psychological defenses of a person and convey important thoughts to his consciousness. But he also has a drawback. It cannot be used if a person, client, student, patient does not want to think, reason, think. Or even worse, it does not know how to do it. Then, how many do not push a person into useful thoughts, he will still not draw independent conclusions. Therefore, this method of persuasion is sometimes useless.
Logic is also often used to convince people of something, but it is not always well received. I can use iron logic to prove to the smoker the harmfulness of his habits. And he can agree with me on everything, but he still will not give up smoking. Because my conviction about the dangers of smoking will not become his conviction, since he can understand everything with his head, but his body will push him to further harm his health. Logic helps explain, chew, prove, but it is not able to help the mind of another person to cope with its animal essence. In fact, all arguments addressed to the mind, in the process of persuading a person, will be as effective as this person is intelligent. If he does not perceive logic well, if he is not used to thinking over his own or others’ thoughts, then convincing him with the help of logic alone is pointless. Nonetheless, logic must always be present in the process of persuasion, even the most elementary. The human brain is so arranged that it is always looking for a connection between different statements. Thinking, of course, can be frustrating, as sometimes happens in religious sects, where a person can be so absurd, illogical, contrary to any common sense, that he can be convinced that he will simply forget how to think correctly. In these cases, pseudology and some other methods of persuasion are used. But in most other cases, normal logic is needed. Moreover, the simpler it will be [will consist of fewer links], the better. If A, then B – this is the easiest way for people to understand and accept. But the more complex the logical construction, the more suspicion it causes. For everything complicated is often false.
Repeating information repeatedly is a relatively simple and highly effective method of persuasion. If you are constantly hammered by an idea, then sooner or later you accept it, well, most likely accept it, because you will begin to consider it very important, since it is repeated so often. And since it is important, it means true. In any case, it must be remembered. And remembering something, we then consider this information to be our own, and it becomes part of our beliefs. This is how primitive advertising works, which a hundred times a day inspires people that this particular washing powder is the best on the market, so you need to buy it. Many people say that advertising does not work on them. And look, and you will see that they are surrounded by advertised things everywhere. So no matter who says this persuasion method,
Fear is a very effective way of persuading. When people experience fear, they are ready to believe in anything, just to get rid of it. They also remember well what is associated with a sense of fear and try not to encounter those that cause it. For example, parents often use fears to convince their child not to do what they think they should not do. Myths and legends that appeal to people’s sense of fear are also quite stable – they are believed in, they are referred to, when explaining strange and terrible phenomena, they are scared. So this feeling, perhaps the most powerful of all, is used in many methods of persuasion.
Myths and legends are what the beliefs of most people are based on. Even many historical facts often turn out to be nothing more than myths. And these myths form the basis of the beliefs of a huge number of people who then make important life decisions, starting from these beliefs. So you can live your whole life blindly, without realizing that you were moving along an nonexistent path to an unattainable goal. The essence of this method is to turn to the past, to myths and legends, convincing something of another person, other people. People willingly believe that they have a very long history, which many generations before them believed. Well, the colorful and unusual myth, the legend, as I wrote above, gives it extra weight.
These are the methods of persuasion I can bring to your attention. In fact, there are many more. But even these are enough to convince most people of almost anything.
Power of persuasion
Now let’s talk about the power of beliefs. This power should not be underestimated. She is much more powerful than she seems. Most people are driven not by common sense, but by what they believe. And people can believe in everything, even in the most absurd things. As I said above, I am absolutely sure that almost any person can be convinced of anything. Why do I think so? Because it is impossible to synchronize objective reality with that reality that is in the human head. We all live in imaginary worlds that are only partially a reflection of the outside world. Therefore, in any case, a person will adhere to some beliefs, regardless of who turns out to be their author. For we all need some kind of model of the world in our head to navigate in the environment. So beliefs are strong above all that we simply cannot do without them. But what these beliefs will be is another question.
I repeat, people can believe in anything. Therefore, if someone convinces a person that black is white and white is black, then one should not be surprised that he will begin to consider this the truth. Never be surprised at the absurdity of one’s beliefs and do not go against a person if you see that he is not ready to give them up. Your picture of the world is true only for you, and other people can look at life differently and understand it in their own way. One must be able to accept their views in order to find a common language with them. That’s why I advise you to more often agree with people on various issues, if possible, and not argue or persuade them to be able to negotiate with them.
The strength of one belief or another is often embodied in the form of violence. In this form, this power is easiest to see and feel. Once an authoritative person is to instill destructive ideas into the masses, people will begin to do evil to bring these crazy ideas to life. This has happened more than once in history. Beliefs in such cases become social viruses that pass from one person to another and ultimately affect the minds and hearts of most people. And interestingly, even if these beliefs are absurd, the very fact that most people believe in them helps to strengthen and spread them. It’s easier for a person to join the majority, whatever the majority does not believe, than to draw their own conclusions, and even more so, try to convince this majority in something. Most often, strong destructive beliefs are picked up by weak people who want to feel strong with their help. Moreover, violence against someone else is often a way of protecting against this violence. A weak person understands, or feels, that while the majority to which he belongs hates someone else, he is not in danger. Aggression and violence have always been a part of our society. But few people want to be their target.
Man’s beliefs are his program of action. And the closer this program is to the natural essence of man, the easier it is to follow it. And aggression and the desire to commit violence against other people, mostly weaker ones, are part of our nature. That is why many leaders, manipulating the masses, turned more to their aggressive animal essence than to reason and virtue. It’s easier for people to make someone hate than to love someone. And hating someone and even more so doing someone evil, people feel strong. Most people have always needed an enemy because they do not want to be responsible for their own problems, failures, suffering, miscalculations, stupidities. It’s easier to blame someone else. And therefore, if they find this enemy, it is desirable in the person of whom they are able to punish, then people will willingly accept this idea. They will believe in evil, but they will consider themselves good, for all evil can be justified. Which is what those manipulators who control the crowd through its aggression do. They find their enemies, scapegoats and urge them to punish. This is the strength and at the same time the danger of certain beliefs – in the idea embodied in physical violence.
But there is another, positive force of beliefs – the power of non-violence, the power of love, the power of good. A person can be convinced of the need to do good deeds, help other people, work for the common good, and lead a creative lifestyle. And although it is more difficult to convince a person of the need to be good and good than evil and bad, we still see that in general our culture succeeds. Culture contrasts the natural aggressive essence of man with reason and virtue. Thus, a person can be programmed for any life by forming appropriate beliefs in him. This also expresses their strength – they make a person who he is.
Nevertheless, the greatest force is attached to beliefs that they can be anything, regardless of objective reality. Beliefs can be good, that is, useful for a person and society, and can be bad, bringing people pain and suffering. However, their main quality is survivability. Like it or not, and without any convictions we cannot live. And the longer the conviction, the more stable it is and the more people hold it, the stronger it is. Moreover, most of our beliefs are based on statements, truths and facts that we ourselves are not able to verify. In fact, most of our beliefs are based on our belief in something. Even what we know from our own experience can have a different explanation. The only question is what explanation we will accept, which one we will believe. And some explanation for everything that we see, hear, know, we still have to accept. And when we do this, when we decide on our beliefs, we will empower them, allowing them to control our lives. Consequently, your current beliefs largely govern your life and your behavior. And if you don’t really like your life for any reason, then it makes sense to reflect on these beliefs and, if possible and necessary, revise them.