YOUR BELIEFSWhere Did They Come From and Are They Really Yours?

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?
YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?



If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be,

you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be.


— Dale Carnegie


  1. “the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty;”
  2. “a mental representation of an attitude positively oriented toward the likelihood of something being true.”

YOUR BELIEFSWhere Did They Come From and Are They Really Yours?

Ancient Greek thought identifies belief as being related to: pistis, meaning trust and confidence; and doxa, meaning “orthodoxy,” referring to opinion and acceptance.  


In his book, What Beliefs Are Made From, author Jonathan Leicester writes: “… belief has the purpose of guiding action rather than indicating truth.”


Ready for some cold hard truth?   Beliefs are just thoughts, and most are not ours.


Beliefs are funny.  We don’t believe the sun will come up—we expect it to come up—and it does, every day.

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come from and Are They Really Yours?
We don’t believe the sun will come up—we expect it to come up—and it does, every day.

Who chose the religion or spiritual affiliation that you identify as yours?  Was it handed down to you by your family who lives by that religion?  Or maybe your friends?  Your sorority, fraternity, or school?  Were you born into it?  Were you baptized in it?  Married into it?  Pressured into it?  Was it the religion of our community?  Your culture?  Your country?  Your history?  A movement?  A revolution? 


If you were raised in a certain religion, it is likely that you still follow that religion, or identify it as your roots—even if you don’t practice it, attend services, or even know all its principles. Just by its familiarity to you or your family, you identify it as yours. Yet, most likely, it was not you who intentionally, thoughtfully, actively, or passionately chose it. You just followed the familiar path.  Have you ever wondered which religion or spiritual belief you would choose if you could study and understand all the belief systems in the world?  Have you asked yourself why we even choose a religion?


Going astray—a common phrase used to describe what many children do as a result of being raised in religious households—has troubled parents for generations.  Dismayed, confused, or angry, the parent’s mindset is, we taught our children better. Yet, they haven’t considered that their children would eventually make religious, moral, and other decisions for themselves, based on their individual preferences, desires, and needs.


Who chose your political affiliation?  Did you follow your family’s affiliation?  Are your choices a result of following the party of the region you live in?  Is it the same affiliation as that of your friends?  Is it out of a desire to fit in with a majority? Is it peer pressure?  Do you find yourself choosing words, actions and lifestyles, in order to appear politically correct?  Have you done enough research to feel and know, with absolute confidence, that your affiliation is aligned with who you are inside and all you believe in? Have you asked why you choose one at all?


About the time I first began writing this book, America had just experienced an extremely divisive political election like never before. The world-wide-web posted a clip of a very young boy who, in a mock election at school, had voted for the candidate opposite the one his parents voted for.  Upon arriving home, his mother videotaped him being escorted out of the house with a suitcase she had packed for him and carrying a sign that said he was kicked out of the house for voting for the wrong person.  Rather than praising her child for using his personal choice and critical thinking, and even using the circumstance to create an open discussion with him, she humiliated him, further deepening his familial and social conditioning, and, quite possibly, emotionally and mentally scarring him for years, if not life.


A daughter asked her mother why the family meatloaf recipe that they all Loved needed to be baked in a tiny six-inch pan. It was never big enough to feed the entire family. The mother answered that the recipe was passed down from her mother, and she didn’t want to alter it in any way, even to make a larger size, for fear of changing the result.  She suggested that the daughter ask her mother (the grandmother) about it.  The grandmother gave the same answer that the girl’s mother did and suggested that her granddaughter ask her mother (the great grandmother) about it. When the girl asked her great grandmother, she was informed, “It’s the only size pan that would fit in my oven. Ovens were much smaller back then.”  Until the daughter persisted in seeking the real reason for something she perceived as illogical, the familial conditioned habit and response would have continued, creating more generations of followers, like sheep.


How often do we assume that our actions and beliefs are based on information that we understand and agree with?

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?
How often do we assume that our actions and beliefs are based on information that we understand and agree with?


Pause to write.


What are some of your beliefs that you assume are yours because you have heard them so much, or believed them for a long time?  Here are a few examples:


Health: “All the men in our family eventually get diabetes.”

Happiness: “No one is capable of staying truly happy.”

Relationships: “Relationships usually bring pain.”

Creativity: “Some people are creative.  I didn’t get that gene.

Success: “Success is having a house, a couple cars, recreational toys, two plus vacations a year, and a triple digit income.”

Appearance: “I’m not attractive enough for (fill in the blank).”

Intelligence: “I never score well on tests, because I don’t have a high enough IQ.”

Self-Worth: “I can’t start my own business.  I’m not skilled, experienced, gifted, or licensed in anything.”

Destiny-Fate-Karma: “My mother had a hard life, and her mother had a hard life. Women have hard lives in our family.”


Depending on our age and level of self-discovery, most of our beliefs are beliefs that have been handed down to us, expected of us, or programmed into us.  Are you living authentically by your personal beliefs and desires?  Or, are you living by the beliefs and desires of others? 


Be honest with yourself.  Write a list of five or more beliefs about the topics above, or about money, Love, God, religion, sex, power, life, family, work, happiness, freedom, or any other beliefs that come to mind.  Leave some space between each belief. In the space between each belief you listed, write your response to each of the following three questions.  Respond from a place of openness, willingness, self-inquiry, discovery, and curiosity.  Imagine that anything is possible.


Your Belief___________________________________________________________________


Where does that belief come from? (Where, or from whom, do you remember first hearing it, or continually hearing it?)

Is it real, factual, true, as far as you, know?  Or is it an expectation, or assumption, but not necessarily true?

Is it something you truly, completely, and always believe, agree with, and value?  Or was it handed down to you, or expected of you, or programmed into you (from parent, friend, teacher, mentor, religious leader, political leader, society, culture)?

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?
Are you living authentically by your personal beliefs and desires? Or, are you living by the beliefs and desires of others?


After writing your responses to each of the beliefs you wrote, look at what you wrote.  Then, write your responses to these questions:


How do you feel? 

What beliefs do you have that don’t feel good to you?

What beliefs do you have because someone close to you has that belief?


Each belief that you discovered did not come from you is not your belief, yet you have been carrying it in that sack on your back.  You do not need to carry beliefs that are not true to you.  If they are not true to you, they are defeating you, weighing you down, undermining your power to live authentically, energetically, happily, and freely.  It is time to let these go and release their weight on your thoughts.


Write your responses:


What beliefs do you have that don’t make you feel energized, empowered, joyful, healthy, strong, capable, hopeful, or excited about life?


Are you afraid to change any of these beliefs?  If so, which beliefs?  Why?  Write any thoughts, fears, or concerns that come to you about what might happen if you changed the belief you are hesitant to change.  If any thoughts or feelings come up for you, like failure, regret, self-identity, loyalty, letting someone down, where you’ve been, or your past, go back and review one of the previous posts that calls to you.


What the mouth says, the mind hears.

What the mind hears, the heart believes.

What the heart believes, the body does.

— Joseph Binning

I’ve written another article that you might like. You can read it here:


If you have enjoyed this article, please visit me at for more helpful tips and articles.

You can also get more helpful information in my book You Matter, even if you don’t think so which you can purchase on Amazon here Amazon You Matter, even if you don’t think so

For my free report Happiness Is A Choice click here: Happiness Is A Choice Free Report

Remember: Happiness is a choice, so be happy.

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?
Remember to enjoy the little things in life.

What I Learned from Being Stuck and Frozen 

This writing is in memory of my Father, who—without knowing it — helped make me the man I am today.

When I was a young boy, my father seemed bigger than life, like most fathers seem to young sons. I looked at him in the same way that I imagine my son Jeremiah looked at me at that age—the Superhero—the towering giant who can fix anything, do anything, and make anything seem better than it is.  We see what we want to see until we don’t. Little did I know that he would teach me an important life lesson. What I Learned from Being Stuck and Frozen.

Life took him away from me incredibly early in my life, so we never got to have the kinds of deep conversations that my son and I have had. We never shared a beer together. We never ran a half marathon together, never traveled the world together, never went camping, never attended baseball or football games together.  My memories of him are very few, but I have one that will never fade.  

I was about seven years old, and we were returning home from somewhere.  We were laughing when he pulled into the driveway. He was good at making me laugh. As we got out, and I looked at him over the roof of the car, all I could see was his head. My superhero dad seemed so small, with only a head and no body.  As I chuckled, I slammed the car door shut with my thumb still in the door. Screaming at the top of my lungs, crying for him to fix it, I stood frozen, unable to move. What he did next remains forever etched in my mind.

Calmly and gently, but firmly, my father said, “JOSEPH — OPEN THE DOOR.”

What I Learned from Being Stuck and Frozen and Why You Need to Read This


At that point in my seven-year life, I had fallen, bumped, smashed, crashed, and broken quite a few objects and body parts.  On those occasions when I’d hurt myself, I’d had seen the alarm in his eyes, sometimes panic.  This time it was different.  His eyes were still quiet and wise, as if he knew he was passing down an important lesson, from a father to his son.

Life guarantees things will go wrong, and we’ll get hurt. Sometimes in those moments, we freeze or panic. The lesson that my father taught me is, when those things happen, get calm, breathe—and OPEN THE DOOR.  My dad reminded me I have the knowledge, the ability, and the strength to handle the situation.


So, I did, I opened the door, and I was free. Afterward, he walked me in the house, put my thumb on ice, and did what a wonderful dad does, gave me a bowl of ice cream.  Then, we went to the doctor. 


The thumb nail eventually fell off and, to this day, a small section on my left thumbnail doesn’t grow.  That’s just fine with me. When I feel stuck, it’s my reminder to get calm, breathe, and OPEN THE DOOR.

Thanks Dad. 

I was born to two people who Loved each other enough to deliver my brother and me into the world and create a family.  Out of his sons, I was my father’s favorite.  He and my mother discovered they weren’t right for each other and chose separate paths.  It’s an awfully familiar story.


Some in my family have suggested my father did not have the proper tools to be a father, not in the state of mind, to be the best example for me. I’ll never know. He took the divorce extremely hard and could not see us after they separated.  My last memories of him were watching him sit in his car crying outside of our house.  Without my superhero father, I felt alone.  


We moved every year.  My mother struggled alone on a secretary’s salary to raise two boys in Los Angeles, California.  Most landlords wouldn’t allow us to renew the lease, since most months we were late with rent. My brother and I never knew about that—her way of protecting us.  

What I Learned from Being Stuck and Frozen and Why You Need to Read This
Being the new kid meant they bullied you


Being the new kid meant they bullied you—unless the other kids thought you were crazy—in which case, they’d leave you alone. I learned early on to pick a fight with the biggest kid on the playground on the first day of school, even if I’d get pulverized, which was the case a fair amount of the time, and the other kids would leave you alone.  


I ran away from home a few times. I thought If I could just find my dad then everything would be alright. I hadn’t yet been told that he was dead. 

The cause listed on his death certificate I would later find was suicide.

Alcohol and sleeping pills were apparently somewhat common during that era.  I found out three years after he died, when I was in ninth grade—again, my mother’s way of protecting us.  


Although I was a decent student—passing my freshman year with a B+ average—I didn’t feel good enough, ever.  When I was fifteen, my mother dropped me off at the local police station.  From there, they sent me to juvenile hall and sent to live at a boy’s home for troubled youth, called at the time The Pacific Lodge Boys Home.  


Woodland Hills, California, was a strange place for a boy’s home.  We attended the local public high school for some sense of normal life.  That worked in theory, but kids can be very cruel. We were referred to as “the Lodge Boys” by the other kids and reminded daily that we were not “normal” kids.


Friends were hard to come by, unless they were from the Lodge.  So, most of us just hung out with each other, it created a bond between us.  If someone from school messed with a Lodge Boy-and they usually did—we all came running.  We called ourselves The Band of Wayward Brothers.


They designed the daily schedule at the lodge around individual counseling and occasional family group counseling sessions, with the eventual goal of reuniting each boy into his family unit. I knew in the back of my mind I’d never return home, that I’d live at the Lodge until I turned eighteen, alone, with no family, no tribe, and no one to belong to—a throwaway child no one wanted. 

One minute you belonged to something—be it healthy or dysfunctional, it was your tribe, your family—and the next minute, it’s taken away.  You’re suddenly, unexpectedly, bewilderedly alone.  After losing my dad as a child, I felt alone.  Now I truly was alone and lost.


The multiple dorm residential facility had several counselors who worked and slept there during their shifts.  One of my counselors, Cane, was a social worker. He was a warm, laid-back surfer guy, and was always nice, Cane genuinely cared and never judged us.  I was horrible to him. We all were. We were a group of angry, hurt boys, deposited in a home for troubled youth, who felt alone in the world.  


Out of the hundred, or so, kids at the Lodge that Christmas, only two of us were not going home to be with our family for the holiday. My friend Patrick and I wouldn’t be going home, which meant that our counselor Cane, whose shift was that night, had to stay at the dorm with just the two of us, instead being of home for Christmas with his family.

What I Learned from Being Stuck and Frozen and Why You Need to Read This
Out of the hundred, or so, kids at the Lodge that Christmas, only two of us were not going home to be with our family for the holiday.


Little did we know, Cane had asked, and received permission, to take Patrick and I off campus for Christmas.  We didn’t know what we were getting into, but it was better than being at the Lodge for Christmas. 


Cane picked us up on Christmas Eve and off we went on what he called

“Cane’s Christmas Present Run”, visiting friends of his to exchange presents and Christmas wishes.  Not once did any of them make us feel awkward for being there, even though they knew where we were from.  The day ended at his mother’s house with homemade Christmas dinner and all the fixings.  It was a real family dinner with lots of food and lots of people, none of whom made either of us feel left out or unwelcome.


Cane and his mother gave presents to Patrick and me—no ugly sweaters or generic or cheap items—genuine gifts they put thought into selecting just for us. I had never known that kind of generosity.  I didn’t understand it.  I’ll never forget that day for as long as I live.  


When he brought us back the next day, I asked him why he was being so nice to me.  He said,


“My job, Joe, is to Love you enough, until the day comes when you can Love yourself that much.”


I have never forgotten his words, though I didn’t know what that meant. 

My life changed that day. I have had my ups and my downs.

I’ve been homeless to a homeowner. Not a simple task in California.

Unemployable to a nationally recognized business owner.

Poor and broke, to not having to worry about being evicted.

A 15-year-old throw away child to a sitting Board Member of the San Diego Center for Children I affectionately call The Pacific Lodge Boys Home South.

A lost boy, to world traveler, knowing now that not all those who wander are lost.

Multiple Ironman triathlon series finisher.

And now new author of a book titled “You Matter, even if you don’t think so”.

What I Learned from Being Stuck and Frozen and Why You Need to Read This
Prove Them Wrong


To the next generation of Wayward Brothers and Sisters, or anybody who thinks they are stuck and frozen, here is what I have learned along the way. I hope it helps you.

  1. Good people make bad decisions sometimes, that doesn’t make them bad people, it just makes it a bad decision.
  2. Forgive easily and often. Others and especially yourself. Remember, there is only one perfect, and we aren’t it.
  3. You are not broken, and therefore do not need “fixing”. You are perfect, just the way you are.
  4. Life rewards the brave, so be brave. Take a chance on yourself and others.
  5. Knowledge is only potential, but action is power. Knowing what to do is only half the equation. Take that leap of faith.
  6. Be the best for you, just for you. You deserve it.
  7. Love yourself first with all your heart. Those around you will benefit more.
  8. Be your own best friend first. And don’t let him or her down or cut them any slack.
  9. Just because someone says it doesn’t mean it’s true. They have the right to an opinion, but you also may choose to not believe it.
     10.  Happiness is a choice, not a place, thing, moment, or a person. Only you can make you happy.
    11.  Everything in life is a precious gift. Treat it as such and don’t disregard it or you will lose it.
    12.  Everything happens for a reason, figure out why. There are no mistakes in life, only lessons.

Last, and most importantly,






If this helped you, spoke to you, or made you think of someone who needs to read this, please leave your comments, and share it.

If you have enjoyed this article, please visit me at for more helpful tips and articles.

You can also get more helpful information in my book You Matter, even if you don’t think so which you can purchase on Amazon here Amazon You Matter, even if you don’t think so

For my free report Happiness Is A Choice click here: Happiness Is A Choice Free Report

Remember: Happiness is a choice, so choose to be happy.

You Matter, even if you don't think so by Joseph Binning
You Matter, even if you don’t think so by Joseph Binning