How we are shaped by our beliefs

As much as we might strive to be fact based, much of our life and approach to it is shaped by our beliefs, beliefs we borrow and beget. If you want to know what makes someone tick, understand their beliefs. If you want to know how you tick, understand your beliefs. There are essentially two kinds of beliefs, limiting and liberating.

Limiting beliefs are locations that we operate from. In limiting beliefs, we hold the view that some thing is true. We suspend curiosity about what else could be possible. We limit ourselves to a single perspective. Limiting beliefs can be in the positive or negative. The belief that someone or something is good or bad is a limiting belief.

Liberating beliefs are lenses that we wonder from. In liberating beliefs, we hold the view that something could be true. We suspend attachment to a single possibility. We open space for wondering about multiple possible perspectives. The belief that someone or something could be good or bad is a liberating belief. The essential difference is curiosity. Limiting beliefs exist without curiosity. Liberating beliefs exist with curiosity. Liberating beliefs open up possibility space because they relate to truth as potentiality. Our capacity for beautiful questions is equal to our capacity for liberating beliefs.

From the upcoming book 21, "The Way Of Questions." 

This distinction has seismic implications for how we struggle and succeed in our life and work communities. Groups struggle to realize their dreams most when they operate from limiting beliefs, particularly when they don't even know they are. They succeed when they instead work from liberating beliefs.

The seduction of limiting beliefs is that the feeling of certainty can seem like a better place from which to know and create the present and future. As it turns out, we most skillfully and wisely create the future we want to see when we do so from liberating beliefs and the beautiful questions we craft as lenses into new possibilities.