Your beliefs, assumptions, and opinions give shape to the world, ordering the vast quantities of information and overwhelming amount of stimulation you receive every moment. As many self-mastery gurus have advised us over the years, negative or limiting beliefs tend to close down possibilities, narrow the future, put a lid on progress. Much has been written (and fortunes built) on how to identify and dissolve limiting beliefs.
But what about positive beliefs? While it is important to be able to notice and work through limiting beliefs, it is also important to know and take a stand for what you “have to believe,” to be proactive about what gets you out of bed in the morning, sparks your vision, fuels your choices, and instills the spirit of entrepreneurship.
A “have to belief” is a way of understanding that resonates so deeply with your sense of purpose, meaning, and service that you willingly embrace it and subordinate your choices to it. A “have to belief” is one that you hold with conscious commitment and self-reflective awareness, knowing that it is a belief (not a fact) and being responsible for the ways this belief endows your life with meaning, purpose, and focus.
There is no absolute, verifiable, objective third-party system that can prove a “have to belief.” Instead you learn to hold these beliefs as a skilled fencer holds a sword or a tournament tennis player a racquet: with a loose-and-tight grip that responds to both inner promptings and encounters with the physical world.
It’s important to hold a “have to belief” loosely enough to remember that you do not have the right to impose your belief on anyone else. And in this loose-enough grip, there is room to question, challenge, and evolve what you “have to believe” as your learn and grow.
At the same time, it is important to hold a “have to belief” tightly or firmly enough that it can order your experience (without closing down awareness of other possibilities) and provide emotional and spiritual sustenance.
So what does this have to do with being open for business and your prosperity as an entrepreneur? In my view, everything. Every day I encounter in myself or in my clients situations that we cannot rise to without an adequate belief system. It is not enough to deconstruct limiting beliefs. In order to continuously craft a meaningful and functional definition of success and to chart or re-chart your course, you must become responsible for what you have to believe and how you are about believing it.
Here are some other “have to beliefs” that show up in my work with entrepreneurs, business owners, independent professionals, and artists. Try them on for size. Notice that what a “have to belief” does not need to quarrel with reality.
— I have to believe that people can take care of themselves, and I know that sometimes they cannot.
— I have to believe that my thriving and prosperity will not necessitate someone else’s suffering, and I know that sometimes it might.
— I have to believe that being a good steward for my business will help me show up and serve.
— I have to believe that I can afford to act in my client’s best interests, even when that means that I will earn less (or no) income.
— I have to believe that prosperity is attractive to the people I want to work with.
— I have to believe that there are plenty of people for whom my work is a perfect match who can and will value my services enough to pay for them.
— I have to believe that mistakes are the compost for future success, and I know that this includes picking up after myself and making amends for my errors.
“Have to beliefs” are beliefs you choose because they make you stronger, wiser, smarter, kinder, more resilient. They challenge you to be bigger, more creative, bolder. And for every “have to belief” a new world of action is revealed.
What do you have to believe in order to show up, serve, and prosper as an entrepreneur?