The Formation of Many Beliefs – The seven connecting habits – Chapter Three

The Formation of Many Beliefs – The seven connecting habits – Chapter Three

The formation of many beliefs

Image 1What you believe is what you see

The old saying ‘seeing is believing’ is the wrong way around. What we believe is what we see. So where do much of our beliefs come from? Most of our beliefs about ourselves, our lives and others come from the way others relate to us and communicate with us. Many of these beliefs are formed at an early age long before we have developed a rational and logical mind. Children tend to believe what they are told. They believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. If you tell them they are stupid, they will believe that too.

William Glasser’s ‘choice theory’ and in particular, the habits of communication can give us some insights into the formation of many of our positive and negative beliefs. Glasser’s theory of the connecting and disconnecting habits of communication were a revelation to me.

The seven connecting habits are:

Caring, supporting, trusting, encouraging, befriending, listening and negotiating (instead of telling).

The more we support and encourage a child, the more that child will grow. There is no limit to the positive beliefs formed through these connecting habits. Most good parents use these connecting habits without thinking. These are the habits we use with our best friends – the only habits we use on our best friends – which is why we feel connected and empowered by them and like to be around them. But how many times do we withdraw these connecting habits when our children don’t behave the way we would like them to? Far too often I’m afraid. What happens when we withdraw these connecting habits? The child feels unloved, unworthy and not approved of. Negative limiting beliefs begin to form or are reinforced.

When people use connecting habits on us we feel connected and empowered. I have also found that when using connecting habits, I meet my own needs for love and connection. It works both ways. When they are used on us as children, we feel loved, approved of and liked. Through this (especially when we are children) we form positive unlimited beliefs about ourselves and others. Our positive self-esteem grows.

I have to admit that my parenting skills were lacking. I also recognise that this was apparent in my skills as a manager of others at work. I see my life as a process of evolution, so I don’t expect to be perfect. When the student is ready the teacher will appear. In my case the teacher was William Glasser and what he taught seemed like common sense. But common sense is not that common!

There are also disconnecting habits, and even the best of parents have used these on their children.