What is Truth?
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
When I was growing up I believed that “truth” was something that was solid. It was something you could invest in and know that investment would maintain its value over time. It was a safe place to live because “the truth would always set you free”. In today’s world my understanding of truth has been shaken, and I am left wondering, “What is true anymore?”.
In my search to redefine the concept of truth I go back to what I know. I know that each of us, as individuals having a unique right to create beliefs and perspectives (whew), holds a core set of definitions about Life that we hold as “truth”. You can call these “Principles” or “Values” if you’d like. These are the basic tenants you try to live by. Most of these we unknowingly adopted from family, religious schooling, and the neighborhood we grew up in. I know how influential my upbringing has been (both positive and negative), with shaping my beliefs. These are the same truths that now have my head spinning and questioning what is REAL and what to believe.
Our psyche is always looking to define Who it is and uses core beliefs as its foundation. When that foundation is blown apart, we can be left wondering “Who (the heck) AM I” or “What (the heck) happened”?. It confuses our very BEing.
Beliefs and perspectives are created by your acceptance of certain thoughts. When we are little (under 10 years of age), we feed off the thoughts acquired by our environments…typically this is our home. We use our senses to input data…sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and intuition. This is communication to our mind.
You don’t analyze at this young age, just take it in and accept. I grew up Southern Baptist and my life centered around church. It was often confusing, one week listening to teachings from the Old Testament and the next listening to teachings from the New Testament, but I didn’t know enough to question the disparity. To be honest, I mostly didn't even listen to the words from the preacher. I watched and heard the intonation of his voice and the wild gestures of his body language. I didn’t question any of my early life because I didn’t know I could or should. At that time I was simply a passenger along for the ride, unaware that one day I had to become the driver for my life. Looking back, now I understand more.
I’ve heard it said that if you repeat something enough people will soon soften any resistance and accept what is being said as true. In marketing this is called a “Yes" set. Create pattern for someone to agree to something several times, and it becomes easier for them to continue to agree. The goal in marketing to have someone decide to purchase your product. This is a great strategy if used in a positive way.
Unfortunately, it has become the norm to “make up” facts and repeat them often enough, that vulnerable minds can end up believing almost anything. Big Pharm...really, all BIG business... food and other manufacturers, along with social media “influencers” have used this strategy with success to advertise and sell their products. Now politicians use it to gather support for votes and legislation. Say it enough…say it with conviction…say it loudly…and it MUST be truth!
Did you grow up believing it was “bad” to tell a lie? That’s exactly what is being used to influence and change your beliefs. What you are hearing or watching MUST be true, because if it isn’t that would be “lying” and we all know lying is bad. Apparently not anymore! You might be thinking, "If the influencer is someone who you had admired then you really hope that he/she is a good person, therefore what is being promoted surely is more true than less true." Well, money can be a powerful motivation and many of our "admired" influencers are actors making money off of our good hearts!!
How did we get here?
What happened to cause truth (and us) to become so manipulated? Did it start with advertising? I’m sure if you asked 100 people, you’d get 100 different answers. Like any important issue we deal with, it’s more productive to focus on solutions first and then reflect backward on how we let it get this rampant once we take back control. As I’m thinking about it, we started as a passenger in our life journey, became the driver setting goals and objectives for ourselves, and THEN were kicked into the backseat by deceptive marketing and political strategies we didn’t see coming. No wonder we feel out of place! It’s time to step back into the drivers seat!
How do you feel about your core “truths”? Do they still fit this world, or have you blown a fuse thinking the world has gone crazy? Take a breath.
Because we are designed as unique humans, our brains treat made-up data the same as data from real life moments. This means data coming in from videos, tv’s, computers and reading material is all input the same way as communication from real-life interactions. You will accept what fits your beliefs and perspectives, and reject what doesn’t.
You have an opportunity to buck up and set expectations, morals, ethics, values, etc., that fit the type of person you wish to be TODAY. Not who you felt yourself to be yesterday, but what works for you NOW. This means waking up and making some changes! You can use the very strategies used by thousands of multimillion dollar companies to BE whatever you wish. Then you anchor that image by wearing the beliefs and perspectives that support your vision.
Does this mean you can instantly change your body, or life circumstance? Probably not, but it begins a process to achievement. The psyche strives to support what you define as truth.
What IS your truth? How do you know unless you explore.
Make a list of what you believe, in specific areas such as relationships, work, health, passions, spiritual, family, travel, etc. Here is a short list of questions you can ask yourself.
What do you believe about yourself?
Do you like yourself?
What are your best qualities?
Do you believe you are more than your looks?
Do you believe in your own personal power?
What are you ready to update? Remember even if you don’t believe it now…by changing the old dialogue (Ex: I’m not *good enough) you can begin to believe.
*Replace this word to fit your old dialogue – "I'm not - capable, strong, young, old, educated, confident, pretty, healthy…"enough! Turn these statements around: I AM __________! Doesn't that feel better?
Are you happy with the type of work you are doing? IF not, what would you enjoy?
What stands in the way of doing the type of work you desire?
What can you change to move in to your desired occupation?
Is there a core belief about yourself that needs to change?
What if you COULD make up a new belief about yourself? Would that feel better?
What are your spiritual or religious beliefs?
What do you believe and what doesn’t fit anymore?
Are you comfortable with them or afraid to let them go?
Decide what works for you without the fear.
What do you believe about relationships?
How can you improve your personal relationships?
What beliefs stand in the way? Even unrelated beliefs can crossover and influence different areas of your life. For example: If you feel you aren't "good" enough then you might have confidence issues that effect your personal life. Think about this.
What do you believe about life?
Do they support your goals for this life experience? If you don't like people it's going to be difficult to be in work that requires you to give presentations, etc.
What new beliefs can you create that would feel better?
Are you willing to make some adjustments or have you given up trying? Sad to say, but many people are comfortable in their DIS-comfort. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink". You may have a lot of experience feeling "sad", and the idea of being "happy" may be a beautiful concept but too intimidating to move towards. It takes energy to change. Maybe you could focus on how to improve your health first, so you then have more energy to focus on other areas of your life.
Make a list of NEW beliefs about yourself. What would you like to “hear” yourself saying to support your goals and objectives? Get a blank piece of paper and write these down. You can write one or two statements at a time. These are NOT affirmations, although you will naturally read them as you continue to add to the list. Make your statements short, present tense, and positive. Less than 8 words is good, less than 5 words is better.
Examples: We’ve got this! I am strong! Good job! Oops…Another lesson learned. (and one I have used..."I'm okay!")
What you believe IS your truth!! It’s not ALL of the truth and it may not even be similar in appearance to your neighbors’ truth. But it is PART of the whole truth in our world.
You can’t change others. You’ll not be able to change big manufacturers or politicians alone (unless you become one and set some new expectations). You CAN change yourself and what you choose to hold as truth.
Hold on to what works for you and let go of what no longer works. Let go of your responsibility to change the world. "BE the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi.
Because you ARE a piece of the truth, by making positive change in yourself you begin to alter the environment of your Life. This can influence others to also make positive change.
Changing is an action. Sure, you can set your intention and hope the Universe will attract to you what it decides you need OR you can focus on the destination of your change and take charge of your life with actionable steps….every day getting better with the change you wish to reflect to the world.
It's all made up!! You make up your response to issues and events so decide what response(s) feel better. Reverse old negative thoughts about yourself and ask, "Does this new thought feel better?" If it does, you CAN choose to hold the new thought instead of repeating the negative thoughts. It's your choice!
For more steps to identify and make positive changes in your life check out my book, Shift Your Thoughts, Shift Your Life, available on Amazon or my website: judyjohnston.com. My FREE phone app, which supports this book, has just gone live on Google and is pending approval on Apple. Download it now and enjoy all the content over the next month. Much more content will be added once I have full approval from both platforms.