We all know, at least theoretically, how powerful our beliefs are.

We’ve probably all had the experience of trying to break a habit, so have direct experience of how incredibly hard that can be.

We all carry a set of internal beliefs about ourselves, most likely planted in childhood, that we find impossible to free ourselves from without some pretty major inner work.

We’ve all heard of the placebo effect – so powerful at impacting the outcomes of medical trials that it has to be factored into the results.

We know all this, but do we all really believe it?

It’s hard, without personal evidence, to truly believe a lot of the things we know to be true.

This story will probably just be another of those, possibly interesting, but ultimately worthless to you, anecdotes, but I am going to share it anyway because its simplicity blew my mind.

My son and I were talking about some of the funny things siblings tell you when you’re little. Those things that you wholeheartedly believe to be true, until at some point, many years and much rib pulling later, they disabuse you of this ‘fact’.

When he was little, for some reason that no one knows, his older sisters told him that, if you put your finger in your mouth, it always makes you yawn.

He bought into this completely. He could yawn on demand by putting his finger in his mouth; it was his party trick for years!

Until the day came when they finally admitted that they’d made it up.  They couldn’t believe he was still falling for this cunning bit of mind melding, all those years later.

From that point on, once his belief was gone, he could no longer yawn on demand.

He was embarrassed telling me this story, but all I could think was how amazing the power of belief truly is. I found it incredibly exciting; even though I’ve read of countless (far more miraculous) examples of the power of the mind over the body, having someone I’m that close to recount a mundane example to me was … well, mind blowing is the only way I can put it.

As the saying goes:

Whether you think you can or think you can’t,  you’re right. ~ Henry Ford

I’d swap think for believe, but it’s pretty much the same principle, huh?

Or is it? Thinking something, and wholeheartedly believing it, are very different kettles of fish. Believing has to be lodged in your cells, whereas thinking can be nothing more than a transitory exploration of ideas… but that’s a topic for another day.