How the Mind Develops Our Beliefs

How the Mind Develops Our Beliefs

The mind functions somewhat like the assembly of a jigsaw puzzle. It wants to put the pieces it receives from life’s experiences together to form an understandable picture. The puzzle pieces available for the mind to work with consist of everything that it receives through our sense gates:  sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell; and from our inner senses, like intuition, desires, hopes, and emotions (feelings).  It puts all of these pieces together without forgetting what makes sense to us and what our rational system insists should be the guides to our thinking.  The end products are our beliefs.

Sorting the Pieces

It all starts just moments after we are born (or maybe even before that) with sorting all the new pieces that begin to flood the mind. As the days and weeks pass, the mind continues to hunt for missing pieces. Special pieces, like those of the jigsaw puzzle’s straight edge that will form the frame within which our beliefs take shape. It takes time but slowly the picture begins to emerge and begins to make sense.

One major difference between the jigsaw puzzle and the mind’s task is that the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle are limited, making the solving of the puzzle a finite task. But the pieces of our world that our minds must deal with soon become an enormous number as we sort out our beliefs from all the input about life we receive as we age. The mind’s task of forming beliefs continues until the very moment we die. So, don’t stop learning!

Imagine the newly born baby as his/her eyes open to their first “pieces of the puzzle.” A face appears.  What’s that? Do I need to be afraid? (Perhaps, for some faces, yes). But If warmth and welcome seem to radiate from the image the baby’s mind is forming, it will welcome a reappearance of that image as it begins to put the pieces together.

Beliefs Begin with Understanding and Arranging the Pieces

The forming of beliefs begins with the process of understanding all the input the mind receives. It is the beginning of the long journey of belief building that all of us encounter. Some faces are ugly and seem threatening. (Well, that’s another story, isn’t it).

Life’s meaning is made up of our beliefs and how we live with them. We all have beliefs and we form them without conscious effort most of the time.

Why Do We Form Beliefs?

Answer: to make sense of life and especially of ourselves, to steer our way though life with increasing understanding, and for many other reasons.

We must believe “something” because just drifting through life without a framework of beliefs is not how the mind works. We also have a choice of what we believe or don’t believe. By this intelligent process, our minds become a mind-boggling resource of information, sorted into meanings as the picture develops.

Our Beliefs Help Us Focus

Belief’s actually help in focusing our lives. Beliefs make us. We are what we believe. Never, never forget that. They qualify us and help answer one of the big questions of life: Who and what am I?

Our reputation is also built largely by our beliefs, because all our actions are the outworking of some belief. Beliefs that end in actions are sometimes changed in the last nano-second because our belief changes — driven, perhaps, by fear or fright or passionate urges within.

Our Beliefs Create Our Lives

Beliefs create the life we want to live. Or at times, sadly, the life we don’t want to live. Of greatest importance to the health of our total human system are our belief’s about ourselves. They seal our destiny for triumph or despair. Depression is a disease that lives in our beliefs and is formed by our self-evaluations. For some of us, depression stalks our failed efforts to achieve. For others, it arises from what we believe is an in-our-face honesty about our sorry behavior.

Each act is corrected and evaluated differently. Failed efforts, for example, can result from the winds of unfortunate circumstances or maybe inadequate planning. For sorry behavior, it lurks destructively in the shadows of a fading self-worth — a belief that is headed for feelings of the worthlessness of living. We try to blame others in an effort to prop up our feelings of self-worth.  But, in our better moments, we know we must take blame for our own failures and begin to see them in the positive light of life’s lessons and opportunities for growth.

Are Your Beliefs Positively or Negatively Driven?

Here’s a final thought we may wish to ponder.  Why are we more forthright about our critical beliefs of others when we make many blunders ourselves? Why do we see in others the bad and not the good? Let’s keep our minds optimistically positive, rather than destructively negative, about ourselves and others.

So ask this:  What are my beliefs about myself today?  Are they positively or negatively driven?



Lean into the whole truth.  Discover the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are.  Discover how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth.  INNERKINETICS, Your Blueprint to Excellence and Happiness, is a great resource.


It may surprise you, but your child is most probably a different temperament.  They are unique individuals too.  So even if they are the same temperament (two letters), they may be a different type (four letters).  And the strength of their drives will different from yours as well.  Your InnerKinetics (temperament) is not genetically passed on.  Therefore, it is exceedingly important to understand your child.  I’m a Keeper! is the resource you need to make that journey.

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