Opening hearts and minds: We See What We Believe

By Suzen Fiskin
Reader Columnist

Many moons ago, my boyfriend and I stopped by an International House of Pancakes for a late night snack. We sat at a table closest to the entrance, and I faced the door. Shortly after being seated, I looked up and saw three masked men with guns holding up the cash register.

They came into the dining room and screamed at us to put our wallets in their shopping bag and then circled the room stopping at each table. Behind me, I heard one of the customers arguing with the robbers, and I cringed at the possibilities.

After they ran out, I got a pen from the waitress and quickly jotted down all I could remember. The disparity of stories others told the police was stunning.

How could dozens of people be present at the same event and have such varied accounts? Our perceptions are shaped by our beliefs and our expectations. We’re all wired differently.

Dr. Bruce Lipton nuked the old paradigm that our biology—our health—is inescapably linked to our biography—our genes. In his bestselling book “The Biology of Belief” he demonstrates that 95 percent of our health is the byproduct of our beliefs and thought patterns rather than our family genealogy. We are not the victims of our DNA that we were led to believe.

The theories of quantum mechanics are at the core of most of our modern technology from computers to lasers to the MRI your mother got at the hospital. It has, at its core, the concept that human thought and expectations affect everything that we observe—including all scientific experiments. In other words, thought affects things.

Many studies show that as many as 90 percent of physicians and nurses have given their patients placebos rather than pharmaceuticals at least once in their careers. The patient’s perception and belief that they’ve been given a drug that will take care of their symptoms is enough to give them the result they’re after.

As a seasoned hypnotherapist and life coach I’ve seen the power of perceptions first hand for decades. Big life changes can be faster than my clients’ might have thought possible when they are able to make a simple realignment in their beliefs.


For starters, understanding the power of our beliefs can make a huge difference in our health because we can change our beliefs!

There are numerous studies that show that there are two primary profiles of people who survive life threatening illness. The first group is people who are 100 percent certain that they will regain their health, no matter what.

The second profile is someone who flat out denies the possibility that he or she is ill. My grandfather, Marty, was diagnosed with terminal intestinal cancer when he was 52 years old. Being the ornery cuss that he was, he refused to give the idea of being ill another thought. He told his doctor to screw off and lived an active life until he was 90, when he died from complications of a broken hip.

In his bestselling book, “You’ll See It When You Believe It,” long time personal development mentor, Dr. Wayne Dyer, shares how important recognizing and taking the reins of our beliefs are on our perceived quality of life. “Our thoughts are a magic part of us, and they carry us to places that have no boundaries, and no limitations.” Or not!

Beliefs are just the thoughts that we think over and over. Keep it up, and they become our personalities. The good news is that they can be morphed into something new in a matter of moments, or they can haunt us for all our lives.

In the film “What the Bleep Do We Know?” there’s a story about the American Indians literally being unable to see Columbus’ ships because their belief systems did not include anything like them. Whether this is true or not isn’t as important as the message: We see what we believe.

Feel like a winner? You are. Think that your mother in law is a self-centered witch? You got it! Wonder why nothing ever seems to go your way? You’ll keep being stuck.

Would you like to be happier? Pay attention to your beliefs. People who self-identify as happy are apt to focus on what gives them joy rather than what’s wrong. They tend to see what’s good in their world, rather than ruminate on what’s messed up. They focus on what they do want, rather than what’s holding them back.

It isn’t rocket science. To be a happier and healthier human, recognizing and updating our beliefs is a great place to start!

Suzen Fiskin is a marketing maven, life coach, and inspirational speaker. She’s also the author of the book, “Playboy Mansion Memoirs.” If you have any questions or comments, here’s how to find her – (208)572-0009 or [email protected]

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