OP: Question your beliefs: introspection, self reflection

27 November 2018

Joy Webb

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Imagine if someone questioned every single thing you believe: your religion, your morals, your overall viewpoint on the world and existence. Would you have an answer? So many people exist aimlessly in life, believing everything they are told and not questioning any of their beliefs. I say challenge yourself.

College is the perfect place and point in life to self reflect, and ask yourself what and why you believe in what you do. There isn’t a better time to take classes that are informative in the most important areas of your identity.

Instead of believing what your parents believe, your professors, the people you look up to most, introspect, and try to decide what you believe as an individual. Take a philosophy course like world religions, or introduction to ethics, and decide what beliefs align best with your personal identity.

According to an article from InnerSelf by Deborah King, often, our most important beliefs are unconscious. Over 90 percent of those that we currently hold we took on as kids from our parents or caregivers, school and culture. These views run the greater part of our lives and determine if we’re going to be happy or unhappy, rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy and broad-minded or narrow-minded on different topics.

Stepping out of our comforts zones for necessary consideration is beneficial to our existence as a whole, and to our contribution to the world. Determining your beliefs can help with every decision you make, from your major, your career choice, your moral predicaments and personal choices in relationships. It is so important to determine who you are and what you believe in, so that when you are faced with complicated decisions or life choices, you have a solid solution.

Deborah King said, “If we stop to think about this for a moment, it’s positively frightening. We inherit what we believe, most of which is unconscious, and all of it dramatically influences our lives!” Sometimes the scariest scenarios are the very situations that produce the most self grow and self reliance. We cannot stand as an individual without standing with a strong core of beliefs that was discovered purposefully and consciously.

    In an article by The Foundation for Critical Thinking, “Learning How to Ask Powerful, Probing Questions,” we learn that powerful thinking is powerful questioning. When we ask the right questions, we succeed as a thinker, for questions are the force that powers our thinking.

Thinking, at any point in time, can go off in thousands of different directions, some of which, by the way, are dead-ends. Questions define the agenda of our thinking. They determine what information we seek. They lead us in one direction rather than another. They are, therefore, a crucial part of our thinking.

Growing up, I was raised as a Republican, a Christian and I always believed in what my parents believed. During my time at UCCS, I have been able to test these beliefs, and even though I still have a lot of introspection and learning to do, I feel like my set of beliefs is my own, and they help fabricate my identity.

Even though questioning beliefs can be scary at first, the outcome is an inner sense of peace and understanding that will accompany you through all walks of life and assist you in all of you trials.

Challenge yourself. Examine yourself. Question yourself.