You Are What You Believe
By M’nucha Bialik, Shidduch Coach
The meraglim (spies) complained about Israel and Bnei Yisroel’s chances of conquering the C’naanim by saying something very, very interesting. They said: “We were like grasshoppers in our eyes and so we were in their eyes.”
This is a very, very important psychological concept. What this possuk is teaching us is that the way we look at ourselves affects who we are and how others see us.
So, if a person, for instance thinks that they are unlovable for any reason, they will believe that others see them as well as unlovable. And, in fact, it goes deeper than that. We actually can cause others to respond to us in accordance to our beliefs. So, if we believe that we are like grasshoppers in their eyes – we can actually cause them to think that we are like grasshoppers.
If a person believes that men or women don’t like them or don’t think they’re fun or think that they’re boring, we can actually create that which we believe – and then, it’s true: men or women don’t like them or don’t think they’re fun or think they’re boring.
To explain this better, let’s forget about shidduchim for a moment: Imagine that you are going for a job interview in a certain field. Unfortunately, you don’t think that the interviewer is going to like you very much. There are many other applicants and you don’t think that you have much of a chance. How do you think your interview will be? What is your chance of interviewing well and being hired for the job?
Now, this time, imagine that you are going for the same interview, but this time you are confident. You believe that you are capable. You believe that you are well-suited for this particular job and you believe that there is a good chance that the the interviewer will like you. How do you think your interview will go? In which scenario, do you have a better chance of getting hired for the job?
It’s the same thing with shidduchim. What you believe about yourself can actually cause you to date differently and can actually cause your date to have different beliefs about you.
We all have beliefs about ourselves, about men and women, about marriage. These beliefs affect the way we tell people what we are looking for. These beliefs affect who is set up with us. And these beliefs affect how we date and how the person we are dating views us.
Although we all have different tendencies to believe different things based on our personality, our background, and our experiences – we also have the ability to examine our beliefs, to question them, and to actually change them.
We tell ourselves things about life, about ourselves, about other people all the time. However, it’s important to challenge our beliefs and see what our Torah sources say about our beliefs. Are our beliefs there because it’s supporting a certain natural tendency that we have? Do we have these beliefs because that was the message given over to us by our parents or by people we know? Where did our beliefs come from? Are they true? Or are they not true? Or, are they partially true?
Working with singles, I have found that many, many singles have false beliefs. These beliefs may be due to their natural tendencies or middos, they may be due to what they have been told by others, or they may have been inculcated into them by the messages they received from society.
For instance, singles might believe:
- If they are not skinny, they won’t get married.
2. If they are too smart or too deep, they have to give up on finding someone smart enough or deep enough for them.
3. If their parents are divorced, no one will want to marry them.
4. If they were once sick with cancer or have diabetes, they will have a difficult time getting married.
5. They are unlovable.
6. No one will like them or they will not like anyone.
7. They can’t get married because they stutter, have ADHD, or have pimples.
8. They’re too irresponsible to get married.
These are all false messages about themselves.
Some singles tend to have false or limiting beliefs about other people, such as:
- All men (or all single men) are ___________ (insensitive, narcissist, irresponsible, losers…)
2. All women (or all single women) are __________________ (not warm, not deep, controlling, depressed…)
3. All shadchanim ______________ (don’t like them, don’t get them, are pushy,….)
4. There are not enough men out there so their chance of getting married is minimal.
5. If you are not married by the age of xx, your chance of getting married diminishes tremendously.
6. If a person is not yet married, it means that Hashem doesn’t love them.
Additionally, singles may have incorrect beliefs about marriage or life, in general. For instance, they may believe:
- Shidduchim just doesn’t work – it’s a horrible way to find your bashert (if you’re over the age xx).
2. Marriages require tons of hard work.
3. You have to analyze and evaluate each person you date to make sure that they have no red flags.
4. You will lose your identity in a marriage.
5. You will have to give up everything good and wonderful about life, if you get married.
6. Marriage is overrated.
7. Marriage is just giving up one set of challenges to gain another set of challenges.
When a person has beliefs about themselves, about others, and about life – they need to analyze those beliefs and discover what the Torah says and what is reality. What is the Torah view about people, about men and women, about finding one’s zivug, about bitachon, about marriage? Are there other ways to see the world besides how they are currently looking at it?
They can then learn how to tell themselves new messages and create new images in their mind, actually seeing themselves being lovable, finding someone they like who likes them, being happy in marriage, having a beautiful relationship with their spouse.
Changing their beliefs and imagining themselves acting with those new beliefs can actually change how they interact with others and how others interact with them. It can actually cause positive things to happen and it can change their future.
I am not saying this is easy, but, as a living human being, you have the ability to choose the life you want to live. Learning how to do this gives you the choice to see yourself as a grasshopper or to see yourself as someone who has the ability to work on yourself and develop yourself to become the amazing person you were meant to be!
Mnucha Bialik, Dating Coach
If you want to get in touch with M’nucha, email support@partnersinshidduchim.