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The Courage to Question Your Beliefs

Posted By: Randy GageMarch 22, 2010

Beliefs are a really funny thing.  Everyone has them and most are very averse to questioning them.  But that’s where all the real breakthroughs live…

For the last couple weeks we’ve been exploring how TV, radio, movies and other popular culture had you programmed for lack by the time you were ten years old.  And I put a lot of emphasis on the role organized religion plays in this scenario.

Some people feel that I’ve been beating up the religious fundamentalists.  And in a sense I have.  Here’s why:

The more emotional mind viruses are, the stronger they replicate and parasitize the host.  And what’s is more emotional to most people than their religion?

I said pop culture creates your core beliefs by the time you are ten.  Think about your religious beliefs…

Most kids are programmed with these beliefs by the time they are five or six.  Which could be a very good thing.  Or a very bad thing...

Which way depends of course on what kind of beliefs they are.  But since 90 percent of the beliefs perpetuated by organized religion are fear-based, lack and limitation ones, there is a nine in 10 chance you have been programmed with self-sabotage behavior which is keeping you broke, sick, or unhappy – or all of the above.

Do you realize that the earlier you learn a belief, the less likely you are to question it?  And the more rigid, defensive and emotional you will be when faced with someone who presses you to question it.

Oh and that someone would be me…

I am here to challenge you.  And get you to question each and every belief you have.

When people come up to me after a seminar (or reading one of my books) and say something like, “Wow, your program was amazing.  I agree with everything you said!,” I’m kind of disappointed.  That really means they didn’t need to attend.

I want that when they leave, they are saying something like, “Wow, that is a radical idea.  I have never even imagined it that way!”  Then I know that I’ve done my job.

By the way, this doesn’t mean you question your belief, drop it and replace it with mine.  Although that may happen sometimes.  But sometimes it means you question your belief and decide you want to keep it.

I’m okay with whatever scenario unfolds, provided you are able to separate the emotional baggage and do some rational critical thinking on the subject.  If I can get you to question your core beliefs, then you really can reach the real promised land.  The one that’s right here on earth.

So how are you doing on this?  Do you have the courage to question your beliefs?  Give that some thought and check in below.  Then next post we’ll look at how you know when to keep or discard a belief.


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  • 38 comments on “The Courage to Question Your Beliefs”

    1. Hey Randy, lovely post. Sorry I couldn't meet you in Amsterdam, I missed you by a bit...the train journey from my city was an hour long :(, but I hear you talked about how humans are like monkeys :).
      I was looking for an opportunity, so I guess I will join yours...and one day you will autograph my 'Why you're dumb, etc" book...

      As for beliefs...well I have always questioned my religion (christianity). I see a lot of judgement going on, and a lot of people simply living by standards which aren't theirs...right down to what to wear, where to go, what to eat, drink, etc...and if the 'religious leaders' are questioned....people respond with the popular bible verse 'Touch not my anointed' so if you question a religious leaders doctrines...God will kick your butt!
      I still have my faith and beliefs, but I analyze them daily. I realized so many people especially where I am from, do not think...they simply take in whatever is thrown at them. I used to be like that, keeping my mental defenses down when I was in church, because I wanted to 'receive'.
      Now, after my own research and study, I realize that I decide if a belief is helpful to me or not. So when I am in church, my filters are on, and I think about what I hear.
      Funny thing is, if you begin to question those beliefs and voice your opinions out loud, the herd begin to criticize you, and you run the risk of being labeled an atheist, which where I come from, is a very bad label.

      One do you deal with stuff, when your own family is thinking one way, and you're thinking different? And its like they might try to impose their own views, subtly? I could go on and on about their reactions to network marketing..

      Nice post Randy.

    2. Yes...I know I still have some core religious beliefs that I have had from childhood...some good & some bad. What is that saying...something like "You will keep getting the same lessons over & over until you learn them."

      Since we are on the subject...I just heard this at church recently:
      We don't choose where we are...God chooses. God places us strategically in our jobs, relationships, etc.
      So everything is God's choice not mine.

      I tried to talk to others about this but I seem to be the only one questioning this.

    3. For me, it makes it difficult to grow if I do not question my beliefs.

      When I look back at some of my beliefs from 10+ years ago I know they would not serve me now if I had kept them.

      Questioning your beliefs and questioning others beliefs before you accept or believe in them is a part of growing.

    4. Great post and thankfully I have begun to question everthing and it has made all the difference. Until we truly find ourself, we can not move forward with anything else in life. I encourage all to question who they are and why they believe what they do. It will amaze anyone that does this exercise. We have to change us first and quit living off what someone else has programmed into our being.

    5. Only a closed mind will etch their beliefs in stone and not question them on a regular basis as new information comes in. The mind is like a parachute. It works better when it's open.

      Great post, Randy.

    6. This is a crucial point and something that we all need to look at. A recent situation occurred in my Life causing me to question some core beliefs and had much to do with 'be careful what you ask for'. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and going for it, leaving my limiting belief about self worth and possibility behind. And I'm excited to know that when I return, I'll have new 'software' too!

    7. Beliefs. They are so sneaky they hide themselves so well sometimes.

      My biggest issue at first was even recognizing what my beliefs were.

      They are so ingrained, so deep, most of us don't even recognize that how we approach life is actually our beliefs in action. We are deaf, dumb, and blind towards our life and our beliefs are actually running the show.

      So I had to ask myself:

      1. Am I REALLY where I want to be? My life is my beliefs in action. Where do I want to be and where am I and what common beliefs surround that area of life? (ie, relationships, money, career, etc)

      2. If a conversation, idea, suggestion, or topic ruffles my feathers, there's a belief in there somewhere that is starting to defend itself. The more defensive I get, the stronger the belief.

      To me, questioning our personal belief systems is the beginning of the awakening from the herd.

      I LOVE this topic. Rock on....


    8. Что такое верование? Меня учили с детства что бога нет провительство,учителя. Бабушки и дедушки говорили что бог есть. А я даже не знала что или кто этот бог.Я пришла к вере сама, но бог у меня в сердце,мой бог.А какой бог решать мне.В церковь проктически не хожу,священникам не верю,учат одному а сами делают другое.Библию переписавали раз 100 за 2000 лет чтоб легче было рукаводить толпой.Люди хотят верить пусть верят,это их дело.ХОТЯТ БЫТЬ ЖЕРТВАМИ ПУСТЬ БУДУТ.

    9. Well...I grow up in a non religious family...that didn´t give me so much prosperity,and it was not the great way for me.I was raised up with lack. I found a spiritual science which I found interesting. People within it were very different of course, from similar to my family to people who more acted like a "cult". I was confused, thinking that I had found something "for me" (realized that I had no ground at all in anything!)I was disappointed and sometimes I didn´t know what to do.I became depressed and lost my view of life.AND THEN I happened to fall in love with a man who happened to be VERY fundamentalistic from ANOTHER religion. That relationship almost killed me (not saying it was his fault!) and I became depressed again. I became a lonely mom and it took me three years to even be able to have relations with other people again...I don´t blame anyone and today I am stronger than ever and happy. But I realise(sorry my english) that this question was really something "addicted" to me ; it somehow wanted to tell me something. I don´t 100% know what right now, but I know that grow up with no religion wasn´t exactly something I would like my children to do. And all this other "crazy people" I met didn´t exactly make me less crazy than before! I would definitly advice people to question their beleifs ; I was forced to, and it was hard but it was somehow the only way for me to take. If I had stayed in my first step, what would I be today...?

    10. An illustrative story:

      I love to cook. I learned a stellar chicken recipe from my ex-hubby's Great-Aunt Cora, one of those fantastic old-fashioned Sunday gathering meals. Simple enough: veggies, potatoes, chicken braising slowly in a pot on the stove top--the only complicated thing about the recipe is the way the chicken is cut and trussed for cooking. She used an unusual method that usually took more than two hands to accomplish. I would go to her apartment and she would teach me. It took a number of tries before I really mastered the technique, but practice makes perfect.

      So, one day I'm cooking this dish for the entire family---including Aunt Cora. Time comes to tie up the unfortunate bird, and my mother in law lends a hand and we finally get the bird in the pot.

      After dinner, Cora said the meal was absolutely wonderful. But then she asked in her genteel way: "But tell me something, Dear: Why did you truss the chicken?"

      I just looked at her, speechless, floored. All the womenfolk stared at each other...the answer being, obviously, That Is How It Is Done. That Is How The Recipe Is Prepared. Because That Is The Recipe. Nobody said anything in response to Cora's question--heck, we didn't even understand the question.

      Cora looks at us all like WE are the chickens with our heads cut off and explains: "I needed to chop and truss the bird that way because I only had a small stove and pot to cook with; the bird didn't fit if it wasn't mangled first. But you have a lovely dutch oven to cook it in. You don't need to go through all that hassle; just toss it in, it'll come out just the same."

      For the next five minutes I swear you could've heard dust settlin' on a featherbed. This concept was monstrous. We had no idea. We had never questioned The Trussing Of The Chicken. Because...It's The Way It's Done!

      Cora sips her tea and suggests that next time, we use an untrussed bird and see how it turns out. Of course she was right; it was delicious and took less time to prepare AND to cook.

      But let me tell you, it was HARD to not mutilate the chicken! Darned near threw the rotation of the Earth of it's delicate axis! We hemmed and hawed--Sounds good on paper, but maybe we shouldn't chance it? Just Do It Like Always?

      And that's just a recipe--I can't imagine trying to undo more ingrained beliefs, or even questioning them.

      Cora is no longer with us, but I still make this recipe. And, I still at times fuss with the trussing...not because it's necessary or programmed or the only acceptable way; but because it's Tradition. And I'm not saying Topol-singing, Fiddler-on-the-Roof type Tradition...simply a sweet harmless Tradition that gives us another reason to toast Aunt Cora. I've even TRULY a rebel and made SUBSTITUTIONS to the ingredients at times...added new things...experimented, may God have mercy on my soul...

      As a friend told me once: Jump, and the net will be there.

    11. Hi Randy,

      I am from such a country, which has been under Soviet atheist colony about 100 years while originally for many centuries being an Islamic country. It is one the places, where even under 100-year Soviet system which did its best efforts to eliminate any religious ideology, people managed to keep Islam, Christianity and other religions.
      After reading this post, i started remembering myself from 5-10 years old, beliefs n morals inserted to our minds, the fight between two types of believes. At one sight all may think for a poor small child it should very difficult, confusing to decide about believes. That's right, it was. But also I think I was lucky to be in such conditions, and from that young times started questioning believes, trying the understand difference and get the one "suits" me. Now since 25 years, I keep questioning the mixed-up believes in my society and keep making the crystal clear day by day, observing how organized ideology helps those on top to manipulate the people. Good news is that I am not alone in this society with such comparison and questionings these days. Of coz results of people defined true prosperity beliefs manynot been seen now. But I keep faith it is gonna happen soon, very soon.

    12. Hi everyone,
      I was always a curious child and questioned everything; especially since I was challenged with dyslexia. And what a blessing dyslexia was because I always found a different way to do a math problem or come up with many solutions to a situation versus doing things one way. Believe me, I was punished in school for not doing it "the right way and/or the only way."

      The indoctrination from churches, loving parents, schools/organizations and individuals had taken a toll on me and on August 2000, I took a courageous journey into the pages of "A course In Miracles." I have never been the same. I had the courage to begin healing, and to give myself permission to love myself in spite of all the errors I had made in my life and the negative programming I accepted.

      Today, I live life with that child-like (twinkle of an eye filled with curiosity) attitude. I am always on the look-out for what adventure is around the next corner and open to new possibilities and ideas. I simply use what serves me and delete the rest. I live a pain-free existence (mentally & physically). It is habitual; it is the authentic ME!

      Randy, thanks for asking.

    13. Randy,
      Had to catch up on several posts at once (computer was down) but the whole run on religious programming/beliefs/lack is so crucial and yes, emotional. Several times, you would hit buttons for me that would manifest themselves as a "tightening" in my gut. Very interesting. I am currently sorting/removing "truth" from "dogma" .
      One thing that I know for sure, is that I was created for, and to do, great things. That blessings such as prosperity and happiness are natural results from taking good care of myself/continually growing which in turn, will impact those around me.
      Just keep pushing those buttons. There are lots of rough edges yet.

    14. I have been examining my beliefs in earnest for at least 18 years. It's not very fun most of the time, and many times it is fascinating to reveal the beliefs. I have made much progress and recognize there are still more ideas to dig into.

      Thanks Randy for giving me a place to question and speak my opinion.

    15. Gentle reminder to Randy: You asked me to remind you to talk about "what to do when you first get money"

    16. Randy,

      I am really racking my brain to think about religion and affecting my beliefs. I grew up Methodist, the minister was poor. We went to church but it was not our life. The minister was poor so there was never any emphasis placed on becoming spiritual or religious.

      When I moved to Florida I went to a Baptist Church with my boss at the time and it was everything you spoke about and more. I was feeling that way when I read the first person's post. If the "herd" starts to attack because of questions I ask, than maybe it is time to hang with a different herd.

      Since I have been attending Unity of Delray Beach, FL it is a prosperity and uplifting message. I know that there are beliefs deep down that I am trying to get out of me, I just am not sure what they are?

      Thanks for these thought provoking posts.


    17. Digging them out to begin with is the trickiest part...but I assure you once you begin the process and it becomes an integral part of your day, it's amazing to realize how much your beliefs shape every aspect of how you interact with the world. They empower you, limit you, paralyze you, motivate you. And to learn beliefs...any beliefs...are ours for the choosing, is fantastically liberating.

    18. Dear Randy,

      It is almost as if I can no longer let my everyday go by without logging here to see what you have to say about things and life. How strange... I am always the same person inside and outside, and I tend to verbalize what is in my mind always...mmm, not quite. That is not always true. In other times, I am just being quiet and say nothing.... but you know I often know what's happening in people's minds without hearing or seeing anything. So, the point is that.. this time, I am acknowledging what I read is somewhat affecting my spirituality.. both good and perhaps, not so good.. coz it affects my inner thought life which nobody knows but me and God.

      I begin to sense really, you truly are a spiritual person being in control of what you face, see, and hear in your own life. Well... I'm not sure if it is always the case though coz you're not God but perhaps a well-trained one spiritual human being. Ifeel.. so am I, I feel...I am aware of it ever since I was a very little girl. I often find myself seeing things before they happen and what comes to my mind often manifest itself (whether it's me in the spirit or God himself.. don't know..really).. However, I am not God...after all I am merely a human being with human emotions, and yet luckily enough to be able to catch what is in the spirit realm without really striving for it. It just comes natural and resides within me in my every fiber and tissue. What I really need to learn though is my own control over my self and emotions, ..perhaps as with everybody else. I am aware that I am a very transparent and honest person, not hesitating to let my true self out wherever I am. Lies, dishonesty, and a lack of integrity turn me off instantly and my attempt to cope with any situation that reveals any of these - a little or a lot - stops me instantly. These tendencies are perhaps something to do with my upbringing - a mixture of my own belief as well as how my parents raised me. Being spiritual and being able to manage what external force brings in ones way are two different things, and thus if one's spirituality is not manifesting her one's success in life, then one's spirituality is not at its peak, and not doing anything.. and after all..she is not being trully spiritual but a comical character to the world, representing a false spirituality. If I had only mastered my own mind to go to the next level... it may sound comical but I may well be able to become a tiger with the wings but the truth is that... I have not. Perhaps... you have. Perhaps your spirituality is such that you would be ultimately be able to influence the world of religion someday... or perhaps change the world that is backed up with your achievements in life which people would more likely admire and follow.

      >>>>>By the way, this doesn’t mean you question your belief, drop it and replace it with mine. Although that may happen sometimes. But sometimes it means you question your belief and decide you want to keep it.<<<<<>>>>I’m okay with whatever scenario unfolds, provided you are able to separate the emotional baggage and do some rational critical thinking on the subject. If I can get you to question your core beliefs, then you really can reach the real promised land. The one that’s right here on earth. <<<<<<<

      ..Emotional baggage... this is something being manifested in the physical realm as a result of the gap between what is hoped and yet not seen in the physical realm AND what is seen in the spiritual realm, isn't it. Just as you affirmed in one of your posts way back which is also found in the Bible, 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,' I do believe whatsoever we desire and comes to our mind as something hoped for are the very things that had already been done in the spiritual realm before the foundation of the universe, and that we will see them manifested in the physical realm in due time or at the set time. All the setbacks or obstacles are the very things that can well be used for us to make a conscious decision to choose to separate ouselves/our own goals and grow (affirm) into fullness of faith/belief before the manifestations of our goals/dreams take place.

      What I am aware now that I need to learn is to become able to get better at separating myself from my humanized emotions, desires, and character that often get in the way but to keep looking straight ahead with unwavering faith, no matter what. Dear Randy, my friend, you have reached many of your highest goals in life. What else is there that you think you haven't achieved after all these manifestations - your multiple-promise lands - that you had claimed and believed to come forth into the physical realm. Do you think you have arrived at your highest place - being at the tower(s) of your promise land(s). What is the new manifestation for you that you're moving forward to. I'm actually embarrassed by now with such a lengthy comment that I ended up writing today, filling up your whole page, looking like this is my own blog.. lol I won't write a comment for a while.hgs-saachi

    19. Well, that's quite a way to look at life. I bet many others wish they could be like that. It sure would not get boring!

    20. LOL, write as often as you wish! That's the whole point of this blog is to have the discourse. And in answer to your question, no I am certainly not at my highest place and don't expect to ever get there. The day I think I'm done, I really done. Life is about enjoying the challenge, growth and adventure!


    21. I do not agree that we do not choose where we are ... that God chooses. It was the opposite - God shows us that the world is changing ... Jesus came into this world with the message that our beliefs can be changed ... We must be open to all new and our beliefs may be questioned. Otherwise, there will be movement forward. Sorry for my bad English ... I'm still learning ... 🙂

    22. The friends I value the most are the ones that have the balls to challenge me about the way I think. Keep it up Randy!

    23. Interesting discussions in this post...
      I have no religious upbringing and I don't remember anyone in my family ever telling me what to think. There were people living with me and around me and I could make my own observations and conclusions.
      So my 'conscious' trip down the rabbit hole started at 16, when I read series of books from our native 'healer' and teacher. It was like yes, yes - this is how it is. Then another thing, then another... all those materials and books have had great influence, and without the first I could not understand the next info coming in... so it's been like a staircase going up in spiral.
      Main thing - as we develop so do our beliefs, because they become obsolete. They are supposed to - there is always a greater picture... if I have tried to hold on some beliefs, what I have considered nice and useful, life makes sure I question them... even if there are beliefs to keep for long time, even those evolve if we let them.
      It's a canny process to follow. Beliefs have their own way in developing too. It goes from being complicated and very distinct, specific into simple and clear - then again some of them develop lot of details, then again simplify... I love to watch it and follow it.
      Everything is suppose to change and develop, it's so important that we keep ourselves open to life and make sure we develop with it...
      I'm different form the social surroundings and it can be a problem if I let it... but you know it's also part of the process not to. I like this: it's more important being kind than right. There is really no way to change peoples mind, everyone is at their own space, now if someone is sincerely interested, about my being - I share it. If there is someone in front of me and the perception of that person is very set, all they need is to be heard and listened. Usually it's not so fascinating what comes from a narrow perception, but hey if I'm there let's make it an exercise or something. Or just walk away when the time is right...
      Beliefs are always in change, development... they become obsolete. Some of them come back later with a new angle... this life is really so finely built up - must be a work of a genius... and it probably takes a genius to perceive that. So why don't we all work on that every day, becoming that genius... and beliefs pop up and let us know when they have become obsolete. And for the honor of the life, let them go...

    24. hmm...randy i must say that i dont question my beliefs so much but its that i am not a person who is solely dependent on one religion (which is my own) for my belief foundation.
      Sometimes its the hindu culture or the sikh culture (which is what my parents have given me) that helps me when its the time for me to believe in something. I believe that suffering is also leads to freedom as said in islam, sewa (services to mankind) which is what sikhism has taught me as a child. But its a great saying that "one should survey the world but should put his roots to his ground"

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