Angela Belford

Arkansas Physical Health & Rehab, Dr. Blair Masters, and Shannon McNeill-Sawney would like to make a special introduction to Angela Belford, our guest ‘Blogger’ for the week. Angela Belford will be presenting a three-part blog series over the next quarter about her book “Be Freaking Awesome” Developing a success mindset for a remarkable life. “Angela and I have been friends for years and as a very successful business woman and a distinguished public speaker, I consider Angela a mentor” says Shannon McNeill-Sawney, our business director for APHR. “I know our patients will benefit from Angela’s inspiring story and business success acumen.” Welcome Angela Belford, local author and business owner of The Belford Group, specializing in marketing and branding in Northwest Arkansas. She experienced hunger at age 5 and homelessness at 14, yet has changed her trajectory in life by making a handful of key attitudinal changes. Enjoy part one of her three-part series we will share with you, our patients and friends of APHR.

It Begins with Beliefs

Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny.
- Mahatma Ghandi

Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable. I really like to make salsa and find that the tomatoes with a lot of meat and not a lot of juice actually make the best salsa. There are many varieties of tomatoes, when I buy tomato plants at the nursery, I have to depend on the little tab that has a picture on it to trust what kind of tomato I am going to get. I have to buy the plant, take it home, plant it, water it, add Miracle Grow, keep the deer away from it, and take care of the plant for several months before the tomatoes are ready to harvest. If someone has mislabeled the plants, I could end up with cherry tomatoes when I wanted Big Burpee tomatoes. I love cherry tomatoes, but they don’t work well for salsa. Worse, what if I thought I was getting tomatoes and actually ended up with a different kind of plant entirely.

Like tomato plants, beliefs are “planted” in our subconscious mind. Your brain has a part called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It notices things that match what you believe. For instance, if you buy a blue Honda, suddenly you notice all the blue Hondas on the road. Those Hondas were there last week, you just hadn’t dialed in your RAS.

Our RAS helps us notice the situations that will make that belief true. Your mind hates to be wrong. It will work overtime to prove you right. If you have a belief that people are out to get you, your mind will notice every time something happens to you to confirm that belief. It will actually ignore situations that disprove that belief, sort of like the blue Hondas you now notice. If you have a belief that people are good, kind, and doing the best they can, then when someone does something counter to that belief you will likely either not notice, not be offended by it, or decide it’s an exception. Your brain won’t remember the times that people weren’t kind. If someone tries to point out unkindness and how often it has happened to you, you’ll likely think it’s a fluke.

By being clear on what you want your life to look like, you dial in your RAS so that it notices things it previously didn’t. Let’s say you want a life that includes a peaceful home. Then when you have dinner with your family filled with laughter, silliness and no arguments or complaining, your RAS will suddenly notice and want to accomplish more of that. Once you have had six to eight dinners in a row that have laughter and great conversation, then you have one rough night, your brain will recognize the pattern, and it will not blow things out of proportion and freak out. It will begin to believe, “I live in a home of peace and laughter” and will continue to help you create that vision.

When it comes to our health and wellness goals, planting proper beliefs is critical to your success. If you begin to believe I am a person that takes care of my body, you will likely have an easier time making good choices on food, being more consistent on exercise and scheduling regular wellness appointments. If you believe, I don’t have time to take care of my body, it will likely seem easier to grab a sugary snack instead of an apple or almonds. When it comes to eating candy or eating almonds, does one really take more time?? Not really.

Next time we’ll talk about how you can use your thoughts as indicator lights to figure out what negative beliefs you have lurking in your RAS. Until then, decide today that you are a person that takes care of your body or some other equally positive supportive belief about your body. If you can’t wait until next time, pick up a copy of Be Freaking Awesome on my website or on Amazon.