I was part of an inner city street gang. We hung around the local drugstore, and liked to smoke cheap cigarettes in the alley.
One time, a rival gang came to our side of town and started causing problems. They were always coming around where they weren’t wanted. It came time for the school dance, and wouldn’t you know it, my best friend fell in love with one of the other gangs’ girlfriends.
I ended up getting stabbed because of him.
We also liked to sing and dance. We did songs like “When You’re a Jet, You’re a Jet all the Way” and “Gee Officer Krupke.”
Ok. Maybe I had you until I said that I was stabbed. Perhaps it took you a bit longer and realized that gang members don’t sing or dance.
I was never in a gang. But, I was in the musical “West Side Story”. I played Riff – The leader of the gang “The Jets”. The story above is a quick summation of the first act of the musical.
I never really believed I was a gang member. Perhaps it was because I didn’t know any gang members who knew how to do a kick-ball-change. But thats not the point. I was an actor playing a role. I only believed it enough to do the part for 4 nights a week.
When the show was over I no longer fought with the rival gang. Actually, outside of the 3 hour musical, I hung out with guys from the rival gang.
I was acting. I didn’t truly believe the stuff that I was performing. It was just a role. It wasn’t who I was. I was just putting it on.
What does West Side Story have to do with your beliefs?
Beliefs Fuel Your Behavior
What you believe determines how you behave.
Beliefs are a big deal, but most of the time they sit in the background of our mind and we never actively think about them, they just continue to fuel our behaviors.
It’s important that you get this: What you believe guides how you will act toward people places and things, or in certain situations.
It’s very important to dig your beliefs out of the back ground and think about them.
To examine them and make sure they are helping you and your relationships.
True transformation comes when you work on belief, not behavior
– Ray McCollum
Many relationship writers focus on things you need to DO to be a better spouse. I’ve done that too.
I believe strongly that you can alter a behavior with no REAL lasting change if you simply change the behavior on the outside and don’t change your beliefs on the inside.
Many times we think slapping “5 tips” for better this or that will solve all our problems. But it won’t. Those changes won’t last because you don’t know ‘why’ or ‘what for’.
Acting in a ‘certain way’ is just that: Acting.
I learned all the lines and the dance moves so I could perform in the musical West Side Story. But I didn’t believe I was a gangster. As soon as the stage door shut, I was a normal guy. None of the gangster stuff stayed with me.
But, I did believe I was a performer. So I kept doing all sorts of plays and musicals. I even ended up graduating with a BFA in Theatre from an all women’s college because of it. (That one IS true)
What we need to do is look at the beliefs that guide our lives and our marriages. Perhaps they need to be modified. So that the “5 tips” actually help after they are tried a couple times.
Over the next several posts, I’m going to introduce several beliefs that might be hindering your marriage. And the One Main belief that, I think, can change your marriage forever.
IF you really believe it.
Links to follow up posts: