• Amanda Messinger, LCPC

What I've Learned from God & McDonald's

(A perspective on my inner story)

What do God and McDonald’s have in common? On the outside, not much! One is a long practiced faith based entity and the other is a Des Plaines, Illinois originated franchise restaurant which has taken the country by storm.

What they do have in common is how both of those terms (God and McDonald’s) affects the average person when they hear them.

Some individuals will have negative reactions and memories (such as poor service, bad food, or a bad preacher) while others will have positive reflections. Whatever the opinion is, both God and McDonald's are rooted into the average person’s belief system and are tied to an emotional memory.

But what is a belief? A belief is nothing more than a statement that has been reinforced countless times to become an accepted truth. For most people, both God and McDonald’s were introduced to them at a young age and reinforced throughout their lives. When the statement is reinforced enough, the brain will continue to look for justifications to keep the belief alive. Amazing feats may be identified as miracles. Bad press on unhealthy food is seen as justification for why you don't eat fast food. We hold beliefs in all areas of our lives.

Where this becomes a problem for someone is when something has been introduced that is not emotionally healthy and then reinforced (i.e “I am not good enough” “I’ll always be a failure”). These are called core beliefs. Core beliefs are introduced in childhood and reinforced usually unintentionally by family, life stress or trauma or friends. When the belief is reinforced enough, the brain will continue to look for things to justify the belief (“I didn’t get that promotion because I can't be successful.”) These core beliefs can keep people in a poor emotional state.

How do we alter our core beliefs? We change the story.

Identify some of the negative thoughts in your head and challenge them. Start telling yourself a new statement and reinforce it daily. Overtime, that reinforced statement will change how you feel about yourself.

While God and McDonald’s have very little to do with each other on the outside, using those concepts can help you re-write your inner story to lead you to a happier perspective and a more satisfying life journey.

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