When a really bad piece of technology comes out it hits the market, gets panned as terrible, and then disappears. When bad science is pushed, the universe doesn't respond. However, when bad ideas are accepted they create belief systems that can damage us simply by existing.
Somebody I know has a four year degree. They have had a job since the day they finished college. They have had a really good paying job since they were married. They had one bad year out of fifteen, and by bad they were within $10k of the average annual salary in the US. They believe they are not rich. Furthermore, they believe they have struggled with being poor.
Belief systems are dangerous because when we believe something we stop looking to see if it is true or not. We also tend to agree that beliefs are both personal and factual. I am allowed to believe I have struggled with poverty because I am free to believe whatever I want to believe. I also would not believe anything unless it was true (read factual).
Our underlying belief systems, or invisible scripts, dictate how we interact with the world.
I can say I'm not a racist and believe I'm not a racist but when I'm in a gas station at 2am and a large african american man walks in my body shows me what I believe.
Beliefs are easy to have in your mind but amazingly difficult to have in your heart.
I can believe that pre-marital sex is wrong, but I've been dating my wife since I was a teenager and having sex with her inside the confines of marriage since my very early 20's. There is really no way of knowing what the belief in my heart is because I don't have to prove it.
Often times we espouse beliefs because we know we don't have to prove it or there is no way of proving it.
As a side note on how beliefs can physically affect our lives, college football makes all of it's money in exactly the same way that large financial companies make much of their money. They take the sweat and blood of young men who think they are the exception and burn it as fuel. Every young financial advisor thinks he is the next Warren Buffett just as much as every young football player thinks he is the next Jerry Rice.
Young men are not getting abused by a system, their invisible scripts that they are special are getting abused by a system. The same belief system can be seen in sports where there is no chance of making money. I ran track in college believing I was the next Edwin Moses fully knowing that even Edwin didn't make that much money.
Our invisible scripts can deeply affect our visible lives. It does not matter if you know what those beliefs are or don't know what those beliefs are, they are a part of you and an influencer daily. This is why difficult situations and bad times are so valuable, because only in experience can we see where our heart lies.
We should relish every part of our lives, particularly the hard parts, and come away from every experience with one of two things:
1) Was the invisible script that just became visible something I want to keep?
2) Is there a new script I want to write for next time?