I see that when I believe in a thought, I create suffering for myself. And I also see that when I turn a belief into a tool, it can be a very helpful part of an exploration and inquiry process.
An obvious way to turn a belief into inquiry is through the wonderful process outlined by Byron Katie.
Another is to use it more literally as a question, a tool for exploration.
For instance, say I have a belief that I chose this life. As a belief, it has only limited value – and can even cause a great deal of suffering for myself and others.
As a tool, it becomes a way to find a fresh and different way to look at the life of this small self. Say I did choose this life (as an experiment), how would I tell the story of this small self? How would I tell it differently from how I usually tell myself and others this story?
I may find that in seeing the story this way, resentment may give way for appreciation, and resistance to receptivity. What can I learn from these experiences? What unique gifts do I have to offer because of these experiences?
[See Joanna Macy‘s book Coming Back to Life for a more detailed description of this exercise.]