Re-Programming to Get Rid of Limiting Beliefs

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Love in the Third Degree.

Okay, I’m the mother to two teens and I normally wouldn’t say this aloud, but sometimes I’d like the find my high school principal and kick his ass. He did me a huge disservice when I was a teen myself, even though I’m pretty sure that he meant well. In fact, I really do think he meant well. That’s the hard part about re-programming—knowing that much of it was done with good intentions.

Attract Him Back

Those good intentions paved some roads to hell for me.

During my high school years at Southwest Georgia Academy in Damascus, GA, I was drilled at least weekly and often daily that “Nothing good in life comes easy” and “Nothing worthwhile comes easy.” The headmaster gave weekly speeches designed to motivate lazy high school kids into working hard and making something of themselves. Except I wasn’t lazy. I was ambitious and motivated. I played several musical instruments, acted in plays, wrote incessantly. By the time I was 17, I was a regular columnist in four Georgia newspapers and an occasional guest columnist in two others. But I never gave myself enough credit for how much I did or how good I was at certain things. My accomplishments were just something I did. To me, they weren’t worthwhile.

Why not? Because some of the things I was best at then—and am great at now—weren’t just easy, but fun! As headmaster, he was so intent on directing and guiding students who hadn’t really found their talents yet or hadn’t put the effort into them yet that he missed people like me. I understand that now and that he never meant to do me any harm, but I didn’t then. Back then, I respected him and took him at his word that if I was having fun, then it must not be good. The lesson for me was that I could succeed only if I struggled. Success was an end, not part of the journey.

It’s taken a long time to un-do that message and realize that what’s most worthwhile to me—and to others—in my life is what comes very easily to me, what’s fun, what makes me feel wonderful. I’ve had to re-learn that the wildly creative ideas I could just pull out of the air are a good thing, not worthless because they’re easy for me. It’s been a huge adjustment, but I feel much better about what I enjoy doing. I realize now that enjoying what I do and feeling good about my talents is where I really shine, not just for me but for everyone I encounter. I do not have to struggle and hate what I do to make it worthwhile.

Think back on some of the messages you heard when growing up. How do they affect your life now? If these messages were limiting, do you understand now the intent behind them, how you understood and lived the message you were given, and how to reprogram your brain in a better and more productive way?

I’ll give you a few others you may have heard…..

– It’s not polite to toot your own horn/don’t talk about your accomplishments.
– Money is the root of all evil.
– You’re not complete without a man to love you and take care of you.
– You can never have enough money.
– If you’re not married, there’s something wrong with you.
– Spiritual people aren’t wealthy.
– You can’t afford to….
– Good girls don’t think about/enjoy sex.
– If you have money/food/resources and others don’t, you’re bad/wrong/evil.
– Spare the rod and spoil the child!
– It takes money to make money.
– If you hug your child too much, you’ll spoil him/her.
– It’s not what you know but who you know.