We spend our lives living according to sets of rules, procedures and etiquettes that tell us the right and wrong ways of doing things. ‘Punishment’ is quick to be administered for those rule-breakers who don’t listen and follow. But have we ever thought about who decided how it had to be and why we so blindly accept their word as truth?
One of the most challenging things you will have to do is to identify the limiting beliefs – the things that you believe about yourself that stifle what you can become – that you have grown up with. They are so familiar to your everyday living that you hardly give them a thought. And yet, if you can hunt them down and turn them around you will find the rewards are huge. The Fish Story shows just how embedded they can become.
A little girl was watching her mother prepare a fish for dinner. Her mother cut the head and tail off the fish and then placed it into a baking pan. The little girl asked her mother why she cut the head and tail off the fish. Her mother thought for a while and then said, “I’ve always done it that way – that’s how grandma did it.”
Not satisfied with the answer, the little girl went to visit her grandma to find out why she cut the head and tail off the fish before baking it.
Grandma thought for a while and replied, “I don’t know. My mother always did it that way.”
So the little girl and the grandma went to visit great grandma to find ask if she knew the answer.
Great grandma thought for a while and said, “Because my baking pan was too small to fit in the whole fish”.
Today’s challenge is to brainstorm all the different actions you carry out without thinking — the routines that you have likely carried over from childhood. Go through the list and identify which ones you are going to either change to make your life easier or eliminate altogether because you really don’t want to do them any more. Focus on the top 10 that negatively impact your life in the biggest way. Then come up with three new ways you could do each of these things.
Next time you catch yourself beginning to go on autopilot with one of these negative routines, make the conscious choice to follow one of the alternative methods you’ve decided upon here.
Step by step you’ll begin noticing you’re living your life the way you want instead of they way you’ve unconsciously adopted from the people and experiences in your past. And soon you’ll be well on your way to setting yourself free.