When I was young, my parents told me to drink at least one glass of milk a day and eat one slice of American cheese a day.
Because they believed it was good for me.
Both were disgusting. I hated the taste.
Each tiny taste was like medicine for me.
They forced me to sit at the dinner table and finish it sometimes. And I remember once, it took me hours. The cold milk had got all warm and even more bad-tasting.
It was only until much later in my life that I discovered that milk isn’t actually healthy for you. And neither is cheese.
But my parents had drilled into my head that both of these ingredients would help me grow taller, which was a big problem since I wasn’t that tall for my age group. (What do you expect? You’re comparing an Asian to the American population at my school).
And I couldn’t skip breakfast either. That’s the most important meal of the day … according to them.
All of that came from beliefs, that was probably populated by advertisement.
Steve Jobs did a speech once on the lies of milk and the power of marketing. It makes you wonder what other beliefs you have that limit your success in life because they’re not true?
In the speech, he talks about the history of milk. The milk industry spent 20 years trying to convince you that milk was good for you. They convinced my parents, but it wasn’t working overall.
Their sales were plummeting.
Then, they tried “Got Milk?” and their sales started rising.
One limiting belief I want to offer up is the idea that “more money equals more success” no matter the costs. Or more specifically, the belief that “it’s worth it to always neglect family time to continue to build your career/income/business.”
I used to listen to a podcast called Eventual Millionaire often which interviews a new millionaire every episode on their secrets to success. I saw a lot of themes and patterns. One of them was that some millionaires regretted the time they sacrificed with their family to pursue their dreams. One guest in particular said that his father was rich too but always absent, and he would give anything to get that time back even if it cost him any material possessions his dad ever gave him. He set out to become a self-made millionaire in his own way without having to sacrifice that time with his children.
That stuck with me, and I hope it gave you a new perspective. For some, it’s obvious or they’ve heard it before. Yet how many of us actually think about it and take action. Most just say it’s obvious then continue to forget and repeat the same mistake later in life. At the least, I hope someone reading this got a new insight.
My dad did actually move to another country in the pursuit of his dream to start a company when I was starting high school. We had a long-distance relationship with him while he built his company. It was tough for my siblings and mom. Yet I don’t think anyone resented him for it or felt like they missed out. They accepted it and admired the pursuit of his dream and sacrifice to make income. It’s been many years and he’s still there working and will visit once a year. He’s managed to obtain income from that pursuit, though it’s left him in another country as his main hub. My younger siblings still seemed to express love and accept the fact; there never seemed to be any distress or anger that came from it.
The point being that there are exceptions and nuances to advice based on your unique situation. There are cases where you can bend the rules or live a certain way without destroying relationships. Every situation is unique, so another set of children may feel bad that their parent wasn’t there for a certain life event.
Are there any beliefs or assumptions you have about life that hold you back? What if those assumptions weren’t true?
What do you think these beliefs are and how can you remove them?
I’m not saying that you should always assume you’re right and that all beliefs are nonsense. I’m saying it’s time to question your identity, thoughts, and pervasive ideas because the average public spend their whole lives trapped in limiting beliefs that aren’t true, never bothering to question them.
A few other beliefs I’ve unearthed through personal development courses or programs I’ve taken include:
- Abundance vs. scarcity mindset – Believing that I can afford a certain thing one day or it’s not greedy or selfish to purchase it versus always thinking you can’t and that you have to cut back and save. These are common beliefs to break.
- What I can or can’t do because of my identity and traits – I can’t get this relationship or life or person because I’m Asian, I have these traits, I look a certain way, I behave a certain way, etc. – Untrue.
You can break those beliefs in various ways. That goes beyond the scope of this article, though if you can find stories or evidence of people who have proven this to be false, especially many examples, that can change your perspective.
And most importantly, be careful of who you surround yourself with. Social media is the worst sometimes if you let anonymous strangers or people with poor beliefs influence you. They’re often spouting their own opinions and agendas. The most negative or small-minded ones are dead-set on their limiting beliefs, so much so that they tried to enforce it on others to bring others down too or they create their own biases to be blind to conflicting evidence. It’s best to surround yourself with people who are smart, successful, and how you want to be.