"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
Growing up we learn many basics of life including: We can’t always have our way (never liked that one), we need to share (actually found that fun), and Thanksgiving comes before Christmas/Chanukah (I wish someone would tell the people in charge of advertising that having Christmas trees up before we eat turkey is not okay!).
When we’re young we learn a lot without even realizing it, without even trying. We witness how the people closest to us think, behave, and react. Some of the lessons we learn are very beneficial to us, and others, not so much. The latter are the ones to be aware of. These are the ones that need to be rewired, so they can be unlearned.
It takes time for lessons to become ingrained in the brain, and unlearning them can be quite the challenge. What we have learned over the years has been drilled into us, and cemented in with repetition. This process secures the hard wiring that creates our behaviors and beliefs.
Below are four beliefs we inadvertently learn that get my vote to top the ‘Unlearn This’ list:
1. If I__________, what will people think?Who cares?! I’m sorry, but if we’re not hurting anyone, we all deserve to live a life that makes us happy. Our time here on earth is a gift and we shouldn’t feel any responsibility to live it according to what other people think.
That being said, we must understand that our actions do affect others. We all make choices and must live with the consequences of those choices, which may mean being criticized by others or losing certain relationships. What’s important is that we live in integrity.
2. I don’t want to let anyone down, so I basically never say no. (You know who you are!)This is yet another way that we allow other people to take priority over what may be best for us. Some of us are on people-pleasing autopilot, which makes it easy to crash and burn without notice. Exhaustion, resentment toward others and passive-aggressive behavior are only three examples of resulting debris. To prevent this from happening, don’t live your life to please others! Learn how to have boundary lines. If you don’t want to spend time with someone, don’t. You don’t always have to be available. And put the cell phone down!
Here’s a concept: Please yourself first! P.S. It’s also OK to let others please you!
3. I feel I have to be prepared for anything so I sometimes worry about what might happen.There’s a great saying: “Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good.” This is so true! The irony is that by worrying about what might happen, we’re not only missing the good in our life, but we are draining ourselves of the energy and strength we’d need if something did happen. What will be will be. We do our best to be safe and healthy, and that is the extent of our control. So stop. Rewire. Put a new chip in. Whatever it takes to blow out the old programming!
No matter how old you are, it is never too late to unlearn your lessons!
What is it that you need to unlearn? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts/comments about what behavior or habits you have trouble changing. It would be great to share and help others who have the same challenges! Start a dialog by commenting bellow
This article was written by Nancy Lang. Nancy is a published author, professional actress, Certified Life Coach and M.D. (Maven of Dating!). It was her role as a divorced woman that inspired her to write the book, You Want Me to What?!—The Dating Adventures and Life Lessons of a Newly Divorced Woman (available on Amazon). To read more of Nancy’s adventures, and her poignant and humorous view of life’s lessons, visit her weekly blog at www.nancytellsall.com