Day 83: 7 Lies You’re Wired To Believe

Why do we believe the things we believe?

From the time we’re born, our beliefs are formed with each new experience. Whether it’s events which shape us or words people tell us, each piece of data works its way into our brains and becomes part of our overall programming.

Unfortunately, when we’re younger, we don’t have the wisdom to process the information in a way that makes the most of good data and deletes the useless.

So, you get what you have now – millions of people walking around with conflicting beliefs which serve no purpose other than to make our lives more difficult.

It’s time to take a leap of faith and take a chance on yourself by getting rid of the bad code in your brain and rewrite your own programming.

Below are some of the common lies we’ve accepted as truths which may need a personal rewrite:

1 – Success is only for the lucky.
Sure, luck plays into some success stories. But there’s something to be said for creating our own luck. I’m not talking about some mysterious voodoo here, but rather making connections and being at the right place at the right time. And of course, showing up and working hard.
An acquaintance of mine was once jealous of an opportunity I’d gotten. He attributed my “luck” to the fact that I’d met someone who helped give me a leg up. He was partly right, I would NOT have gotten the opportunity had I not met the right person. But … how did I meet the person to begin with?

By busting my ass, showing up, and proving myself on a daily basis. It’s the little things we do that make the difference. No, there’s no guarantees in life. Some people work hard all their lives and never get that golden opportunity. But you can’t let that keep you from trying.

2 – You’re not worthy.
A lot of people who suffer from low self esteem were the subjects of negative programming in their pasts (or even present). Parents, peers, and lovers can wreak untold damage on our psyches, molding not only how we allow ourselves to be treated, but how we treat ourselves. If that sounds like you, you need to break free, wipe your mental hard drive and install a new operating system, programmed by you, with positive affirmations of the awesome person you are!

3 – You need STUFF to be happy.
Advertisers are a clever bunch. For the most part, their job is to convince you that you need something in order to be happy, safe, content, or fit in with others. They point out what you lack, or worse, create that feeling of lacking within you, then offer to fill the need.
But here’s the secret they don’t tell you – you will never be complete, there will always be some new thing to sell you, and you will never be content if you rely on STUFF to be happy.

Real happiness comes from friends, family, and pursuing your dreams. And no matter how much stuff you buy, you will never fit in or keep up with the Joneses if you are not genuine and true to yourself.

4 – Everything will work out. No, sometimes things don’t work out. Too many people stick their heads in the sand, oblivious, or unwilling, to acknowledge their role in deciding the outcomes of events. They believe it’s better to do nothing than take a chance and fail. So they wait too long, or they miss out on opportunities because they weren’t paying attention.
Or they ignore a growing problem until it grows out of control.

While some people argue that positive illusions can help people cope with stress or push them towards success, others believe that such attitudes can be dangerous and keep people from taking preventive actions.
Don’t be delusional. Take action while you still have a choice in the matter.

5 – Other people deserve it more than you.
Sometimes we don’t chase opportunities because we don’t feel we’ll succeed, or that someone else is more worthy or could do the job better. I’m guilty of this as anyone. I used to draw a comic strip with moderate success online and was featured in a few small papers. I wanted to submit to the major syndicates but never followed through. I talked myself out of it, thinking that surely, the syndicates had better people than me trying to get a deal.

And while that was true, there were better people than me. There were also worse. Far worse. And some of those people got signed! I still kick myself over what might have been had I tried when the time was right. Don’t miss your moment – if you have a shot, take it!

6 – There’s always tomorrow.
We put things off because there’s always tomorrow.  We put work off, we put off time with family, we put off trips we’d like to take, or things we’d like to do, because we figure we can do it another time. Sometimes, life seems long, and tomorrows aplenty.
We treat our days like the guy who just won the lottery treats one dollar bills. When they’re in abundance, we ignore their importance. But when they’re scarce … we suddenly reevaluate their meaning. Nothing is more valuable than OUR time – it is a finite resource. We cannot buy more of it. We need to make the most of it just like a guy with only $10 to his name would make the most of his dollars.

7 – Acting in our own interests is bad.
Somehow acting in our own interest has gotten a bad rap. It’s seen as rude or selfish. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have to take care of you and your loved ones. You can’t count on the good will of others. You owe it to yourself to act in your own interests.
However, you shouldn’t do so at the expense of trampling on others, or deceiving people in order to advance your own causes.

Here’s a little secret that might seem counter-intuitive – acting in other people’s interests can also serve your interests. When you help others, you forge bonds and make connections which could reward you in many ways. You’ll build a network and increase your opportunities with each new person you meet.

Be sincere, generous, and transparent and nobody can accuse you of being selfish.

What negative programming have you fought to rewrite in your brain? Got any tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.


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David Wright is a ghostwriter who is chronicling his year in self improvement at Project 30 Days starting in January.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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