Your life is a product of what you choose to believe. If you get an idea in your head and you truly believe it, you can bet that it’s going to have an impact on how you feel about things, how you interpret reality, and what you choose to talk about. It also has a strong effect on how you emotionally respond to the things going on around you.

At the end of the day, the world doesn’t care about your feelings, that much is true. But it does sit up and pay attention to what actions you take. It pays attention to what you do. And there is a tight link between how you choose to feel about certain things in your life and how you behave.

If you change your emotional and mental habits, you change your results. When you change your results, you change your destiny.

If you’re reading this, you are feeling discontented, frustrated and imperfect. You’re feeling way down. You’re having a tough time accepting yourself. You have serious questions regarding where you are, the decisions you’ve made, and what you’re about.

Unfortunately, you’re not making things any better for yourself when you choose to believe in 8 things that hold you back and drag you down.

These 8 false beliefs sabotage you. They make you feel weak, dependent, flawed and lacking total control. The worst part is they corrode you over time.

This doesn’t happen on a one-time, big-time kind of basis. Instead, it seeps into you. It wears away your resolve over time. Much like emotional and mental cancer.

Learn to identify and let go of these 8 false beliefs and you will be on a much better path through life.

Most Americans love the fiction that they are the captain of their personal ship of destiny. There’s romantic imagery that comes with that. You against the world. You, creating your own path.

Well, here’s the problem: the more you believe that you have to be in control, the less in control you become.

Because let’s face it, the world is a chaotic place. You can create, write down, or formulate the very best laid plans, and they will not pan out exactly as you planned them. That’s just the way things work.

As the old saying goes, life is what happens when you’re making other plans. And to believe that you always have to be in control, that everything has to take place based on how you planned it is the worst form of self-sabotage.

Because life doesn’t work that way. Often times, when we plan 100, we should be happy if we get 50. 50 is definitely quite an improvement from the 20 that you’re usually getting. Do you see where I’m coming from?

And the problem is, this sense of control leads you to an impossible attachment to perfection. You feel that you’re not really in control if things do not pan out exactly how you imagined them to be. Instead, accept the world for what it is instead of insisting on how it should be.

You have to understand that it’s hard enough to change yourself, can you imagine trying to change other people? Can you imagine trying to change situations beyond your control?

Let go of this mental cancer of wanting to be always in control. Understand that the only thing you can control in this world is yourself and your response to what the world throws your way.

You don’t have to respond based on your emotions. You don’t have to let your feelings get the better of you. You can respond based on your values. You can respond based on the character you feel you have.

That is the essence of real control. None of this has to do with controlling what goes on around you because the world spins on its own axis. It has its own agenda.

The more you feel that you have to control everything and everyone around you, the more you lose control. You’re taking time away from what you should be doing, which is to control your response and yourself.

Most people would not admit to this, but if you were to look at how they think and how they emotionally respond to things going on in their life, it would seem like there was a giant spotlight on them. They think that they live their lives on this giant stage.

Everybody’s looking. Everybody cares. In fact, they think that everyone cares so much about what’s going on in their life that they’re afraid to make a mistake. One loose word, one false move, one misplaced statement, and everything falls apart.

This is why a lot of people are so afraid of truly being sincere. They feel they have to play a role. They have to meet some sort of standard that is acceptable to most people most of the time.

In other words, they’re living a lie. And this rooted from the fact that you think that you are so important, so vital, so essential, that everybody’s looking at you.

Well, the truth is, nobody cares. Seriously. Everybody’s got enough problems of their own.

Everybody can talk a good game, but at the end of the day, you are responsible for your life, and you alone. Not your parents, not your friends, not your community, not your classmates – you.

And this is why you got to stop thinking that everybody cares about your life on an intense, 24/7, 35-day basis because that is false. You’re just putting a worthless amount of pressure on yourself, and this leads to unnecessary drama.

Nobody cares at the end of the day. Not even the person who says, “I love you.” Seriously. Even if you have a child, not even your child.

Why? Everybody’s responsible for his or her life.

So stop thinking that your mistakes define you. Stop thinking that you cannot make a false move because you’re that vital to everybody else. That somehow, some way, if you make the wrong move, everything falls apart and goes off track.

No. That’s a lie. You’re just putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, which ensures that you will slip up. Nobody needs that kind of pressure. Nobody can withstand that kind of pressure.

 

Another common false belief that people hang on to that makes them feel miserable on a day to day basis is the idea that everybody looks up to them as a standard.

It’s as if people were counting on them to keep it together because without them as some sort of role model, everybody would live lives like chickens with their heads cut off.

People would be running around, there would be total chaos, there would be no standards, everybody would be acting based on their worst demons.

Well, this is just your ego talking. Because at the end of the day, people have different standards.

Standards are actually more malleable or fluid than you care to realize. To hold yourself up, at least mentally or emotionally, as some sort of cornerstone or gold standard in the eyes of people around you is really just a perverted form of ego worship. That’s really what you’re doing.

At the end of the day, people aren’t really using you as a standard. If you are being used as a standard, you are one of many. But you think that just because this happens, then you are at the spotlight. You cannot let them down.

So what happens is that a false sense of obligation arises from this distorted perception, and you make yourself miserable.

When you hold yourself up as some sort of standard for others to follow or to measure their conduct by, you’re putting a very impossible standard on yourself. Why? You’re made out of flesh. You live in a prison of flesh.

Human beings do fall apart. They make mistakes. They say the wrong things to the wrong people at the wrong time, and all the worst outcomes come out.

Hey, welcome to the club. That’s part of being human. That’s part of being real.

But you let go of all of that. You ignore that and you set yourself up for untold misery when you hold yourself up as some sort of standard.

While it’s okay for people to look to you for support, please understand that you have to support them as a fellow fallen person.

That’s right. As an imperfect person. As another person who hasn’t quite gotten it together. As another human being who doesn’t quite get it all. And that’s perfectly okay.

Don’t for a second think that just because somebody comes to you for the support that this is somehow a validation of your moral, intellectual, financial or physical superiority. That’s just a mind game you play on yourself. That’s not the truth.

This is a very common false belief. We love our parents. Well, most people do. And we feel that for them to be happy, we have to follow them. This is part of the childhood process.

Remember when you were a kid, your parents would always tell you what to do because you are under their control? They want the best for you. That is to be expected. That’s part of the growing up process.

But there is a line in the sand when you’re no longer a child; when you have to make decisions on your own and have to live with the consequences of those decisions.

Unfortunately, a lot of people refuse to grow up. They think that if their parents were right when they were kids, then everything that they say or, worse yet, everything that they think they say is perfect.

This is where family obligation becomes some sort of handcuff that prevents you from maturing and growing like a person.

You have to understand that the worst parents in the world are parents who constantly hover on their children, preventing even a mosquito from biting their kid.

Well, what if that kid is 30 years old? 40? 50? At a certain point in time, you have to cut the umbilical cord.

And unfortunately, regardless of people’s age, they still hang on to this false belief that if they are not perfect, mommy will feel hurt. If they feel that they are not perfect for all people at all times and all situations, daddy will be let down.

Please understand that your parents are wiser than you give them credit for. They know that the world is imperfect. They know that there’s a lot of heartbreak, disappointment or betrayal out there, so stop idealizing their expectations for you. They’re actually more accepting than you give them credit for.

To most parents, it’s the fact the child tried and gave his or her best that matters most. It doesn’t matter whether the kid got straight A’s, graduated at the top of his or her class, made $1 million right out of college. None of that matters. What matters is the process because that’s how mature parents look at life.

But if you have this idealized illusion in your mind that your parents will refuse to be happy and accept you if you’re not perfect, then you’re just making things worse for yourself. Because let’s face it, it’s very easy to twist our parent’s early guidance into demands for perfection. In fact, it doesn’t take much effort.

But please understand that you’re an adult. You have to take responsibility for yourself and live your life for yourself. Cut that umbilical cord emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

 

Another false belief that too many people hang on to is the idea that they have to always be better than others. Otherwise, they will be miserable.

This is a serious problem because there is no such thing as perfection. It’s an ideal. And we can credit Plato for discovering the difference between ideals and reality.

But when you look at how the Greek philosopher Plato describes ideas, it is obvious that he’s talking about forms that reality has no way of ever reaching. That’s why they are ideals.

The idea of perfection is exactly what – an ideal. It’s something to strive for, but you should not kill yourself to reach it because it’s just not going to happen.

The philosopher Plato understood this, but unfortunately, too many people don’t. And this goes back to the need to always be better than others because you can’t do it.

If you’re good at basketball, you can bet that there’s somebody else that will be better than you. If you’re rich, and I’m talking about at least making $250,000 a year, there will be somebody making more money than you. If you’re good looking, after a few years, you probably won’t feel that you’re all that hot.

Please understand that this need to always be superior is an unnecessary burden. It distracts you from reality.

The truth is, we’re all imperfect. We all have our strong points and weak points. We’re a mix. Be at peace with that fact.

Don’t think that you have to be better than everybody else because there will always be somebody better that will come along. That’s just the flow of life. That’s just how things work out. You may be on top now, but it doesn’t take long for somebody to take your place.

When you think that you always have to be better, you’re basically fighting against time. I hope I don’t need to explain why that’s a bad idea or a losing struggle.

 

In graduate school, I had a friend who was deathly afraid of tests. He really was. It frightened the stuffing out of him.

He was under the impression that if word got around that he failed the test that people would laugh; that people would look down on him. So he was always stressed out.

Well, when the results came and he got a D in one class, people shrugged. You know why? Everybody else is dealing with their low grade.

Somebody got an F, another person was struggling with C’s, so by the time the dust settled regarding the test, people were just too focused on their own grades. They really didn’t have the time to screw around with other people’s problems, much fewer point fingers and laugh.

But my friend still thought that people cared that he didn’t do as well as he thought he would. So what did he do? He would read into people’s rather neutral observations about what was going on with him and interpret them as the worst insults in the world.

He kept doing this year after year after year. He was miserable in graduate school.

You don’t have to do the same. At the end of the day, people care only for one person on this planet, and that person is never going to be you.

They care about themselves most of all because it’s practical. Think about it, if you did not care about yourself first, how can you take care of other people? How much use will you be? So get the idea out of your head that people will make a mockery of you if you fail.

I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but failure is a part of life. In fact, failure is what gives success its meaning.

If everybody succeeded and scored a slam dunk every time they stepped up to the line, then our world will be vastly different. It wouldn’t be challenging at all. The concept of victory would be meaningless.

 

I remember when I was in high school and I was planning my college applications. I said to myself, once I get into the top college in my state, I will be very happy. Sure enough, the thick envelope came in and I got accepted to the school that was at the top of my list.

After a semester of college, I started thinking about getting an internship. So I said to myself, when I get that great internship with that great company, I will be happy. Sure enough, I graduated and I got an internship.

And by that time, I still wasn’t happy. I said to myself, when I buy my first house, I will be happy.

I hope you see the pattern here. The pattern is that when you view happiness as some sort of destination bound by time, you never get there. You really don’t.

Why? You change as you move to your prize. The process changes you.

That should give you all the clues in the world as to how you should define happiness. It is not some fixed point bound by space and time. No.

Instead, it’s internal. It’s an attitude. It is the journey.

But unfortunately, if you hang on to the idea that happiness is some sort of destination, then it’s really not much different from thinking that happiness is some sort of commodity. It’s like a product or a shirt that you wear.

And this is why a lot of people never ever get there, and they beat themselves up. They feel incomplete, alone, apart, lonely, broken, defective. Maybe it’s what you choose to believe about happiness.

 

Like I keep hammering again and again in this booklet, you are responsible for yourself. If you’re an adult, it’s not going to be your parents. It’s not going to be your lover or your significant other. It’s you.

You are responsible for yourself. And this is why you have to focus more on the standards that you set for yourself.

What values did you choose for yourself? What kind of character do you want for yourself? These are the central questions that you should wrap your mind around.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think that what is important in their lives are set by other people. They become slaves to obligation, expectation or other people’s standards.

Well, here’s the problem – if they don’t make sense in your life, then you have no business hanging on to them. They will only grind you down and hold you back.

And the worst part is that you only have yourself to blame. Can you imagine living most of your life as a lie and then one year before you die, you realize that there is such a thing as a personal standard?

There is such a thing as a set of beliefs that make you happy. That you’re not in any way obligated to make others happy because they have their own lives.

Well, at least better to have one year of personal peace and completion than a full life living a lie.

Friend, if you want to live up to your fullest potential, let go of the 8 false beliefs I described in this booklet. There is no better time than now to turn your back on the false ideas that hold you back and drag you down from living a truly fulfilled life.

At the end of the day, your happiness is your responsibility. At the end of the day, your fulfillment is yours and yours alone.

Start acting like a mature, independent-minded adult and make these decisions today. Because here’s a spoiler: nobody will make them for you.

 


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