We all have places in our lives where we get stuck, augured in by a particular belief like, “work is hard,” or “children are too expensive,” or “politicians are evil.” To make matters worse, we often can’t distinguish between the truth and a disempowering belief because we attach little refrains like, “that’s just the way it is.” It’s as if our minds have become the honeymoon destination for Archie Bunker and Nurse Ratched.

If we really listen, we will hear a quality of flatness, resignation or a dissonant righteousness in our speaking. To bring choice, openness, and inquiry back into your reality try adding the challenge “oh really?” to these 29 worn out perspectives (or your own) and turn up the heat on those victim-making, life-killing, soul-sucking, war-making phrases that have been sapping your fulfillment.

1. I don’t have the time.
2. Everything on my to-do list is important and essential.
3. I can’t quit. If I do, everything will fall apart.
4. If I take time off, I’ll lose my game.
5. Nobody will hire me, I’m too old.
6. You’re supposed to get married and then have the baby.
7. Get your diploma, go to college, get a master’s, get married, get a career, have a family, grow old, die.
8. I need an MFA to get published.
9. Art is good, but if you want to make a living, you have to get a real job.
10. I am a complete loser without my [to-do list] [blackberry] [iphone] [rolodex].
11. You’re a loser if you use a rolodex.
12. I can’t delete all those emails.
13. You have to get a telephone. Everyone has a telephone.
14. Nobody will respect me if I don’t have a Ph.D.
15. I have to know how it ends before I begin.
16. You have to start at the bottom if you want to get to the top.
17. A black man can never be president.
18. My vote doesn’t count.
19. Women over 50 should not have long hair.
20. I’m not creative.
21. Investing is pointless as my age; I should have started years ago.
22. It’s all my mother’s fault.
23. It’s all your mother’s fault.
24. I don’t have any choice.
25. If I don’t make it by 30, I never will.
26. If you’re an artist, you need a career to fall back on.
27. Finding love is just not in the cards for me.
28. I’d rather travel, but I have to get a degree first.
29. There’s nothing I can do about it (the all-time favorite).

Now that you’ve disrupted the homeostasis, what other perspectives are now clamoring to be heard?

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