Advertising
Advertising

3 Lies You Were Told As A Child

3 Lies You Were Told As A Child

“My parents told me I’m special.”

“I got 30 Valentine’s Day cards this year, one from each of my classmates.”

“I have 30 more minutes to play outside before going home to finish my homework!”

Oh, the things we thought about as children. Looking back on these thoughts, they seem a bit ridiculous, don’t they?

They are a bit ridiculous — because they are lies.

As we grew up, everyone around us fed us beautiful and inspirational lines of uplifting protection. Our parents, our teachers, the movies we watched, the songs we listened to. They all had the very best intentions, but they all told us lies just the same.

This may seem a harsh judgement, but it’s something I’ve come to realize in my own life as I try to “succeed” in the “real world”, many light-years past that protected childhood. In the here and now, some of those well-intentioned lessons have come back to bite me in the backside. I know I’m not the only one.

Advertising

So, what are these lies you’ve been told?

Below, I’ll share a few of the lies we may have been told and how we can turn them around to work for us, instead of against us.

1. We all love you.

One thing’s for sure: our parents definitely love us, but that doesn’t mean everyone will.

Some clients, some colleagues, some random people on the street will dislike us for reasons unknown.

If we think that we’re supposed to be loved by everyone, how will we be able to handle it when we encounter someone who doesn’t?

When I first started my business, I thought working with people would be all sunny days and rainbows. Almost two years in, I know that’s just not the case. I wasn’t aware how difficult it would be to deal with the reality that some people didn’t have my best interests at heart.

It hurt, but it also presented incredible opportunity.

Advertising

Since then, I’ve learned to be more picky about who I work with, to pivot to work with people that I feel connected with and valued by.

Our parents may have been wrong — not everyone will love us — but we can choose to surround ourselves with people who do.

2. You can be anything you want to be.

This is the golden ticket of a hopeful future, which is the first wish for any parent out there.

As we grow up, we dream of being kindergarten teachers, firefighters, and more. Those dreams change, and we continually come up with new professions or projects we’d love to pursue.

What our parents told us leads us to believe that we can go after any of them and get the same result.

The truth is that we’re probably better at one type of project than another. Yes, we can learn and adapt and find success if we put in the time, but we also have a better shot at excelling at some things more than others.

Our parents weren’t telling us that we could be anything we want to be. They were telling us that we can succeed at anything we want.

Advertising

It may be true that, literally, you can try anything you want, but it’s not true that you will succeed at everything, right?

3. To be smart, all you need to do is study.

This is directly related to the lie above.

From the time we’re about four or five years old, we start an education process that lasts for another twenty years, depending on the career path.

Education is a critical part of our formation, but it’s not the only critical part.

Studying is important, but so is learning by doing.

Centuries ago, apprenticeships were the preferred method of learning a new craft. Under an experienced tutor, an apprentice will not only study the craft, but will also practice it.

Due to the education factory we’ve gone through since our childhood, we’re predisposed to take this “study first” approach to our projects. Is there a way to introduce the “learning by doing” approach, as well?

Advertising

Learning The Truth — Your Action Plan

Our parents have all the best intentions in the world, but there are some tweaks to the narrative they’ve taught us that could turn our lives around.

My advice? Forget the lies you’ve been told, and start building upon the truth to build your future.

I’d love to hear from you:

Are there ways to surpass the lies in our present?

How can we turn these into opportunities?

Have these lies helped us in some way?

I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments.

More by this author

Minimalist Traveling: How to Stay Free With Just A Carryon 3 Lies You Were Told As A Child How to Change Your Life By Exploring Do it Already! 3 Ways to Jumpstart Your Dreams 3 Questions to Ask Before You Quit Your Job

Trending in Communication

1 How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often 2 How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong 3 Feeling Frustrated in Life? 8 Ways to Get Back on Track 4 8 Ways to Change Your Self-Sabotaging Behaviors 5 Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Advertising

Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

Advertising

How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Advertising

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

Advertising

6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

More Self-Care Tips

Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

Read Next