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Three On Thursday

I was listening to the podcast Happier yesterday and Gretchen and Elizabeth were talking about how we need to question our limiting beliefs. A limiting belief is the idea that you can’t do something . . . or the world doesn’t work a certain way. You can read a better explanation of them here.

It got me to thinking . . . what are my personal limiting beliefs. Since it’s Thursday I’m sure you won’t be shocked to know that I came up with THREE.

  1. I can’t sing. I’ve always been told that I can’t carry a tune. I know I’m not tone deaf, I can hear the music, but my voice is . . .  flat. Or not on pitch. Or whatever. The sad thing is that I love to sing along to my favorite songs! I’m learning, as I get older, that I can just go ahead and do this and no one will be harmed. But still. It’s a belief I’ve held about myself since I was a kid and it’s tricky.
  2. I can’t parallel park. You know who is a great parallel parker? My friend Jo-Ann. I’ve been with her on more than one occasion where she has nailed it. Perhaps I can get her to teach me because this is a belief I can get fixed.
  3. I can’t draw. I used to love art class in school. And then one day in third grade the art teacher told me my drawing wasn’t good. She suggested that I look around at the other drawings and see how they were better. And voila. A belief is born. This is one I have actually worked at fixing myself for the last couple of years. I now have a new teacher who has told me that anyone . . . even me . . . can draw. So I’m learning and practicing and working hard on being non judgmental about the stuff I create. Notice how I didn’t call it art? Yeah. Limiting beliefs are really hard to change.

Writing about these beliefs has reminded me of something Dale said to me back when we were first falling in love. Everything was new and exciting and overwhelming and, for me at least, terrifying. I’d been hurt badly and it took a while before I could really trust that Dale loved me and wouldn’t let me down. So many times, when I was doubting that things were real and permanent he would look me right in the eye and say, “you need to get your believer fixed.” And he was right and I did and here we are nearly 22 years later.

So that’s my story for today. 3 beliefs I have about myself and one sappy story. What have you got for me today? If you wrote a post for this week please include your link below!

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. I truly believe there’s nothing you can’t do, if you just set your mind to it. We can schedule a parallel parking lesson whenever you are ready!

  2. What a great post, Carole – I hadn’t thought about “believers” like this … it’s a powerful idea! (fwiw, I can’t parallel park either and I like to think that “belief” has kept my car in better shape 😉 … so I look forward to the results of your lesson with Jo-Ann!)

  3. Oh, yes! Those voices in our heads get really loud when it comes to the believing-we-can’t things!!! It’s never too late to shut those suckers down, though! 🙂
    (Although I’m a competent parallel parker, I’ll admit to getting sweaty palms and a pit in my stomach every time I have to do it. . . )

  4. This post makes me both sad and happy. Sad that a teacher broke your art belief so abruptly and callously, and happy that you are fixing this one. Justin had the same thing happen, but he hasn’t drawn anything in eight years. Hopefully he’ll get his believer fixed like you have!

  5. Fix that parallel parking one. I had a drivers ed class where they gave us key landmarks for doing it right. I learned it, but in college I had to parallel park almost every day. I can now do it on either side of the street. Totally learned, not some unique talent on my part.

    Now, if there were a fix to my belief that I’m short!

  6. I am with Bonny… this post makes me sad and happy as well. Shame on that teacher, but yay you for fanning that flicker inside you and finding a teacher that would help the flame grow! I have seen some of your art and you absolutely CAN draw and you are VERY good!

    I was told in school that I could not sing… which is very funny today because I can and do and I love it! (fun fact… I sing tenor now and it is definitely the sweet spot for my voice!)

    And, thank you for sharing that podcast! XOXO

  7. I love this post! But really, shame on that teacher. I’m a terrible singer so I’ve been told…over and over but an excellent parallel parker. I’m going to do some thinking today…thanks so much for this.

  8. This is a great post, Carole! I have been probing those limits myself lately. It is amazing how the judgment of people of power in our lives establishes what we believe are truths. And hurtful experiences also create so many self-imposed barriers! I bought a workbook to teach myself to draw a couple of weeks ago. I am looking forward to seeing how that goes. It’s interesting to ponder the mental blocks to success we have. I think this is a fabulous and do-able list! You became a selectman, so of course you can parallel park and singing is for you, so sing your heart out.

  9. Another great post Carole! I can’t sing either. I can’t draw to save my life but I can parallel park thanks to my husband. He’ll give you a lesson – it’s all you will need.

    Your comment about getting “your believer fixed” = priceless! In true Dale fashion!

  10. I had two teachers who broke my believer. One was my algebra teacher who responded to my struggles with math by saying, Don’t worry, girls don’t need math.
    The other was an art teacher who said, Well I guess you won’t be an artist.
    I am dipping my toe in the sketching world these days and I am told by the finance office that I am doing a great job managing my department budget so I guess my believer is being repaired too,p.
    Thanks for this great post!

  11. I can feel the shame that art teacher gave you! My second grade teacher broke my belief that I could paint. We had one easel in our classroom and one student at a time got to paint at the easel with liquid paints. My turn finally came and I remember painting a blue sky, trees, and flowers with all the colors when my teacher pushed me aside, pointed out the paint drips that ran down the paper & made me hold the picture in front of the class as an example of how a messy person painted. To this day, if I try to paint or draw something, I freeze up and worry about making a mess, it takes a lot of work for me to get past that!

  12. Great post! and what a jerk that teacher was/is (hoping he/she is no longer teaching). Love what Dale said about fixing your believer!!

  13. Amazing how one thing said to us as a child, stays with us and forms our “believer”! I think what Dale said to you is one of the most romantic things I have heard for a long while. Although I must admit 3 friends and I (all post-menopausal women) went to see the movie “Book Club” last night.. what a wonderful story.
    Keep believing Carole

  14. My sister was the designated artist in our family and I was lame at art. We both went to try out for an art program for elementary school students at the university in our city. I made it and my sister did not. So, you never know….

    P.S. I cannot parallel park.

  15. Love this post, Carole! I’m glad you’ve been singing and I know you can parallel park if you practice a bit (it’s not hard!) and we’ve seen you’re ART work and it is lovely, fun and charming! Thank you for this reminder. My fourth grade teacher HIT me because my coloring wasn’t up to (her) snuff. I’ll never forget it and I need to fix my believer.

  16. I love your post too. It sounds just like I wrote it with regards to the three things you think you cannot do. If I had to list three, those would be the three!

  17. This is so true and I was thinking about something along these lines the other day about how I should have seen my own potential when I was younger-even if others didn’t. Your post is very timely.

  18. I had an experience like yours art teacher one, but mine was our music teacher. In 5th grade we were all required to try out for chorus. We all had to sing “My Country Tis of Thee”. With a last name starting with H I was right in the middle. Those ahead of me sang and she made notes. She got to me and I sang as many words as are in the title, at which point she stopped playing the piano and looked at me over her readers and said “YOU may sit down.” I am uncomfortable singing out loud to this day, even though I am now 59 years old. I’m working on it because I like to sing when I am alone, and my husband and friends keep saying “Who cares what it sounds like?” but it is so in-grained that it is hard to get past it. That lesson did, however, teach me that it is most important to be careful what you say to children. You can build up or destroy them quite easily.

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