Think for yourself. Cynthia Occelli


“Listen to the MUSN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me –
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.”
–Shel Silverstein


Most people reading this post are blessed to live in a country where we are free to be, do and have whatever we desire. Yet, tucked into the folds of privilege are rules and dictates that shape our lives.

Society conditions us to know what is and isn’t proper, possible, or good for us. Within our families and communities more rules are laid deep in our belief systems. It happens subtly, automatically. By the time we’re “independent” we are completely programmed. Even the rebels are reacting to their programming.

If you want to know your limits, examine your programming. For one person the idea of having several million dollars is natural, freeing and exciting. For another, it’s indulgent, overdone and guilt-inspiring. From the perspective of the universe, both individuals are equally entitled to wealth or poverty. It is their beliefs that distinguish them.

What beliefs are ingrained in your programming? How are they shaping your life?

Read the following statements and notice your reactions.

–The world is a safe and fun place where I can experience all the things I enjoy and overcome whatever challenges come up.

–Everyone deserves to be wealthy.

–You shouldn’t leave an unhappy marriage.

–Success after a certain age is impossible.

–Nice people finish last. Only the sharks get ahead.

–Sometimes settling for mediocrity is better than risking for a dream.

–Forgiveness is weakness.

–Women are better mothers than they are executives.

–I have to fight hard and compete in order to succeed.

–There aren’t many single, attractive and available men (or women) out there.

–People over fifty can’t be sexy and attractive.

–It’s bad to spend too much time, care or money on yourself.

–I have to put up with bad behavior from my family because we are related and I’m supposed to.

–Some people are just lucky.

Your automatic reactions to the statements above are a mirror for how you approach and create your life. If your beliefs do not reflect the person and life you’d like, you can begin to reject and release them. Awareness of what you’d like to change is the first and arguably the most important step in effecting change.

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