How a Chocolate Just Taught Me About Mental Shackles
I ran hard up on one of my own “limiting beliefs” yesterday, and I’m going to share it with you to show you how hidden and pervasive these things can be. And don’t disregard the lesson just because it has to do with candy.
When I was little, we lived near a locally-famous high-end ice cream and candy store. My mother would take me there frequently, but only for ice cream, because the chocolates were super-expensive and, I suspect, “not for kids” in her mind.
While she ordered our ice cream, I’d often stand with my face pressed against the glass case that contained what seemed to me like thousands of beautiful, certainly delicious chocolates, and I’d fantasize about which ones I’d get if we had the money.
Later, I’d occasionally take a date to the store–but always for ice cream, never for candy, because, hey, last time I really dated I was in college and $20/lb candy was out of the question. I’d still look at the piles of truffles and bonbons and wonder what they were like, but I never bought even one.
So last night, we were in the neighborhood where I grew up, and I took Matt to this place. While he ordered ice cream, he noticed that I was still staring at, but not buying, the chocolates behind the case. He asked me if I wanted any, and I said, “Oh no, they’re way too expensive.”
What. The. Holy. Hell.
I buy houses that cost 5-6 figures every week without even thinking about it.
I eat restaurant meals that approach 4 figures pretty regularly.
I paid cash for a car less than 6 weeks ago.
And because of a belief that I hadn’t examined since I was maybe 4 years old, I wasn’t going to get a piece of chocolate that I’d been fantasizing about for, well, decades???
I suspect that we ALL have thoughts that are handcuffing us to “the way things are” that if we could pull them out and look at them, would turn out to be just as crazy and meaningless as my thought about the candy at Aglamesis.
Do you believe that you’ll never make more than $x per year?
That you could never negotiate owner financing on a piece of property?
That buyers don’t REALLY give wholesalers $10,000 to step out of deal?
That you’re not smart enough to be rich?
What did someone tell you decades ago that isn’t right, doesn’t serve you anymore, but still controls you in some big or small way?
Once I had this a-ha moment at the candy counter, you’d think it would be easy for me to just order some chocolate and break my multi-decade candy fast, but it wasn’t. Matt will tell you that I spent 10 uncomfortable minutes shuffling from foot to foot, wondering aloud if maybe I should just get it next time, trying to convince HIM to order it for me, and because the 4 year old who was told no all those years ago is still in there, and still thinks of that candy as forbidden, too good for me, an unforgivable expenditure of money that, in my parent’s world, was hard to earn and hard to get back if you spent it.
It was a real struggle, as it will be for you, to bring adult, prosperity-mentality Vena out of the shadows and order that chocolate (which ended up costing like $3,80, by the way. I mean, who eats an entire POUND of chocolate? In public, anyway?). But if you can face down the limiting thoughts of your own past and make yourself do the things you’ve been telling yourself you can’t, you can have the experiences you’ve always wanted, but never thought you’d have, too.
What are the limiting thoughts you already know you have, and what’s your plan for defeating them this week?