Are There Beliefs About Yourself You’ve Had To Let Go?

It is a simple fact that people change and grow over time. Have you ever been aware of your personal change, and jettisoned beliefs about yourself?

These changes can be something simple and straightforward. For example, later in life you might grow to like a food that you couldn’t stand before. Your belief about yourself (i.e. “I don’t like tomatoes”) might need to be amended, or even dropped.

But sometimes, the belief in question might be quite abstract, or even key to your concept of self. As you age, cornerstone beliefs, like political party, religious affiliation, or career aspirations might need to be tweaked. Some might even require a complete overhaul.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


An extreme example of this would be a belief that you felt was central to who you are, one that you swore repeatedly would never change. And yet, over time, as your experiences increase, you attitude might shift subtly at first, and eventually become completely different. Has this ever happened to you?

Introspection can be a valuable tool in your mental health tool kit. Knowing what you believe in, and periodically reviewing those beliefs, can lead to your being honest with yourself. It might also lead to a mo0re fulfilled life.

Do you have any beliefs about yourself that have changed over time?

Related questions: How have you changed? What makes you you? How can we encourage meaningful conversation? What is necessary to change your mind?

 

 

What Do You Miss?

One constant in life is change. And when things change, invariably you lose some of the things that bring you comfort or happiness. What do you miss?

The types of things you miss can vary quite widely. It might be a material object, like a child missing a favorite teddy bear.

Others might miss a person, like a particularly meaningful teacher, or a family member that is far away, or deceased. You might even combine a physical object and a person, like a shirt reminding you of your father.

Maybe you fondly recall your favorite meal at a restaurant that has since closed. Or attending a concert of a band that has broken up.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you think others see you?’


There are also more abstract things to miss. Maybe you wish you were carefree like you were as a child, before you gained adult responsibilities.

On the other hand, you might miss things simply because you have grown older. Do you remember when you were skinny, or had all your hair, or didn’t need glasses?

Adding to all of this, of course, are the restrictions that have been in place over the last couple of years due to the pandemic. Some of us haven’t been traveling, or spending time with friends or loved ones. Our lives have changed in many ways since we went into lockdown back in March of 2020.

So what is it for you: a object, a person, a memory of days gone by? What do you miss?

Related questions: Who do you miss? How have you changed? What was the best time in your life? What is the best part about getting older? The worst?

 

What Have Been The Turning Points In Your Life?

There are times in your life when everything seems to be going one way. Suddenly, things change and end up being completely different. What are those turning points in your life?

One of the more remarkable things about one person’s life is how it unfolds. Often, it doesn’t come about in a linear, straightforward way. Instead, it zigs and zags, sometimes lurching dramatically from one direction to another.

There are several things that might cause these swings.

For instance, particularly early in life, you may just be learning about yourself, what you want and what your dreams and goals are. As you shed the expectations of your parents, your teachers, your friends, and others, you might alter the trajectory of your life, occasionally quite suddenly. You might change your college major, or trade one job for another, as you realize what works for you and what doesn’t.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you show thanks?’


Alternately, some changes are forced upon you. There might be some sort of limitation in what you can afford, or where you can live. While at the time these can be uncomfortable or unwelcome, ultimately they might prove to be very meaningful or impactful, even if they are outside your control.

Or maybe you have just needed a change. You did one thing, and learned from it. But now, in order to continue to grow, you need something else, so you make a change.

Whatever the situation, turning points can be impactful, altering even core concepts of who you are or what you are able to achieve. What are some of yours?

Related questions: How have you changed? What makes change possible? Who was your best teacher? Have you had an ‘Aha!’ moment?

What Makes Change Possible?

Some times it seems as though things will never change. When you feel that way, how can you get unstuck and make change happen?

There are several reasons why you might feel that change is difficult, if not impossible.

For one example, you might feel like you have no good options. Rather than opting to make a bad choice, you may prefer to keep the status quo.

Alternately, you might feel like the situation is too big or too complex for any change you might make to have any significant impact. There are plenty of other alternatives as well.

Whatever the reason, is you feel you cannot or will not make a change, what can you do? Change, of course, is inevitable. But how can you make sure that the change that happens is most beneficial to you?

How can you change your circumstances, or at least your attitude? In your experience in your own life, what makes change possible?

Related questions: Change of status quo? How can you change your attitude? Can people change? How have you changed? How have we changed?

Do You Experience Any Feedback Loops?

There are some behaviors that are self-reinforcing. These are called “feedback loops”, and can be positive or negative. Have you experienced any?

As an example of a feedback loop, consider someone who has a fear of public speaking. If they need to give a presentation in front of a large group of people, that fear might manifest as sweating, stammering, or otherwise being a bad speaker.

Similarly, someone who is worried about not being able to sleep, may let that anxiety keep them awake, and so they end up getting a bad night’s sleep.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you think others see you?’


A positive cycle, for example, might include someone who is confident in talking to people they are romantically interested in. That confidence allows them to be relaxed and makes them ultimately more attractive.

Can you think of other examples, in particular any that you have noticed happening in your own behavior? Do you experience any feedback loops? Are there ways to disrupt negative cycles, or reinforce positive ones?

Related questions: How can we build confidence? Could everyone benefit from therapy? What are you doing to improve yourself? Do you have trouble sleeping?