90,000 Miles to Me

34,534 Miles • Many Beliefs I Have Carried Throughout My Life are Not True

Many of the beliefs I have carried throughout my life are not true.

These beliefs have strongly influenced my behavior, actions, and the direction of my life for the last few decades.

Beliefs like, I am not smart enough.

And people won’t like me if they see who I really am.

And that if I just work hard enough and long enough and wear myself out enough, I will achieve whatever I set out to do. And that if I achieve my goals, that will make me happy. And that I don’t deserve to be happy until I have achieved my goals.

That needing help is okay, but showing weakness is not. That not knowing the answer is weakness. That not being prepared for whatever comes is weakness.

That if I ask someone for something I need, people will think of me as too needy or be disgusted with me or that somehow, in some way, it will ruin our relationship. That needing something is the same as being needy. That other people, especially people close to me, will be able to tell when I am hurting, so I shouldn’t have to tell anyone what I need. That if they don’t give me what I need without me making it known, it is because they really don’t like me after all, and have been disgusted with my neediness thus far and are relieved that I didn’t ask for something else yet again.

That friendships are a luxury and that any socializing without a clear prospect of a long-term relationship is a waste of time.

That doing anything that is not specifically advancing a goal, and is not also a serious effort, is a waste of time.

That wasting anything is an indication of poor planning and a grave personal failure.

That once I start something, I must see it all the way through or else it wasn’t worth starting in the first place. That if I change my plan, it means I didn’t make a good enough plan to start with, and that is tantamount to a moral failure. That not living up to the highest ideal in any given situation is a moral failing and personal weakness.

That succumbing to obstacles is moral weakness. That even acknowledging personal limitations is a sign of weakness of character. That making a mistake is a personal failure. That being inconsistent is a character flaw.

That when I work together with someone on a project, the project is the important thing and not our working together.

That I am a bother to the people around me.

That what other people are thinking about a given situation or person is pretty close to what I would be thinking about a given situation or person, and therefore I can predict how people will react.

Most damning of all: that there is something about me that is unacceptable and that makes me fundamentally unlikable.

And whenever I have expressed any little bit of this to anyone and they respond, “no, I care about you, you’re not a bother, everything between us is good,” these ingrained beliefs won’t let me believe them because they are of course just following the social convention that you cannot openly admit dislike for someone or annoyance at them, no matter what you actually feel. So no amount of reassurance in the world has made much difference at all.

It doesn’t help that, under certain circumstances, in limited situations, there is some truth to most of these. But they are not carte blanche True.

These beliefs have not controlled all of my actions all the time, and there have been times when I have been genuinely okay with their exact opposites, but they have been pretty dominant influences in many situations. I am so done with that.

Because none of them are True.

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34,500 Miles • A Sea of Faces
34,653 Miles • The Van is Cold

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