Sometimes the oddest beliefs are taught to us by our families. And we don’t realize that’s what they are and that we live our lives by them until something brings them into bold relief. Early in my career I was given the opportunity to learn American Sign Language and work as an interpreter. During the learning process I was working at a large corporation which had a deaf employee. He was a very patient man who enjoyed talking with me at lunch and helping me with my grammar. But more than that he was teaching me his culture, which was very different from my own.
Rules such as ‘don’t talk with your hands full’ and ‘don’t shake your head no when you mean to emphasize something’ shocked me into looking at everything thing I did and seeing it in a new way. One of the most memorable aha moments I had was talking to him about what I liked to eat (vocabulary building) and realizing the I dislike breaded shrimp with a passion. It startled me to realize it because I had been taught that it was the best thing on any menu and if I saw it I should grab it right away. How could I not like it? But I don’t. Even more revolutionary, I don’t eat it any more. Now prawns with cocktail sauce? Yummmm…..
Our lives are full of beliefs we don’t know are running our lives. Look at some of the assumptions you make everyday and challenge, is this really me or something I was told. If its not really you, dump it and feel how free and validated you feel.