Updated: Oct 21, 2020
There once was a cute little German Shepherd puppy who lived with his humans in a cozy little house with a big backyard. This puppy's name was Rex and he loved his humans with all his heart. He loved getting treats and playing catch and going for walks and snuggling on his blanket at the foot of their bed.
One night, Rex went outside to sniff around, looking for the Siamese cat who lived next door and kept sneaking over the fence, when he heard people talking. He crept over to the front gate and listened to the voices.
The first voice said, "Let's climb over and we can break into their shed."
Rex's ears stood up straight and his eyes narrowed. He growled softly in the back of his throat. Then he heard the second voice.
"I'm not going back there. The sign says, 'Beware of Dog'. There's got to be a mean and dangerous dog in the backyard."
Rex felt a jolt of fear move through him. He went rigid and looked right to left, expecting the big, mean dog to attack him at any moment. He was also confused. He'd never seen another dog in the backyard. Rex crept to the side of the house and hid under a bush, hoping the mean dog wouldn't find him. He waited all night but didn't see or hear another dog.
In the morning, he heard his human calling him, but Rex knew he had to find the big, mean dog so it wouldn't hurt his humans. He sniffed all around the edges of the backyard. He nosed under the porch. He looked behind the shed, around the flowers, and near the back door. He smelled the pesky cat, but he didn't smell another dog.
Rex was so relieved. Those men must have been mistaken. But why was there a Beware of Dog sign on the fence? Rex knew he was the only dog in the backyard. It didn't make sense.
It must mean the big, mean dog was - him. His little puppy heart broke.
He'd always tried to be a good dog. His humans always said, "Good boy, Rex!" and "You're the best dog in the world!" but what if they were lying and he was really a big, mean dog? He was overwhelmed with sadness.
After a few days, he stopped believing his humans when they told him he was a good boy. He stopped trusting their affection, knowing what they really thought of him. He started growling at them, started becoming defensive and didn't listen to their kind words. His humans were confused and didn't know what to do.
There are two endings to this story.
In the first, Rex wraps himself around the belief that he's a big, mean dog until that's what he becomes.
In the second, Rex remembers he is good and kind and his humans love him, and he basks in their love.
Which ending did you choose in your life?
When people defined you, what was your reaction? Did you brush it off or wrap yourself around it until it became a core, limiting belief?
You're not pretty enough.
You're a disgrace.
You're never going to succeed.
You're such a disappointment.
You're never enough.
We often take these statements as fact, when they're just opinions offered by people battling their own limiting beliefs. No one's opinion of you is more important than your own.
What would your life look like if you didn't believe negative things about yourself? What would you do if you allowed yourself to define your own life? It takes awareness, self-love, kindness, understanding and patience to let go of these beliefs we cling to, but once you do, you'll find freedom and happiness like you've never known. You'll be as happy as a dog with a bone.
If you need to identify and let go of limiting beliefs, I'd love to talk with you. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peri Kinder is a Happiness Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, Meditation Instructor and Humor Columnist.