Old fashioned yellow cabDo you ever play games on your phone? I’m a fan of puzzle games like Soda Crush because they don’t take a lot of time or commitment to play. With a twelve year old son, I often find myself with a few minutes here and there as I hang out in the driver’s seat of Mom’s Taxi. These games are perfect because win or lose, the level takes only a couple of minutes and I’m not invested so I can just close the app. It’s just a little thing I do when there’s only a couple of minutes to kill.


Mind Games

The other night, as I sat outside my mom’s condo, I was playing soda crush and I’ll be honest, I was over the level that I’ve been stuck on for about two weeks. It gets a little boring to me when I’m stuck that long, but it’s not that big of a deal because I don’t play much. When my son got into the car, he looked over and smirked.

“Still stuck?”


“Let me see.”

So I handed him my phone. By the time we got home (it’s just blocks), the level was beaten.

“How’d you do that?”

“I used your boosters. Why don’t you ever use them?”

“I was saving them.”

“For what? When you’re stuck?”

Out of the mouths of babes (or at least sarcastic pre-teens).

Soda Crush Game ScreenshotThis incident gave me food for thought over the next day or so.  Why was I saving them? Simple conditioning was my answer. I didn’t use them because of my old fashioned, “Work hard and you will succeed” conditioning. I expanded my thoughts to wonder about how many boosters we may pass up in our daily lives because of conditioning.

The game’s boosters are nothing but tools. Tools lead to success. Do we have mental baggage that keeps us from using some tools but not others? I wouldn’t try to bang a nail into a wall with my palm and old fashioned hard work. I’d open my toolbox and hope the hammer was in there. (Twelve year old boy, I never know until I look….)

I can’t be the only one in my generation that has the same programming. We all watched the same TV shows, I mean, there were only four channels (including PBS) for most of my childhood. And even when cable was piped in, there weren’t that many more options.

Where did we get these self-limiting beliefs, I wondered. But then I quickly dropped the question. The question is completely different than the answer I wanted. What I wanted was to explore what other self-limiting beliefs I still had intact and what was in the toolbox to help me renovate my thoughts.

The Gold Watch Standard

In my mother’s jewelry box there is a section that holds items belonging to my late father. They are mostly gold tie tacks, markers of continued service for a company that no longer exists, some plain, some with diamonds. He had begun working for them in college, loading trucks at night. Just a couple of years shy of his retirement and the promised gold watch, the company folded. When the old dinosaur finally collapsed, he was a vice president. Gold Pocket Watch

This model represents an expectation that Boomers and Xers saw in their daily lives. Pick a good company, get your foot in the door any way you can, and climb the ladder from there. This model was reinforced by neighbors, relatives, and good ol’ fashioned TV.

The gold watch standard taught us that in order to make more money, we had to be with a company a long amount of time. Work hard for advancement, and security will be our reward. Here’s your gold watch, enjoy your golden years.

If that model is working for you and you have a happy life, that’s awesome. But if it’s not? Maybe you should go back and examine some of your own core beliefs. You know, the ones that are buried down deep so that even as you think them you aren’t aware that you are thinking them.

Challenge Your Thoughts

Lawnmower cutting grassWe live in a time like no other. There are so many opportunities and ways to get what we desire. Technology changes, grows, and expands our world. But do we change, grow, and expand our own worlds? Or do we just roll on with Bewitched conditioning? (Seriously Darren? I’m pretty sure that if I could twitch my nose and the yard would be mowed my husband wouldn’t mind. He’d just take me down to Flounders, our favorite beach bar, and buy me a mai tai.)

The gold watch standard was only one such ideal that needed to be challenged in my life. I feel like our life of deliberate creation is doing a pretty good job dismantling our self-limiting and dinosaur beliefs. But I feel like there are many more we need to challenge to get to the kind of life we truly desire.

Do you have any self-limiting or out of date beliefs that you think may be holding you back? Please share them in the comments below. You just may help someone else recognize an area of their lives that they would like to improve.

ps: There are many brain tools I use in my life now. Meditation, goals, creative visualization, and the Law of Attraction, all of these are tools you can use to deliberately create the life you want, once you let go of the one you don’t.




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18 thoughts on “Mind Games: Playing with our Beliefs

  1. What a good way to show how deeply entrenched our core beliefs are, and how they might be incompatible with the demands and opportunities of today. Thanks for the invitation to reconsider them and look beyond what feels comfortable or safe, and try out those tools that are actually available!

    1. Getting out of one’s comfort zone is essential to growth. I hope that you find much success as you discover new opportunities and pathways to what you desire.

  2. I liked your article Susie. It certainly does seem to me also that we are conditioned to not have enough. Whether it happens to us or we do it to ourselves, it is our responsibility to replace those old outmoded beliefs with ones that will consistently serve us well for our wealth and happiness.

    1. You are absolutely right. No matter how we came upon these beliefs, it’s up to ourselves to recognize them and challenge any of them that are not serving us. Growing our knowledge greatly enhances our lives.

  3. Great post and I really liked how you made a link between being stuck in Soda Crush with a ineffective pattern.
    I was raised to follow the standard 9-5 path (or more like 9-9 with the crazy overtimes) and it made me literally sick and miserable. To this day even though I’ve changed careers, reconditioned so many thoughts and patterns and behaviours to serve me, I still get family and friends trying to hold me back with their limiting beliefs even though I am doing soooo much better! To quote Morrissey, do you think that family and friends hate it when our friends become successful? From my experience it seems like they do. :/

    1. I totally understand what you mean about family and friends. When we told everyone we were pulling up stakes and moving without their perceived “safety nets” it was like everyone wanted to have an intervention. Some are genuinely concerned, but other’s act like you’re cheating at Monopoly! Something that has really helped me is that I’ve given up explaining myself. If they ask pointed questions and seem really interested, I will answer them but otherwise I change the subject. Just keep growing and succeeding for you!

  4. I was working for my gold watch too. I was comfortable, working from 8 hours to 16 hours some days. Did I get it? No, after 25 years of very hard work I was fired due a cutout. Now I am expanding my options and trying new ways to provide for my family, and I am using all the tools that I can find to do so.
    So I learned well my lesson, if you are going to work hard better do it for yourself and not for others.

    1. It’s really heartbreaking when you feel like you give everything to a company and they give nothing back. It’s much easier to give everything to yourself and control your own fate. Set your goals and keep them in front of you and you will succeed! Believe in your success with certainty and you will achieve it and more.

  5. You have given me food for thought Susie. I think we are conditioned to save things ‘for a rainy day’. I have many things in my home, my shed and my garage that I could use, but for what. Some probably could be chucked out and some I probably could use. And no I am not a hoarder lol.

    I’ll have to think about this more and see what I can use and not pass me by.

    1. I totally understand what you are talking about when you say we are conditioned to save. We moved across the country last year and when I began going through closets, cabinets, and our shed, I was shocked by some of the stuff we had tucked away. In the years leading up to our move, I helped my parents downsize twice. That was an eye opening experience that influenced my own ideas about what should be kept and what should go. Some older, previously forgotten items, like cast iron skillets are now used in our daily lives. Other things floored me by how much people paid for them on eBay. All in all, I think challenging ideals to make sure they are still serving you is key for growth. Good luck!

  6. Yes, we live in a time like no other. Technology is helping us to succeed in many areas of our lives. I believe in using tools to make my life easier. But I also sometimes save things ‘for a rainy day’, something which my late mom used to practice.

    P/S: I’ve stopped playing handphone games. They’re way too addictive.

    1. Thanks for the comment Yvonne. It’s great to have things for rainy days, it was just weird to discover that I carried that belief over to such a simple, non-important thing like a phone game. I confess that I used to play them much more than I do today. Now I only use them to kill time in parking lots.

  7. I love mind games, but they can get very frustrating at times. They are an excellent way to have fun and increase the power of our brain. In the recent months though I have deleted most of my “brain games” apps and instead downloaded an app called Peak. This app helps improve my mind while providing quick games that I can play every day. Anyway’s, games offer so much for the brain and I’m glad games have allowed the ability to both learn and have fun.

    1. I don’t think I’ve heard of that app before but I’ll take a look. The biggest requirement for me and my phone games is that I have to like it yet not be addicted to it. If I have more than a few minutes and it’s light outside, most of my waiting in the car is spent writing in a notebook or reading. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Hi Susie. Love your blog and the way you illustrate limiting beliefs with personal anecdotes! I am a baby boomer myself and you have given me food for thought. Thanks for this!

    1. Thanks, Eril. I’m glad I’ve provided food for thought. We grow so accustom to things being the way they are or “that’s just how we do it”. Challenging our own thoughts and beliefs is one of the most powerful ways to achieve personal growth. I appreciate the comment.

  9. I wonder how many people have read this article and thought (like i just have) yep, i save up them boosters for some special time, which, never seems to come around, so i just keep saving them, doesn’t matter if i’m stuck now! What those boosters are for is something much more ‘sticky’ later on!! I’ll just persevere for now!

    A really good example of how we condition ourselves to perform within certain expectations, expectations based in Victorian age ideals, of formal school classrooms, answering our names on a register, to working hard to climb an imaginary ladder that continually promises more than it delivers. To strive for having all our free time, expendable cash and freedom from the shackles of every day mundality at the end of our lives, once we have served our sentence to the rat race, if we are fortunate enough to last that long. When you step back and look at it, it doesn’t add up.

    I can tell your way of thinking is very similar to mine on this and your article was a really well written piece conveying those ideas. I just wanted to wish you well and say a little thank you for a good read. Thanks

    1. Thank you, Russ. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I do honestly believe that on the whole, we are beginning to wake up and challenge more ideals and expectations. I dropped out of the rat race several years ago when I told my corporate job where to stick it. So many people were shocked when I didn’t run out and find another one just like it! You are absolutely right when you say it doesn’t add up!

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