Born To Win, But Taught To Lose!


One of the great tragedies of human life is that so many of us have no idea who we really are, or how powerful we are capable of being, or that having healthier bodies is much more within our reach than we had imagined.

We are literally brainwashed as children and young adults to believe disempowering things about ourselves and about life in general that simply aren't true. These megadoses of misinformation we're exposed to can result in low self-esteem, a bad self-image, and feelings of powerlessness to be, do, or have what we want in life. As a consequence, we live lives that are far below our potential, and much less satisfying than we deserve.

The truth of this is easy to see by observing young children, or perhaps by recalling our own lives before this destructive cultural brainwashing had taken its toll. Children are full of optimism, excitement, playfulness, and a willingness to dream big. But as life moves forward, the prevailing cultural notions begin to slowly but steadily chip away at their childlike wonder. They eventually become cynical, negative, depressed, or even suicidal.

Think about it for a moment. Look around and see how many people you can spot who are clearly suffering from chronic low expectations--who are always expecting the worst in life, and usually end up getting it. But even those of us whose afflictions are not so obvious can still suffer greatly because of the untruths we've been taught.

Cultural Time Bombs

Not every limiting thing we were told as children had its impact right away. Some of the verbal toxins took years, or even decades, to kick in. They were "cultural time bombs," planted in childhood, but timed to explode at point in our adult lives when they could do the most damage.

How many of us were told that, "You'll never amount to anything," or "You're not smart enough / pretty enough / strong enough to have what you want." Or maybe you were told that you were too short, too tall, too skinny, or too fat to succeed. Such statements generally came, not from the culture at large, but from people we knew well, and often from our own parents.

While the impact of these messages may have been minimal at the time of delivery, they were seldom heard only once. Instead, they were typically repeated many times over many years. Since we saw our parents and teachers as the primary sources of wisdom in our lives, we had little choice but to give at least a certain amount of credence to whatever they told us.

The overall effect was that these toxic, self-sabotaging beliefs slowly but surely wormed their way into our belief system. Over time, they made the transition from being other people's opinions to being the undisputed truth. So, even if they didn't cause us significant harm in childhood, they would have many more opportunities to do so in our adult lives.

The Real Recipe For Becoming Overweight And Out Of Shape

There is a popular notion in this culture that being overweight and out of shape is something that "just happens" as we get older. We often say justify it on the basis that it's an inherited problem; We're overweight because our parents were. This simply isn't so. Genetic obesity accounts for the tiniest fraction of overweight adults. We can see the truth of this by thinking about the fat cats and dogs we know. When you look at a fat cat sprawled out on the sofa, do you think, "Poor kitty. It's the victim of genetic obesity." Of course not. You know exactly why the cat is fat. It just eats too much!

Let's give ourselves the courtesy of applying the same clear logic to our own lives. We're overweight because we eat too much! We can look around and see that many people remain trim and in shape because they don't eat too much. What is the biggest difference between the two groups? It's those negative and untrue beliefs about who we are, what we can do, and what we're entitled to have in our lives.

Your Past Does NOT Have To Determine Your Future

As adults, each of us needs to understand how we may have been impacted by the culture we grew up in and, more importantly, by the words of the influential people closest to us. If we are finding it consistently difficult to lose weight or get in shape, it's a safe bet that we've bought into some very disempowering notions along the way that have now become beliefs.

Please understand, the fact that we bought into these self-sabotaging beliefs as children is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be in denial about. Quite the contrary, we need to see that all of us suffer from this cultural brainwashing to one degree or another.

What we do need to avoid is keeping our heads buried in the sand. If you have a history of struggling with fitness and weight loss, you need to understand that the root cause of your problem is in your own beliefs, and nothing of a physical nature. But you also need to know that, until your self-sabotaging beliefs are identified and replaced with self-supportive ones, no amount of messing around with diets, exercise machines, drugs, metabolizer pills, or anything else physical is going to bring you the safe and lasting results you desire and deserve.

In all likelihood, you have decades more life ahead of you. I'm sure you're aware of that. What you may not be aware of is that you have a tremendous amount of power to determine how your future life will be lived--including your level of self-esteem you get to enjoy and the shape of your body you get to occupy. If you are seriously interested in making your future better than your past, I urge you to take to heart the message of this article.

If your current condition is not to your liking, there is still time to do something about it. If you would like to know more about how you can identify and replace any beliefs that are right now lowering your quality of life, please click here.

By Dr. Frank B. Smoot, DD, MA GHF's Success & Personal Growth Coach
Global Health & Fitness




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