You are your own worst enemy.
I realize that this is a cliche that’s passed around in self-help circles like a joint at a midnight screening of Dark Side of the Rainbow, but all too often we are the agents of our own misery… and we fight to stay that way. It’s a form of confirmation bias; we want to be right no matter what, even when being right causes us pain and holds us back from everything we wish we could be.
Case in point – your dating life. Odds are that if you’re reading this, you’re not happy with the way your dating life is going right now.1 So I’m going to let you in on a little secret that most dating coaches aren’t going to tell you: 99% of all sticking points in dating boil down to two causes. Of those two, the first is just a matter of skill; either you’re inexperienced or else you’re not as accomplished as you would like to be. These problems are easily fixable – it’s a matter of practice.
The other problem is self-limiting beliefs – that little voice in your head that tells you that you’re never going to measure up and gives you all of those plausible reasons why you’re going to fail. Like the elephant and the mahout, they’re the threads that we convince ourselves are a chain. Once these beliefs latch into our brain, we perversely hold onto them because… well, we want to be right. They become part of our worldview and we all want to believe we’re gimlet-eyed viewers of TRVTH, seeing the world as it really is. Questioning the rightness of our beliefs throws all of this into doubt, leaving us confused and uncertain… and we’d rather hold on to what we “know”.
We hold these self-limiting beliefs close because they reinforce the idea that we – as individuals – have been singled out by fate, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, what-have-you, to be fucked over and that we’re unique in our circumstances.
Except we’re not. In fact, over the years, I’ve seen the same ones come up over and over again. And the first step to finding more satisfaction in our love lives is to realize that we hold the ability to quit giving these beliefs power over us.
- Or maybe you’re just an advice column addict, in which case, hey, thanks for the page-views! [↩]