"I just seem to have such sensitive teeth." I say to my dental hygienist at my routine cleaning appointment about a year ago. "Is there anything you would recommend?"
"You have to floss." she says. Point blank."You have to really get in there." She then proceeded to take a few extra moments of her time to show me how to 'get in there' really well.
Of course I've been instructed by my various dentist over the years about the benefit of flossing. It's not like I didn't know.
But somehow the advice of my dentist on this particular day seemed to hit me differently.
I think some of it was the result of me being in a different place with myself, but regardless of the specific reason, I walked out of that appointment determined to take her advice about flossing seriously.
I began flossing much more regularly. It wasn't a perfect practice, but it was good enough.
Flash-forward six month to my next cleaning. It was a remarkable difference. No more bleeding. No more sensitivity. No cavities. No pain. "Your teeth look really good." My hygienist commented. I told her the impact that her flossing advice had on me and she seemed really happy to know this.
As I left the appointment that day (feeling pretty darn good), a startling realization washed over me,"All this time I've been believing something about myself that just isn't true. I don't have sensitive teeth after all. I just wasn't taking care of them as much as I could."
I share this story with you as a call for you to question what you might be believing about yourself (or your life) that just isn't true. Most of the negative things we believe are wildly untrue.
We think we have sensitive teeth, so it feels even more arduous to put in the extra effort to take care of them.
We resigned ourselves to believing that we're the kind of person who will always struggle with her weight; so we act out this belief in our daily struggle with the food we choose to eat.
We think we're just a lazy entrepreneur, so we do a whole lot of comparing to how others are doing things; we can only see the ways in which we don't seem to measure up.
We're scared that we're always going to struggle financially, so we align our spending habits to suit the story.
We don't even know we're creating the very conditions that we're trying so hard to get out of.
My teeth were sensitive. That was an absolute truth. But the reason for their sensitivity was because I wasn't putting in the effort required to help them be strong and clean.
It was a truly enlightening moment to realize that what I had been believing for so long was absolutely not true.
There's a sign hanging up inside my yoga studio that says, "Pain that has not come is avoidable." - Yoga Sutras 2:16
You are not automatically destined for pain and suffering. Yes, painful things are a natural part of life, but many of us self-inflict so much more pain and stress and problems into our everyday life than is ever necessary.
We do this because we have chosen to believe things about ourselves that were never our beliefs in the first place.
I wonder if there are some ways you might be treating yourself that are wildly unfair and most likely untrue?
I wonder what beliefs you might be acting out with your daily habits that you'd really love to stop believing?
Take a few moments today and write down very clearly, what you'd love to stop believing is true.
Weekly notes to help you take back control of the quality of your life.