If you believe that ‘You can’t do anything right’. How would you react when someone approaches you and says “You did a great job preparing that report.”? Depending on the circumstances, you may dismiss, discount or deflect their positive feedback. It depends on whether you have an internal or external frame of reference.
Suppose all day, people tell you that you have done a great job - do you really hear them? Not likely! And then one person points out that you made a couple of spelling mistakes on page 21. How does this resonate for you? It verifies your belief about yourself. You filter the feedback, you delete and distort the positive feedback and focus on the negative. The beliefs you have about yourself, about others, about the world, limit who you can be or what you can accomplish?
We all make decisions (generalizations) so that we do not have to relearn things every day. If you want to open a door, you learned a long time ago (made the generalization) that you grasp the doorknob, twist and pull or push and it opens - you do not have to go through the whole process of relearning how to open a door each and every time. Generalizations are useful shortcuts but they can also get us into trouble.
In an experiment, researchers put the doorknob on the same side of the door as the hinge. What do you think happened when they left adults in the room? They would go up to the door, grasp the doorknob, twist and then try to push or pull the door open. Of course, it would not open. As a result, the adults decided that the door was locked and they were locked in the room!
Young children, on the other hand, who had not yet made the generalization about the doorknob, simply walked up to the door and pushed on it and exited the room.
The adults, because of their decisions, created a reality of being locked in the room when in fact they were not. So how many of your decision (generalizations) about your spouse, your boss, the way it is at work, … leave you ‘locked in’, when others are not stopped by it?
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies just by how we view ourselves. We can't always make the changes we want because some hidden part of us believes that the behavior is good for us.
As you change, your world will seemingly change.