A couple of years ago I wrote a piece on how the critical, offensive, or hurtful comments our mothers made to us – about us – became ingrained beliefs: stories we spent years trying to disprove.

What might it be like to reframe and reclaim one of those stories and make it work for you? I’ve come up with a relatively simple exercise to help you do just that.

So let’s do this! Let’s turn one of those comments that’s dogged you forever and turn it on its head!

1. Pick one thing your mother said to you that you find critical, offensive, or hurtful and write it down.

2. Ask yourself why it’s important to you that your mother not say this (you can go deeper and ask yourself why it’s important that she approve of you in this specific circumstance).

3. Do you believe what she said is true? If yes, why?

4. Do you believe what she said is negative or bad? If yes, why?

5. What do you want to believe in regards to this thing your mother has said?

6. How does it feel to believe that?

7. Reframe it. “My mother said [insert whatever she said here]. I don’t agree with her, nor do I think that [insert whatever she said here] is a bad thing. What I want to believe is [insert what you believe here].

8. Can you find evidence for what you want to believe? Write it down.

Here are two of mine:

#1 “You just want everything handed to you on a silver platter” (which goes along with “you’re lazy” and “you’re a spoiled brat”), and if these things are true, then I am a bad person, so I must prove that they are not true!

#2 “You never finish what you start” (which goes along with “you must not want it very badly”), and if this is true, then I am pathetic (and bad), so I must press on doing things I’ve started, things I’m not even sure I want, but, well, I’m supposed to want them, even if I am not enjoying them, or even if they’re not working out as planned, or even if they’re causing harm on some level, because I have to prove that I am not pathetic!

Can you relate?

What I want to (and now do) believe is…

I am worthy of having things handed to me on a silver platter…and everything that has been handed to me so far? Not only do I want all of it, I helped create it.

It’s truly life-altering (in a good way) when you want what you already have without guilt or shame. And when you allow yourself to receive without self-judgment, guilt, and shame, you are able to freely give without judgment.

Yep, it’s true. I don’t always finish what I start and there are many things I’ve set out to get, that, if I am honest, I don’t really want. And that’s a smart thing, especially when I start something out of a sense of desperation and needing to prove myself!

What might you create if you chose not to believe some dramatic, suffering story around having and desiring.

What would happen if you actually already had what you desire?

How would it feel to just quit something that you started, without guilt or believing that you’ve let someone down?

How would it feel to not have to prove a damned thing?