My partner does the cooking at our house, as my kitchen skills involve little more finesse than the ability to open cans. [Seriously, he’s a magician in the kitchen! Here are some of his recipes.]
A typical lunch around here consists of a variety of chopped fresh vegetables, microwaved to just past the point of al dente, with possibly a little whole wheat pasta thrown in.
For years, I’d be presented with my bowl of veggies and handed a spoon, then I would quietly trade the spoon for a fork. I mean, I’m an adult: I eat with a fork! And then I would always struggle with the last bits of my food that would’ve been much easier to eat with a spoon.
One day as I was switching cutlery, I thought to myself with a hint of indignant pride, “Well, of course I can’t eat this with a spoon. Only children eat with a spoon, and I’m an adult.”
Then I heard myself and stopped.
That’s right: For years I was making myself eat this particularly spoon-worthy dish with a fork because when I was a child I’d either been told or I had told myself that only the big kids can eat with forks, and thus only children eat with spoons.
Subliminal programming revealed is subliminal programming destroyed! I put the fork back in the drawer and picked up a spoon, and it’s been spoons (for this dish, anyway) ever since.
The takeaway here is that even the smallest messaging unconsciously shapes a person. What are the other subconscious influences in my life? And what subconscious influences might I be unintentionally programming into the lives of those around me?
Now any time I catch myself jumping to a conclusion, I say to myself: “I can eat with a spoon!” Then I judge anew if I agree with the reasoning behind my conclusion.
I just need to get better at catching myself at those jumps.