Kid Advice: Believing It Doesn't Make It True -- Thank Goodness!
by Jamie Spannhake
August 13, 2019
When my 8-year-old daughter is adamant that something is true, even though it unquestionably is NOT true, she argues with me about it. She will not give in. (She is strong-willed and I love that about her, but it can be challenging at times!) This often arises when she thinks (read: wishes) I said something that I didn't. For example, she heard me say that there are 3 months before school starts again when what I said was there are 3 weeks. I usually end the discussion by saying something like: You can keep believing that if you want to be wrong!
I was recently at dinner with my friend and accomplished author and speaker Amy Julia Becker. Her husband Peter said basically the same thing to his daughter, but it was an improved variation: You can keep believing that but it doesn't make it true.
I am changing my words going forward. I like this variation because it is kinder and gentler, but more importantly, because it is appropriate in more situations. Plus, it brought to my attention that I do the same thing. In fact, lots of things that we say to ourselves inside our own heads are simply not true.
I'm not smart enough. I'm not trying hard enough. I don't have enough experience or knowledge to pursue my dream. I'm too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, too whatever. It made me think about all the things we as adults often "believe" but our beliefs don't make them true.
Listen to the ways you talk to yourself. Do you tell yourself negative things? What we say become our beliefs. But just because you believe it doesn't make it true. Be kinder to yourself. xo