Popular Quotes I Can’t Endorse

I read a thing the other day that said, “The best weight you will ever lose, is the weight of other people’s expectations.” I understand the sentiment but I’m like…nah, I’m really just trying to lose this weight (grabs belly)! Because right now, I’m trying to fit into these jeans, and other people’s expectations are not the ones making that impossible!

Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever read what is supposed to be an inspirational message, but something deep within you is just like nah, fam. That’s not it!

How about this one: “Your only limit is yourself.” But is it though? Is it really? I mean, I get how I can limit myself by not believing in myself, by not trying hard enough, by giving up too easily, by living on excuses…but is that really my only limit? Come on. You know that’s incredibly flawed. Have you ever watched American Idol? How many people have walked into that audition room, confidence on 100 and talent on 0? Their limit was they couldn’t sing to save their lives.

Sometimes we’re limited by lack of finances/resources, socio-economic conditions, education and talent (or lack thereof). Sometimes even our race or gender or sexual orientation puts us at a disadvantage. In such a case, the limits on me exist in the minds and perceptions of other people, people who might have the power or scope of influence to make things difficult for me. I’m not saying these are insurmountable challenges, but I don’t think we help ourselves when we downplay the impact these difficulties might have on our journey to success.

“There’s no use crying over spilt milk” is a classic. What’s done is done, the past can’t be changed. Move on. I get it. However, sometimes I just really wanted the milk, and maybe I need a good cry because suppressing my emotions doesn’t help anyone.

“If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I’m not against this at all. I totally believe in giving it all you’ve got, sometimes multiple times. But I also believe that sometimes, the healthier option is to give up and try something else (refer to American Idol example above). It’s all about recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s about growth, it’s about having a healthy attitude about failure, and “failure” not being a dirty word. It’s okay to try again, but it’s also okay to try something different.

“Money can’t buy happiness.” To be fair, neither can poverty.

Oh, then there’s the one that encourages us to do something that scares us every day. It’s all about challenging oneself, and pushing one’s own limits, it’s supposed to teach us that we are capable of anything. But there is literally nothing to be gained by jumping into a giant box of venomous snakes. I’m just not doing it. Ever. Under any circumstances. It’s a no from me.

And finally, I just can’t get behind this one: “It is what it is.” Well…yeah. It can’t be what it isn’t so I would assume that it can only be what it is. This sounds like something one would say when there’s an awkward silence that just needs to be filled with words and sounds. It doesn’t actually add anything to a conversation. It’s just a bunch of words grouped together like awkward strangers at a cocktail party.

Maybe I read too much into these little quotes and sayings, maybe I’m too literal. Either way, you will never hear me say things like, “Rules are made to be broken.” Seriously?

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