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From the moment we are born, we are like giant sponges, absorbing everything around us. Some people are lucky – they are fed nothing but positivity that nourishes their mind and body. Sadly, the majority of people are spoon-fed cultural expectations and toxicity that seeps into their bones.

Of course, we all begin life as infants but because of their environment, some people are destined to be silenced until they become mature and self-aware enough to realise things are not what they seem to be.

Here are five of the biggest lies society teaches us all at some point.

 

The One will complete me

 

Just no. It might have been a killer line in Jerry Maguire but the idea that another human being can complete you is pure nonsense and dangerous. It sets you on an ever elusive search for that special someone who will transform your dull world into a place where you can’t wait to wake up each morning and tackle the day.

You are responsible for your own happiness. You are accountable for what is going well in your life and the areas that need improvement. It’s hard to hear when you feel down and out but it is absolutely true.

 

Looks don’t matter

 

Yes, I 100 per cent agree with this as a principle I value… and then there is the real world. Looks open doors for people that wouldn’t be opened otherwise. There is no denying it. We’re all guilty of it… what’s the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them in person? I doubt it’s their sparkling personality. It might be their piercing blue eyes or their Colgate ad worthy smile or the way they carry themselves. We are visual beings.

 

Thinner is better

 

As a woman in 2019, all I have been exposed to for the last 32 years of my life is that I should be focusing on shrinking myself to have real value in the world. I am more than a number on a scale. I am more than what I look like in a tight-fitting dress. Logically, I know and believe this but 32 years of exposure to contradictory messages have done a real number on me… and so many other people out there.

We live in an age where a company like Weight Watchers can launch an app aimed at kids and (hardly) no one blinks an eye. Collectively, we can do better than this. The kids of the future deserve better than this.

 

Money doesn’t matter

 

Money is power. People with money have more options than people who do not have money. Is it right? No. Is this a reality? Very much so. Sadly, when it comes to money, it is wise to trust no one. I have witnessed some things in my time that have really taken me aback. Money is one of those things people can seemingly never have enough of (unless you’re J.K. Rowling and you drop off the Forbes billionaires list through your charity donation efforts – legend).

 

This is what success looks like

 

The Powers That Be define success along these lines:

  • Career progression
  • Marriage
  • Owning your own home
  • Driving a fancy car

I can keep going but how many people do you know who have all these things and are utterly miserable? If you’ve ever had the honour of staying with a dying person in their last days as they inhale their last breaths, tell me this:

  • Do they mention the car they drive in their last moments?
  • Do they care if their house is clean or what suburb they live in?
  • Do they tell you how many properties they own?

After 32 years on Earth, in my last breath, I’ll pass on this piece of advice to anyone in the room with me: question everything and don’t waste a moment.

Over to you… share your thoughts below.

Sarah Cannata

Founding editor at This Woman Can
Sarah Cannata is the founding editor of This Woman Can and is the author of the picture book, Willow Willpower. She's a self-confessed introvert who believes quality storytelling can change the world.
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