There is no better feeling than walking outside in my fuzzy flannel PJs, feeling the texture of the wooden porch on my bare feet and not having the hair stand up on my arms from cold weather.  I squint my eyes in the brilliant orange light coming up from the purple mountain range in the distance, with pastel-like purples and greens in the sky. It’s a perfect morning.

An Unexpected Problem

When I was a kid, my dad bought his first really nice car. It was a celery-colored Lincoln Continental. My friends used to call it the Queen Mary because it was like a boat. My grandparents were upset when my dad bought it because, as they said, “We’re not showy people.” In our little town, it was the most expensive car you could buy — we certainly did not know about Mercedes or Rolls or Bentley. 

A Moment of Shame

I was in about seventh grade, and one day my mom dropped me off at Harrison Hill Elementary. She was driving the Lincoln, and when I got out of the car all the kids started mocking me. “Spoiled rich kid,” they would call me. I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. 

From that point forward, they treated me differently. I was already bullied because I was the school fat kid, and now I was double bullied because I was fat and rich. I became very lonely and literally developed ulcers over it. 

Not Much Different, Really

In reality, we were pretty much like everyone else. We lived in the same neighborhood as most of the other kids. Our houses were all about the same. In fact, our house was a lot smaller than most. But that car somehow sent the wrong signal. 

When Success Hurts

My dad was proud of reaching this moment of success because of his hard work on his company. He grew up dirt poor, and the Lincoln was probably a signal that he

had made something of himself. It was more about feeling good than trying to pretend to be better than others. But the car changed things with our neighbors, and even my mom’s friends, because suddenly we were different. Though I did not realize it at the time, my dad was perceived as flaunting his success.

After that day at school, I did not want to be seen in that Lincoln. In fact, when my mom would drop me at school, I had her drop me off a block away to avoid being seen. 

Finding Deep Meaning

I had not thought about that car and the incident with my “friends” for decades. But I was in a class recently where we talked about our limiting beliefs. What I discovered is that most of us operate our lives through the filters of our childhood and the things that happened to us before we were 10.

And because we’re not experts at solving problems at that age, we solve them in the ways we know how, which are usually about avoiding pain.

During the event we were given an exercise to tap into our subconscious minds to try to discover our limiting beliefs, the things holding us back. 

Wanna guess what one of mine was?

Here’s a clue. It had to do with that darned Lincoln.

The Lincoln represented wealth, and being seen in it represented not being accepted by my friends. 

I discovered that too much success made me uncomfortable because I did not want to lose friends. So throughout my life, I would hit a ceiling and never get beyond it.

I found out that I was subconsciously sabotaging my own success because I do not want to be mocked or bullied. A childhood need to be liked and accepted was still impacting my behavior as an adult.

Not only was I unconsciously limiting my own success, I was apologetic for the success I had. 

Apologizing for Success

If someone would compliment me on my home, I’d tell the story of how we got a good deal on it. Why? I did not want to be different or not accepted. Yet I did not even realize I was doing it.

Though I wanted to buy a nice car, I resisted and drove the same small, crummy car for 15 years. Finally, I bought a car, but I’d keep it in the garage so my friends wouldn’t see it. And if they did see it, I made a point to tell them that I bought it used and got a great deal.

I was operating on my fearful 10-year-old brain, which was telling me to avoid success so I would be loved and appreciated.

How silly is that?

Lots of Life Wasted

I spent several decades of my life living with limiting beliefs I didn’t know I had, and only discovered them through an exercise to ask my subconscious brain what was holding me back. I knew I had a problem. I did not know the cause.

I’m sure I have other limiting beliefs that hold me back in other ways. Now I need to do more exercises with my subconscious to find out why I have nagging feelings about things.

Yes, You ARE Worthy

Our limiting beliefs are thoughts or ideas that limit our potential, holding us back. We tell ourselves things like, “I can’t do that,” “I don’t deserve that,’ “People from our background don’t do this,”  “I’m not worthy,” etc.

These beliefs are rooted in past experiences and societal influences, and are often so deeply ingrained in our subconscious mind that they impact our behavior. These beliefs are like being tied up, keeping us from our full potential. 

Make It Stop

Empowering beliefs are, of course, the opposite of limitations. But sometimes positive affirmations and positive thinking aren’t enough. I’ve done those things my whole life. And they do work. But in this case, I have to find out about my limiting belief and realize how it’s impacting my behavior. Once I’ve done this, the limiting belief will stop.

I’m told that the chains will lift more and more as days pass, but I’ve already noticed I’m doing things in some situations that I wouldn’t do before because I did not feel worthy.

Whew, this is deep stuff. Deep inside our brains.

Do you have limiting beliefs?

I’m told everyone does, and that most are not aware of them. 

It turns out that questions to your subconscious provide breakthroughs. 

Instead of “Why am I afraid to fly?” I should be asking myself, “If there was a reason I’m afraid to fly, what would it be? And how is it hurting me?” (This is a key part of tapping the subconscious.)

Failed Dreams 

My dear aunt spent her whole life wanting to go to her grandparents’ home country of Ireland. By the time she died, she’d never achieved that dream, because she was afraid to fly. She knew she was afraid and told me, but she never understood what was causing her to be afraid. It was probably related to something that happened when she was a kid. No matter how much we tried to reason with her about safety, logic could not overcome her fears.

In what ways are your beliefs stopping you from living your dreams, reaching your full potential?

It’s never too late. 

Everything in your life is filtered through your unique pair of glasses. Every choice, action, and even every buying decision. You and I do things not knowing why. 

Why does one person, like my dad, need to buy a giant expensive car?

Why do some people not want to be around certain personality types?

Why do we avoid certain things?

The reasons are deep inside your head, and the answers will come to you, once you start asking for them.

Eric Rhoads

PS: When I was almost 40 I came to the conclusion that it would be fun to learn to paint. I tried several times and failed, and ended up telling myself I did not have what it takes. I told myself that some people are born with the gift, but I wasn’t one of them. Thankfully, one man helped me see that none of that was true, and that by following a system, I — or anyone — could become proficient. 

For at least the past 20 years I’ve devoted my life to overcoming the myth that there is an artistic “gift,” and I believe we have probably taught over a million people to paint. When I tell myself I need to reach 10 million, my limiting beliefs kick in and I hear a little voice say, “Eh, not possible.” But when this happens, if you listen to what that little voice is saying, and ask yourself why it’s being said, you might tie it back to your subconscious mind. Then you can ask for answers … if I knew the answer, what would it be?

If you’re like I was, and you want to learn painting but don’t feel worthy, I give you my 100% money back guarantee that I can teach you to paint through my event this month. It’s called Watercolor Live, and if you attend the first day and don’t feel like you’re getting it, or learning, or overcoming those negative thoughts, just ask and you get your money back.

And if you want to hear about the two big lies that are holding you back, watch the brand new video I posted at