Stop MUSTerbating

When I was younger I used to tell myself that I MUST become a footballer or I’d be poor like my parents and nobody would like me. I never became a footballer.

I then accepted the message from teachers and parents that I MUST get a good education in order to get a good job. I went to university, got a First Class degree and a few weeks after graduation I found myself unemployed in the job centre signing on.

I finally found an internship and told myself that I MUST work hard in order to be offered a job that way my family and friends would see that my £25k or so worth of student debt was well worth it. I got the job and quit a year later.

MUST is an evil word. Every time we tell ourselves that we MUST do or have something we automatically brand ourselves as inadequate.

MUSTs can come in all shapes and sizes but are often adopted beliefs passed down from parents, teachers, peers, and society in order to keep you in a perpetual chase for love, acceptance, identity, security or all of the above in which you’re forever falling short.


For the last few years I’ve been on a serious MUST detox. Books, podcast and mentors have helped me to let go of the many MUSTs I have accumulated over my life so far and returned me to a point in which I feel much happier just ‘doing me,’ which has opened up many opportunities I never thought possible, one being paid to podcast and write this very blog!

I truly believe that by challenging just one MUST you’re holding on to today can be a life changing experience.

FILL IN THE BLANKS: I feel that I MUST ____________________ because _________________.

Now take the time to break down where this belief has come from and challenge it!

Why? Who said that? What are the consequences of not believing it? What would you do if you stopped believing it? Does this belief truly serve me?

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About the Author

Cem Yildiz


Other than running the Powerful Nonsense blog and podcast, Cem is a health nut and digital content producer to charities and small businesses.

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  • Austin Iuliano

    I love the video on beliefs. But I have to disagree with you with MUST being an evil word. I believe must means making something have to happen no matter what. Without that conviction your goals will never come true. The MUST has to be a powerful reason why you wish to achieve a goal. I MUST lose 200lbs so I am around for my daughters wedding. I talk about this more in, its your reason WHY behind your actions. Would love your thoughts on it!

    Keep up the awesome work,


  • @austiniuliano:disqus Hey Austin, firstly thank you for taking the time to read my blog post and even more so for leaving a comment. I have to agree with you, a MUST is not always a bad thing as Bob Proctor mentions in the latest Cover Model Podcast MUSTs just like NEEDS often have a lot more energy attached to them meaning people are way more likely to take action and succeed. My only criticism and motivation for writing this blog was whether peoples MUSTs are actually there own or simply adopted from societal pressures, many people think they must earn millions to be successful or must have abs to be loved and these are the unhealthy musts that we need to learn to question. I think you may also like this video from Phillip McKernan: Keep up the great work over at your blog. Have a great week. – Cem