WHILE WORKING ON my five-year-old laptop, I noticed that it was getting slower and slower. It wouldn’t connect to the internet as fast, and moving from one program to another was taking more time. When I would start it, it seemed like it would take forever for the programs to open. So, I told myself it was time to buy a new laptop.

That night, after shopping all day for a computer, I was watching TV and happened to see a commercial for a website where they would do a free diagnostic on my PC. After three minutes of analysis, the diagnosis appeared before me: Your computer had 572 bugs! That explained a lot. The catch was that there was a fee of close to $400 to fix them. So instead, I brought my computer to my IT guy, and six hours later it was as good as new. She was debugged! She booted right up and flew through the internet with the greatest of speed.

I sat back and contemplated the experience. I was about ready to spend $2,000 plus on a new computer. Not knowing any better, I would have taken my new, never-been-programmed, never been touched, pristine purchase and connected it to my old one with a cord — very similar to the umbilical cord that gave me life — and I would have downloaded all my files to my new computer.

Allmy files and allmy bugs! 572 bugs that my brand-new, never-been-programmed computer would have received. Bugs that were not the computers’ own. Bugs that would have slowed it down before it even had a chance to get to work and prove itself. I would have then blamed it for poor performance, not being good enough, and not being fast enough. It would no longer appear to be modern. It would have wasted my time and money and energy and made me question why I even make the purchase. I would have continued to blame it for any mistakes. Bad new computer.

Then it occurred to me to wonder how many bugs had I been given at birth? If my parents had 572 “bugs” when they conceived me, did I inherit them? And, as a result, in the process of growing up, was I not fast enough (as they told me), or good enough, or sleek and sexy enough? The answer was yes. For the first 18 years of my life I was programmed by my parents, siblings, friends, church, schoolteachers, coaches and anyone else that had an influence on me. The programs I received were going right into my subconscious being where they would harbor themselves and grow stronger and stronger with every triggering event.

If I failed at a task, then I wasn’t good enough. If I was defeated in sports, then I wasn’t strong or fast enough. If I got a “C” in a class, I wasn’t smart enough. My dad told me that I wouldn’t amount to anything. All those programs were firmly rooted in my subconscious, and they were determined to prove themselves right.

I hadn’t realized that some of them might be wrong. After all, these programs were given to me by some credible sources: my parents, teachers and church. Some of the programs were perfect, and some not so much. However, the original programming took place well before I had the ability to write my own program. The program given to me was not my program or life’s screenplay for me to act out; it was everyone else’s screenplay. I needed to erase the negative program that was given to me. I needed to edit that screenplay and rewrite it so I could star in my own movie called Peter’s Life the Way It Was Meant to Be!

We are suffering from a case of mistaken identity.

Because we have been programmed to be.

Someone else’s idea of who we are.

Not who we are really meant to be.

You see, you were born perfect. However, you were born perfect into an imperfect world by imperfect parents, who themselves were born perfect into an imperfect world by imperfect parents, who were also born perfect into an imperfect world by imperfect parents, all the way back to the beginning of time.

Unfortunately, there is no website called www.debug-me.com, where I could have a free diagnosis of my bugs and where I would gladly pay $384.00 to be de-bugged. That’s not the case in life, is it? Instead, I needed to plug into myself and go back through the programs of my subconscious and see what downloads were good for me and which ones were not. When I got to a program that I did not like, I would then erase it. First, though, I had to look at the event and see what the meaning of it was. What was the emotion that I tied to it? What did I receive from it? What was the lesson that life was giving me? I would say to myself, “That wasn’t me. That was my father, mother, brother, church, teacher, etc., acting out their own scenario on me.” I would erase or delete that program. It was as if I was bringing myself back to the original manufacturer’s settings. Then reprogramed myself to who I wanted to be.

You can do everything you want to do. Everything, everything, everything, and all things. Unless you choose to believe whoever it was who told you can’t!

Peter Remington is an executive at Houston CityBook and also a business consultant and life coach. For more information on him and his Prepare 4 More, visit here.