This Chinese of Cut His Own Feet To Fit Shoes--Xue Zu Shi Lu is 削足适履, and Pin Yin xuē zú shì lǚ. 读“削足适履”的中文故事.
Once upon a time, there was a foolish girl who love beautiful shoes.
One day, when she was shopping in the market, a pedlar tried to sell a pair of shoes to her. The girls loved the shoes for they were really beautiful, but her feet were too big to fit in. However, being unable to stand up to the pedlar's hype, the girl cut her feet to fit the shoes.
This Chinese idiom story is from "The Masters/Philosophers of Huai Nan (淮南子, Huai Nan Zi)", a second century B.C Chinese philosophical classic book from the Han dynasty that blends Taoist, Confucianist, and Legalist concepts, including theories such as Yin-Yang and the Five Phases.
In the book, before this story, the authors told two stories:
One: During the Spring and Autumn period, after conquering a state named Zai, the king of Chu entitled his little brother Qu Ji to the king of it; but Qu Ji was too ambitious to be content with governing such a small state. An insidious minister called Chao Wu saw through his mind, suggesting that Qi Ji should make use of the occasion that the king was on a expedition to kill the crown prince and set up a new king. Qi Ji did as was told. When the king, or more exactly, Qi Ji's older brother, heard about the terrible news, he could not bear such cruel facts and killed himself at the following night. A year later, Qi ji murdered the new king that he set up, making himself the king of Chu.
Two: Duke Xian was a great monarch in the Spring and Autumn period, but he got fatuous and tempestuous in his later years. He favored his young consort Li Ji who was crafty woman and was ambitious to make her own son succeed the throne. In order to get rid of all rivals for her son, she first laid a snare to make Duke Xian believe that the crown prince tried to sexually harass her, which led to the prince being killed, and then she made a false accusation against the other mature princes that they tried to rebel and revenge for the crown prince. The old king totally hoodwinked by Li Ji at once sent soldiers to execute his innocent sons. Fortunately, they, with the help of upright ministers, run to other states in time.
After telling these two stories, the author commented:" Indiscriminately believe others and thus killing families is just like 'Cutting His Own Feet to Fit Shoes and Remove His Own Scalp To Wear A Hat'. How stupid it is! "
The idiom of "Cut His Own Feet To Fit Shoes--Xue Zu Shi Lu" refers to rigidly adapting unsuitable rules without considering the real situation.