Everyone has childhood wounds from the times you were told that you weren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, tall enough, outgoing enough, quiet enough, that you would never succeed, you’re not capable, not disciplined or just plain unlucky. When we’re small children, it’s usually adults saying these things; parents and teachers that we look up to, admire and hope to gain approval from. In retrospect we can see that they were flawed human beings (as we have grown up to be 🙂 tired and probably trying to get us to behave in a way in that moment that would make their lives easier. But these labels and the shaming that goes with them get internalized by tiny, developing minds. We carry those messages into adulthood as part of our core, and limiting, beliefs. They get put on a loop running through our heads and our subconscious as a soundtrack to our lives.
Good news / bad news, when we hear something often enough we begin to believe it, no matter how ridiculous it is. (advertising works!) And that belief becomes all the stronger if it’s us saying it to ourselves. We tend to treat that voice in our heads like it’s the voice of God – solemn, holy and unchallengeable. But it’s not. It’s the voice of our fears, stressed parents, frustrated teachers and maybe even school yard bullies. Run amuck that voice can also nag us, put us down and keep us stuck in traumas and untruths from the past.
But trying to quiet that voice is like telling a screaming child to “shush”… it only makes the screaming louder and prolonged. But maybe it’s time to examine some of those thoughts, challenge them, replace them and rewrite the patterns.
1. Pick just 1-3 areas of your life that you’ve been struggling with, things that have been frustrating you for a while, and you may even feel like will never change. . . Maybe it’s your finances, physical fitness or relationships. What is the soundtrack that you have running? Does it go something like this…
I’m too old
I’m too fat
I could never do that
I’m just unlucky with relationships
No one will ever love me
I’ve always been bad with money
Everyone else is so much further along than I am
2. Ask yourself if all of these things are really true AND unchangeable? Hint: The answer is rarely yes to both
3. Look for evident to the contrary. Has there ever been a time that you were good with money? Have you made any good relationship choices? Do you know 100% for sure that you could never do “that”? Is there anyone on the planet older than you doing what you want to do?
4. Make a decision to change. Those limiting thoughts may or may not have been true at the time (maybe you really were’t tall enough to go on that ride at Disney… ) but there are a lot of things you can change today.
5. Seek help. If you think you’re bad at relationships or money, read books on the subject, get new information and start changing the way you do things.
You are good enough. You can change your life. And don’t believe every thought you initially think.
For more on this subject read the blog post on The Right Way to Use Affirmations.
Be good to yourself and talk to you like you would talk to someone you care deeply about.