Learning to Understand Ourselves is a Lifetime Journey
All our lives are built around understanding of ourselves, our lives, and the people around us. When we are growing up and growing into ourselves, we take a lot of guidance from other people. Sometimes, the beliefs that we form can be damaging, or unhelpful. It is up to us to decide if the beliefs that we have formed in our youth are really going to help us grow into the people that we need to be.
Throughout our adulthood, we grow into ourselves. We find ways to understand and organize our experience using our conscious, subconscious and unconscious minds. Sometimes, we don't realize that we have formed limiting beliefs deep in our psyche that are driving our behavior.
Do you feel like this resonates with you? Do you feel like there is something in your psyche that is holding you back from your dreams? Do you feel like you get close to achievement and then something goes wrong?
If this is the case, you may be subconsciously self-sabotaging your own achievement.
We all have limiting beliefs. It is a matter of trying to unlearn these beliefs, and to consciously decide what we are going to put into our minds to create change in our lives.
The more conscious you can be about what your mind is consuming, the more happy and mentally healthy you are going to be. You can do this through using affirmations, gratitude and the Law of Attraction.
All of these are ways to put positive information consciously into your mind. The more you can do this, the more you can counteract your limiting beliefs and to reprogram them.
When you are putting positive information into your mind, it can also be important to look at your triggers. What is it that is upsetting you? What happens that is making you feel bad about yourself?
Asking yourself these questions can help you drill down into your feelings, and understand what is actually bothering you. This can be especially helpful when you realize that some of the things that bother you are seemingly random.
However, they aren't random at all. A circumstance can trigger you because it makes you tap into something that has happened in the past, which you have become reminded of in the current situation. Our triggers have answers for us.
Do you feel powerless? Unloved? Like you have no self-efficacy? Like you are a failure?
All of these are common limiting beliefs. You find things that can trigger these beliefs quite easily as you go through the day.
When you are trying to reprogram these limiting beliefs, you can ask yourself if this is true. You can get to the root of the circumstance that has made you feel this way. Often it can be things that happened in childhood. If we look back at these circumstances objectively, then we know that there were things said to us in the past that have created these limiting beliefs.
Once you start to look at these childhood experiences, you can learn how to reparent yourself as an adult, and work with your inner child so that you feel more loved, valuable and whole.
Often, our parents haven't done their job in teaching us to feel good about ourselves. It can be for a variety of reasons, but most likely it is because they didn't know how to do this. We are hurt people raising generations of more hurt people.
Learning how to take care of yourself is a lifetime process. It seems straightforward enough. We learn how to cook and clean and drive a car, but we haven't learned how to take care of our emotions or our thoughts. Our unconscious needs are continuously going unmet.
By learning how to meet our own needs, first we need to know what our needs are.
Once we dive into our triggers, and understand the unconscious messages that they are giving us, then we can consciously work to reprogram these unconscious negative messages that we have about ourselves.
For example, if you have a limiting belief that you are unlovable, you would want to tell yourself an affirmation like "I am loveable" or "I love myself." The more you say these things to yourself, the more it will work to reprogram your negative thoughts to more positive ones.
This will start to shine through in your daily experience of your life.
The more you are thinking positively, the more of a difference it will make in the way you interpret the world around you. Learning self-love and self-acceptance can help us to come across differently with the people that we meet.
We need to learn to be loving and gentle with ourselves in ways that we wish others would treat us. This means, forgiving our mistakes and perceived shortcomings.
As we learn to forgive ourselves, and love ourselves, then we will be more open in our hearts and in our minds. We will care less about what other people think about us, because we will be centered in a positive self-image.
This can help us learn to move forward in love, instead of in fear.
According to Very Well Mind, here are some characteristics of self-acceptance that can be crucial for living your very best life:
Being able to see yourself fairly accurately and recognize what you are and aren’t good at
Embracing all the parts of yourself—even the negative ones—and being happy with who you are
Accepting your values, preferences, resources, feelings, intuitions, and actions—both past and present
Recognizing your strengths and accomplishments without being overly vain about them
Learning to acknowledge your weaknesses and faults without beating yourself up over them or engaging in overly excessive negative self-talk
Having a positive attitude toward yourself and holding yourself in high regard, without the need for others’ approval6
Seeing yourself as a whole human being, rather than defining yourself by any one characteristic, incident, ability, or weakness
Being able to love and respect yourself
The more you can learn to embrace these qualities in your life, the happier you are going to become. Self-acceptance is recognizing that you are a good person who is worthy of love in spite of any perceived flaws. You love yourself, flaws and all.
Love yourself the way you would love a child. You don't stop loving them because they make a mistake. Similarly, you shouldn't stop loving yourself because you make a mistake.
Many of us have a tendency to be overly self-critical. Learning self-love and self-acceptance can help to counteract this. We can learn to love ourselves as people with flaws.
You don't have to be perfect to be worthy of love.
You are worthy of your own love, and the love of others, just as you are. Having flaws doesn't make you unlovable. It just makes you human. We are all people with flaws. No one is perfect. You don't need to be perfect to be loved.
Knowing that, embracing that, believing that, can help you to change your life for the positive.
Often we are expecting too much from ourselves. We hold ourselves to a higher standard than we hold others. We think that we have to be the best. We think that we have to be perfect. We think that we have to be flawless and above reproach in our actions.
This thinking, again, comes in the form of our limiting beliefs that were formed in childhood. Many parents hold children to unrealistic and unreasonable standards when they are young. This can be unhealthy and damaging to a child.
We love our children, we think that they are the best children, so we put them up on a pedestal. While this shows love, it is a misguided form of love that places too much expectation on the child.
Kids raised this way grow up thinking that they have to be the best at everything in order to be loved. They want to maintain the parent's image of them, because they think that is the only way to win the parents love. This then translates into the template for how we love ourselves in adulthood.
Growing out of our negative beliefs from childhood can take a lifetime. It takes work and effort. And it can sometimes take therapy if you had a traumatic or chaotic childhood.
I hope that you are able to move past the scars of childhood on your psyche and create new beliefs for yourself using affirmations, gratitude and the Law of Attraction to reprogram your psyche. All of these have been so useful for me!