Statistics show that by the age of six we have already developed thousands of beliefs that dictate how we interact with others. These go on to form our core beliefs and are the strongest factor that influence our personality.
This therefore means our childhood experiences both good and bad, have a major influence on who we later become, how we perceive ourselves and how we relate to others.
It is possible to change our core beliefs but not without digging deep to discover how they came about. We cannot bring change without first going to back to our past. Many counsellors will advise that bringing up the past will cause emotional pain but it is necessary in order to move forward. From personal experience, counselling can make you feel worse before you begin to feel better.
Two examples of how my past affected my future:
A female abandoned by her father is likely to grow up with an inability to trust men. As a result she may end up self sabotaging relationships assuming the men will walk away at some point anyway. Within the first few years of marriage I struggled to accept my husband’s love and kindness. Whenever we argued I assumed he would grow tired of me and leave. He could not understand my way of thinking at all. I was totally independent, particularly in the area of finances and disliked feeling I had to rely on my husband for anything. I learnt from a young age to be self-sufficient and strived to avoid being in a position where I needed anyone.
The eldest child is likely to take the lead and feel an element of responsibility even when it is not expected. As the firstborn, I have always felt responsible and that it was my job to bring solution to situations even when I had no power to. I was sensible as a teenager, I rarely rebelled or had to be rescued. I cannot recall spending too much on an item of clothing ‘just because’ or staying out and catching the last bus home because I was having too much fun. Looking back I really wished I had loosened up, instead I took myself far too seriously.
It has been somewhat therapeutic understanding the reasons for some of my behaviours. The more we learn about ourselves, the more power we have to make the necessary changes. Digging deep into our past is uncomfortable and it means we can no longer make excuses for ongoing wrong behaviour. Instead we should decide to take steps towards healing and changing our mindset to a healthier one.
Can you see an obvious pattern between your childhood experiences and your current behaviour?
Have you accepted these or are you working towards change?