There are few in this world that shape who we are and who we become more than our parents. As much as we often fight it, we literally become the words that our parents feed into our minds every day as we grow up. Some are able to escape those words - but most aren't.
For eighteen (plus) years, we hear it (what ever "it" is) from our parents and sometimes siblings. But just because we move out and turn off the loud speaker, doesn't mean those words stop running around in our heads - influencing everything we do. No, in fact, for nearly everyone of us, those words have or will become a never ending tape that is permanently running in our subconscious mind.
For those that heard words of encouragement growing up - they feel the confidence and freedom to become what ever they desire. They live a life of opportunity and joy - often able to create everything in their lives they set out to create. But, unfortunately, for those that negativity, or even worse "nothing", filled their ears as they grew up, those individuals tend to spend their entire life questioning themselves and struggling to move forward. And the latter tends to constantly seek the approval or their parents and other family members at every decision point in their lives.
The past couple nights I've had discussions with Jenci Spradlin, Freda Mooncotch, and Gloria Bell about Parenting and it's impact on our lives, years and years later and it has inspired me to write a bit about it in my blog. They've been conversations about reading to our kids, engaging with our kids and how even as adults, negativity from our parents can rock our world. Just so you know, I'm not writing it from the perspective of improving parenting - I'd hardly say I'm qualified to talk about that. The reason I bring it up, is because we (adults) were all kids once, and who we are today is because of who our parents have taught us to be.
Literally, what our parents did and said to and for us, shaped who we are today and will be in our future.
None of this is magical or noteworthy - I know that. But I wanted to write about it anyway, because so few realize the power their youth has over their adult lives. By the time I, or any other coach, ever meet a client, they have an entire lifetime of input from themselves and others - from family members, teachers, and friends whose opinions have created a continually running script in their minds. There memories and thought processes are pretty well programmed. Their habit patterns are ingrained in their psychie - creating who they are. But yet, they often expect their life can be turned around over night - by attending a seminar, reading a book or even watching a video.
I hate to say it, but it doesn't work that way. And anyone telling you it does - is selling you something. I've heard some "experts" say it takes 21 days of repetition to change a habit. And yet others say 42 days. In my opinion, neither of those are true. I believe your habits are your habits for life - to a large degree. You can influence them and control them, but when life becomes stressful (and it always will) no matter how good you are at trying to "reprogram" yourself, you will fall back into those patterns of thought that have been ingrained in your mind - through your youth and upbringing.
That's not to say that trying to "reprogram" through NLP, positive affirmations and focus doesn't work, but it does mean that it takes time. Most people have 30+ years of programming to rewrite - it doesn't happen over night.
Not to worry though. What you CAN do is learn how to leverage your strengths, and manage your weaknesses. You can create systems to help you when you know it will be most difficult to achieve the goals you want to achieve - when stress hits your life and you can't be as focused as you would like to be. That's where your life, personal, business, or any other form of coach comes in to play.
If you can understand this simple piece of information (deeply understand it), then I believe you have taken the biggest step towards taking control of your life. It is in the power of knowing who you are and how you got where you are that you can begin to change your future.
However, remember this very important fact. We aren't learning about our past to lay blame on anyone (not your parents, your family and friends, your teachers) - we are learning about our past, simply so that we may shape our future. When you blame and fault others, you tend remove the control you have over your own lives, and subjugates your power to shape your future.
So stop and ask yourself,
- What are the thoughts that my family, friends, and teachers implanted on my mind?
- How did my parents speak to me? How do they speak to me now?
- What am I going to do TODAY, to begin to take control of those engrained thought patterns to help me become a better me, TOMORROW?