Have you ever noticed that children are so free to be who they are? They have no reservations about anything! They can eat what they want, run around in their swimming suits, make friends with anyone at the park, and have genuine love for themselves and others. What happens to cause this to change as we age? What makes us lose this confidence we have as children?
Well when we start school and start to be socialized, we start to meet people and we start to form thoughts and beliefs about ourselves relative to how they act around us. We start to believe what others say instead of questioning it. We start to classify others by how smart they are, how cute they are, where they live, how many friends they have, and how we fit into that environment. Yes when we get put in the lower reading group at school, which is just a circumstance, then we have a thought like, "I'm not as smart as the others." Then that makes us feel bad, so we act like we are not as smart as the other kids. Maybe we don't try as hard, because we have the thought that they are smarter than us. Pretty soon we have created a belief that we aren't smart, and that causes havoc with how we feel about ourselves and how we show up in the world.
Let me give you an example of both positive and negative thoughts that we create while growing up that create our beliefs and affect our lives. Somewhere, a long long time ago, I was hanging out with my pack of friends I ran with in my neighborhood. We played together almost every day. We had so much fun together and experienced growing up together. Well one of my good friends was a very cute little girl and ended becoming a beautiful woman. But beauty is subjective based upon how we are conditioned to look at beauty. I remember that when we would go places, people would always make comments about what a pretty little girl she was. Well at my young age, I started to notice that people would tell her, but they didn't say that to me. So it started out as a thought in my head of, "I must not be pretty." Well as I thought that, and then felt sad about it, it changed how outgoing I was, and I started to find all the evidence to prove that I wasn't pretty. Living in a world with media constantly telling me what beauty was didn't help. Over time, this thought became my belief. I was not pretty. I believed that to be a fact. That belief affected my self-confidence immensely while growing up. That thought lead to other thoughts about not being good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough etc. And I turned into a shy insecure teenager and even adult. But who is the president of who is pretty and who is not? Is it magazines, is it Hollywood? Why do they get to decide?
So the opposite thing happened when it came to my family. From the time I was very young, I was told that I was a peacemaker in my family. They would tell me all the time, because I guess I didn't cause many problems in my home. The more they told me, the more I created a thought that, "I am a peacemaker." I prided myself in this because it made my parents happy. I found all the evidence for why I was a peacemaker. And to this day, the belief I have is that, "I am a peacemaker." In a way, that thought, turned into good feelings, and those feelings turned into peace-making actions, and pretty soon I self-fulfilled that thought. If you asked my siblings today they would tell you I'm the peacemaker of the family. And making peace is a good way to feel joy and happiness. This brings me self-confidence in this area of my life.
So do you see how experiences, or circumstances create thoughts in our heads, and those thoughts, when repeated over and over, become our beliefs about ourselves. So if you want to be self-confident, you have to train your brain to think thoughts that help you feel that way! It feels so much better than beating ourselves up and creating no confidence. Anyone can do it? Do you want to try? If you have beliefs you have created about yourself that you don't like, just reach out at Directyourlifecoaching.com and sign up for a free no obligation mini session where we can figure it out, understand that belief and change it to something that helps you feel better about yourself. Join me!