Have you ever felt you want to ‘de-clutter’ your mind? Sweep away all the old beliefs, inner chatter, ‘bad’ habits and unhelpful ways of behaving?
Maybe you wonder where all this has come from, why you are like this?
It’s estimated that we all take in about 3.6 million gigabytes of information a day! So imagine how much you must have been exposed to during a lifetime!
Most of the internal chatter is helpful, like…
‘clean your teeth or you’ll lose them‘
‘look both ways before crossing the road’
‘eat your greens’
But you’ve most probably picked up some pretty unhelpful stuff too. You know, the messages that go…
‘you’re not good enough‘
‘you have no right to be here‘
‘where are you going in life, you’re a loser, a freak‘
The way you think drives the way you feel and the way you feel drives the way you behave. So, if the driving thought is negative, self-sabotaging and damaging it has a knock-on effect on how you live your life. It may result in you hiding away, not taking opportunities, never feeling good enough; so you hide your real self, not having fulfilling relationships. After all, if this voice is telling you you’re not good enough, in whatever way it does, then you won’t want the world to see the real you, do you? That’s far too risky. Better to put on some kind of armour or outer self to show the world, one you think will be accepted, and keep your real self safe, deep inside.
But the trouble with this is that it’s hard work, for a start, this constant acting, but it also means you never make the really deep connections that, as human beings, we all need. Because who are people connecting with? Not you, obviously, but some dumbed down, filtered, censored version of you. People sense when you’re not being authentic and you know it, on some deeper level.
Maybe you’re already aware of this and you would love to break free and feel good enough to really be yourself, not be afraid of being ‘found out’. How much more relaxing and fun would that be?
Many of these beliefs were built up in your childhood when you received or misinterpreted negative messages. They may have been about you…
‘you’re such a nuisance’
‘be quiet I’m busy’
‘I didn’t want a girl, I wanted a boy’
and such like.
Or messages about the world…
‘it’s a dangerous place’
‘people can’t be trusted’
It could be about your family group or environment…
‘money doesn’t grow on trees’
‘people like us don’t start a business/become an artist/dance for a living’
‘our family has always been unlucky’
Wherever they came from, they stick around and can dictate the way you live your whole life. If you believe you’re not good enough you’ll never put yourself forward for promotion, for example, because everyone else is obviously better than you. If you believe you’re not loved/loveable you may choose partners who put you down or don’t respect you because you feel you don’t deserve any better or you make sure to sabotage relationships because surely no one could love you, so better you end it before you get hurt.
This is so sad, so much potential going to waste. So many happy times that could be had if only you could let go of the need to be perfect, stop worrying about what people think of you, stop feeling judged and found wanting.
And the really, really sad thing, I think, is that this ‘stuff’ is your imagination creating these pictures, scenarios, outcomes. Yes, you may have had some awful stuff happen to you growing up or even now, as an adult, but it is the way your mind processed and interpreted, and continues to interpret, them that’s the important bit. What it does with that information.
But the seriously good news is that you can change this script. You don’t have to live your life according to the old messages, the old conditioning, the old beliefs. Leopards do change their spots, every day, well metaphorically speaking. Maybe a caterpillar to a butterfly would be a better metaphor.
Just because you’ve lived this way all your life, so far, doesn’t mean you have to live the rest of your life with this burden of old beliefs, negatives messages, damaging and hurtful inner chatter. You can change the programme. Just like you would update the software on your devices, you can update the software running in your head. Get a newer, better version.
In a type of therapy called transactional analysis there’s a belief that we all write our life script in childhood as a result of our interpretation of the world and what we’re exposed to. Then we do everything to live out this script. That’s why sometimes the way you behave, the things you do can seem puzzling. But it’s possible to re-write this script once you realise it for what it is. Old stuff, somebody else’s stuff that you just picked up, it doesn’t have to be true for you.
So, if your life script is negative, you can change it.
You can work on your beliefs and modify them, become aware of the inner critic that we all have and turn down the volume, change your behaviours, and bad habits, to more helpful ones that support you to live the life you want.
Because you deserve that. You deserve to live your best life. To be the real version of you. She’s in there, just waiting to come out and be in the world, just as she is, not perfect but certainly good enough.