Friday, August 7, 2015

Programming as Kids and Past Letdowns


“Upon our children, how they are taught, rests the fate- or fortune- of tomorrow’s world.”
- B. C. Forbes

The things we learn in childhood aren’t easy to forget- mostly because we don’t actively remember them. It is far harder to dislodge subconscious thought. When we are unaware not only of why we embrace or avoid certain things, but also unaware of the fact that we are embracing or avoiding them, pinpointing the roots of our actions is a difficult process.



Childhood lessons don’t always come from our parents, and often not even the messages we received from them were intentionally placed there. For example, if you parents raised you to be helpful, courteous, polite, and giving, you may have learned those lessons so well that the very idea of doing something for yourself makes you cringe- and you may not know why. On the other hand, if your parents gave you everything you wanted without you ever asking for it or lifting a finger, you may project those same expectations on everyone around you- again, with no idea why you’re doing it, or even that you are doing it at all. Many times, outwardly selfish people are shocked to discover that others perceive them as selfish. They may even believe themselves the kindest, most benevolent people they know.

Another factor you may not consider when trying to access your childhood programming is the outside influences that affected your formation. Teachers, day-care workers or babysitters, school friends, even random adults in the grocery store may have had an impact on your behaviours and beliefs, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Though it may be impossible to determine all of your childhood influences, you can give yourself a general idea of past events and personalities that shaped your current beliefs and take steps to change them. The following brief exercise will help you get started thinking about your triggers and habits.

Exercise: Connect-the-influences

1. Starting with your parents, list the names of every person you can recall that you associated with during childhood in a single column down the left-hand side of a sheet of paper. If you don’t know the name of a person, use a brief description such as “the lady at the end of the street with the loud little dog.” Include family, friends, teachers, caregivers, neighbours, and anyone else you remember. If you run out of room, tape another piece of paper to the bottom of the first one and keep going down the left-hand side.

2. On the right-hand side of the paper, list all the habits and traits you possess, both good and bad. If you’re feeling brave, ask a friend to help you come up with some of the traits you possess that you might not be aware of. You don’t even have to show anyone your list; you can call them up and tell them you’re getting a head start on your New Year’s resolutions.

3. Now comes the fun part. Try to match each habit or trait with one of the people from the left-hand column, and draw a line to connect them. You may find that some people have several connecting lines, while others have none. Pay close attention to the people who seem to have appeared on your list for no particular reason. If you remember them clearly, they probably influenced your life in some small way.

This exercise is not meant to lay blame on the people in your past for ruining your life. Rather, it is to illustrate that many of your flaws and negative qualities are a result of things you learned as an impressionable child, and therefore can be let go of without guilt. Children see things through a different lens than adults do, and what we learn at an early age can often end up colouring everything we do as grownups. Fortunately, we can learn to let go of those negative tendencies once we view them with the wisdom and rationality we have developed along the way.
Getting Back on the Horse

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
- Mary Pickford

Beyond childhood, you may have experienced setbacks or letdowns for which you clearly recall the reasoning. Often we are so opposed to change that the slightest sign a new way of doing things isn’t working out becomes the signal to stop trying. We are creatures of habit, and breaking the mould we’ve created for ourselves is a challenge few feel they have the time or the energy to face.

Fortunately, we can chip away at that mould until the cracks become wide enough to break free. According to most psychologists, it takes 21 days to break a habit, and with the new technology of NLP coaching many can break a habit in one to five sessions with an NLP Practitioner. The actions and reactions you develop in response to letdowns are nothing more than habits that you can rid yourself of with practice.


Copyright 2007 Mark J Holland.
All Rights reserved.
http://www.markholland.com.au/
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