Many philosophies say that we are born with everything that we need. They say that life is about learning to relax and take things in our stride. That attitude is all well and good, but when we perceive that our ‘everything that we need’ is inferior to someone elses’, and that everyone else seems to have been dealt a better hand, then that mindset can feel a little simplistic or even unfair. This can then be the time that stress levels rise and anxiety and uneasiness start to manifest themselves.
Children start out as confident creatures, but they are also pack animals and like to fit in and be accepted as one of, or even better than the rest of the pack. Childrens disposable income is massive and they spend much of it on buying uniform products, clothes, games, snacks, to reinforce their confidence levels and be part of the gang.
Over times things happen that can give ones confidence a knock. Small events, like answering a question incorrectly, or not being picked for something, can start to erode that feeling of invincibility. Having a supportive understanding family or an ally can help to put these experiences into context, as part of life and an important lesson that sometimes things do not go our way and learn how to cope and deal with it. If that support is missing then a child can start to take things personally and feel perhaps inferior to or less than those around him.
When this occurs several things can result. Sometimes the young person may retreat into themselves and become something of a loner, or they may decide to prove have good they are and become extra motivated to achieve. Sometimes there may be a mixture of different behaviours and reactions to a variety of triggers. There are many different and complex ways that a person learns to adapt and adjust to their personal circumstances.
Learning to understand ourselves and our reactions to triggers in life is an important key to success. If we come to realise that our reaction to a particular situation is disproportionate to the event itself, or is more extreme than other peoples, then maybe learn to stop, and examine what is going on within us. Why does certain behaviour prompt such a response? Often there is a reason, a story behind the reaction. Understand the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ behind it all, and then regain some control over those types of situations.
Negative behaviour patterns often have a learned behaviour element to them. Often over their life people deduce or have been told things like ‘people like us should not / cannot expect success’, or ‘it is not right to ask for/ expect things’, or even ‘ you will not amount to anything’ or ‘it is your brother/sister who is the golden child’. Some of these things may have been said, some may have been implied. We need to watch out for when these negative response patterns are triggered, the ‘ I do not deserve to succeed because…’ mentality.
Using counselling and hypnotherapy, a large part of my role with clients is to help them heal and move on from the negative messages and lessons from early life and to appreciate that each of us is unique and special in our own way. The truth is that we often have to be that bit older to understand how valuable being unique is. As a child we often hate the idea of been different with a passion.
So some exercises that help build personal confidence and self belief are;
– Have a happy book or a success book. Write in today’s date and then three good things that have been either witnessed or achieved each day. This helps to focus the mind in a positive way and also builds a bank of good things to refer back to whenever necessary.
– Talk to people, more than just about the weather. Most people will respond positively and that helps to build up social skills.
– Stay clean and tidy. When we are smart we feel better and taller.
– Look up. It makes a difference, stops too much introspection.
– Do one thing off your want/ personal list everyday
– Exercise, you meet people and get fit
– If you are trying to find a job, do voluntary work to get some up to date skills for your C.V., or offer to work for a trial period for free. The vast majority of jobs are not advertised, so by being out there and active you may find a job by the back door route.
It is true that the most valuable lessons in life are the ones that were tough to learn. The difficult times, with hindsight, were the most poignant and effective. It is just remembering that at the time!