Far too many times we find ourselves living our parents, teachers, siblings, bullies, and even toxic intimate partner’s stories. Yet, we hold the power to change our own story and make it a better story. Marisa Peer, an acclaimed therapist and founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy ® (RTT®) speaks of “we learn what we live”, which is how adults continue to live what was then perceived as a child to be the truth about themselves. Such truth holds no truth because a child tends to internalise (go inwards) in an unfavourable situation, and they see themselves as the object of defect. A child is not able to view or justify a problem from an adult’s logic. Also, they start to question themselves – “something is wrong with me”. Peer explains that children are not able to express their feelings and needs well enough to clear up any confusion that they may feel in a distressed scenario or what has been said to them. Mostly they have no voice.
Self-confirming bias rears its ugly head in adolescence and adulthood, and this can occur even earlier. Peer reminds us that “the mind is wired to do what it thinks you want it to do”. For example, if you are criticised consistently as a child you will start to believe that you are not so smart, or/and you are not good enough. The mind finds ways for you to confirm this as you develop into adulthood. For instance, as a teenager you may attract someone that you think loves you but is controlling and critical of you. Once again confirming to yourself that you are not good enough or that you are not smart enough and it’s all your fault. Most children grow up convinced that this is ‘who they are’ and it will always be that way.
No parent/caregiver/teacher and so on are perfect. We all make mistakes. Some more than others. Most people regardless of who they are do not understand the weight of critical words uttered to others especially to babies or children and how it can impact their life span and quality of life. Also, a child that does not have the power to change an adverse situation at home may feel helpless and a belief takes root in the child’s mind that this is how it will always be for the rest of their lives. The child sees themselves as powerless and this feeling of not having control over their life catapults into adulthood affecting all areas of their life.
RTT® has some helpful points to remember for parents/caregivers:
- Children do NOT interpret or make meaning of things like an adult. Check in with how they feel about certain things and help them to understand.
- Children’s needs of love, protection and significance must be met. Tell the child you love them.
- Praise your children instead of criticising to enhance phenomenal self-esteem. Praise small accomplishments as well who they are.
- Value them so they can learn to value themselves – listen and be present.
- Avoid couple’s arguments or conflict or violence in front of young children – they feel its their fault because they are not able to do anything about it.
- Protect them by teaching them to protect themselves in case of sexual predators or any sort of abuse.
Some helpful points for adults that experienced adversity as a child
- Be aware of your feelings – identify them and express them.
- Seek professional help – hypnosis is best to get to the root cause of any issue and to reframe harmful beliefs to allow for rapid and permanent change.
- Journal prominent feelings for more awareness.
- Be aware of your thinking and limiting beliefs.
- Living your own story is a catalyst for happiness, empowerment, freedom, and health.
- Loving your authentic self has many benefits and unlocks the mind to have compassion for others and to be there for others too.