I am reflecting on some of my most hidden and private thoughts, particularly those that surfaced when I was little, especially in the company of adults who were in authority.
I remember the reverence that I had for school teachers, but also the associated fear of wanting to please and meet their expectations.
If we feel we can do something we often will, and if we feel we can’t then we won’t. As Anita Moorjani quotes, whatever we believe we will find that we are correct. The universe presents to us an exact match to what we believe.
But what she has not shared in this quote is that most of our limiting beliefs come from our childhood, when the conclusions of our beliefs had valid reasons when we were smaller.
Take for example an inner voice saying “I can do it” but immediately as soon as that thought flashes through another one pops up now saying, “I am afraid – because I have never done this before” which is pretty much inevitable when we are children, as much of what needs to be tackled will be our first attempt.
Progressing on from this there might be an even deeper internal thought that surfaces, for example
“What if people don’t like what I do?” For most children this internal thought would be enough to validate their decision to stop their effort and thus lead to no action. Their intelligence recognizes the truth, that someone somewhere may not like what they are about to do, and since their survival in the world is based on the discretion of those in authority, the child might decide it is better not to, and not act.
Of course when this happens, the above thoughts become conclusions and they get pushed down into our unconscious (i.e. they are hidden thoughts), but still stored in our body, influencing the way that we respond, even into adulthood. The worry around the reaction of others, although forgotten cognitively, will continue to influence this childs’ life into adulthood as a silent invisible program. Everywhere this person goes, an internal anxiety and fear around other people’s liking would influence whether he/she acts.
My youngest daughter produced some work at school recently and her teacher was not pleased, because it did not meet his approval! She did not recognize that he had just misused his power and inappropriately got angry, simply because he held the position of authority.
Unknown to him, I am teaching my daughter that she should never be afraid to fall and make mistakes, since that is the only way we truly learn! However, his influence, because he is an “authority”, was now contradicting my message.
If my daughter did not believe that her future would be adversely compromised by this teacher, she might have spoken up. However she accepted disempowerment, in a school structure, where much revolves around the concept of “right and wrong”.
The critical evaluating voice inside our head never stops its chatter, and in this situation, had my daughter been asked to express to the teacher, her home “rules”, her voice inside her head may have continued to nag with even more follow on thoughts such as “What if he can’t trust me!” or “What if I won’t be able to do it!” You can already imagine how much courage it would take for a child to speak up against an authority figure such as a teacher, and point out that their response was not appropriate.
All these hidden thoughts inside our head drive a sense of insecurity internally, and all our kids feel these types of thoughts as they grow up. It is inevitable because they have less life experience than us as adults and each step that they take into the new, is undiscovered ground. This type of insecurity is thus common place in most children, although it may be hidden outwardly from us.
We as parents are not inside the heads of our children and yet we can sense when they are afraid and feeling anxious about speaking up. The sad thing is that most of the time, no amount of persuasion or cajoling on our part, can transform these inner fears and insecurities for them.
But what if a child had the awareness of the opposite and the voice inside their head was empowered to say and genuinely believe the below:
“I can do it – inside I know I can”,
“I need to trust myself”, and
“All I have to do is trust myself” and
“I am not afraid anymore” .
Clearly in the above new scenario, their life would flow much more adventurously and sweetly.
The voice inside their head would be life affirming and thus becomes an ally that aids a child’s ability to live their life to the fullest, and really enjoy their life, with full responsibility.
When it comes to the above type of empowerment I have seen from my own experiences that these type of changes require a degree of effort to do some inner exploratory work. The voice inside the head cannot suddenly change into this new scenario, unless some degree of self- awareness has arisen to facilitate this empowerment.
Thankfully we as parents can use techniques that build our own self- awareness so that the voice inside our head is not so “cautionary and negative”, and in that process, we become equipped to teach our children how to be empowered too.
On many occasions our children actually carry the imprints of our own fears, so it makes it even more important for us to do the careful work of transforming the inner critic in our own heads, so that the new generation learns from our evolution, rather than be crippled with our own shortcomings.
With meditation and disassociation from our thoughts and emotions, using tools such as the Dalian Method, the voice inside our head changes to this new scenario above effortlessly.
I personally have felt so ecstatic when my voice goes from a fearful state into a confidence building state. I love it when I hear,
“I do trust myself” and
“I am not going to doubt myself” or
” I know I can do it”
In the coming months I will be introducing meditation classes for children so that I can contribute in a small way to help children that are open to fun ways to connect with themselves. I can show them quick exercises that can enhance their confidence, using innovative ways that include laughing, shaking, dancing, yelling, jumping, and all sorts of other ways to dis-identify from their “nagging head”.
For the last seven years I have already helped my own three children with many of their fears, and I have seen what children need to release in terms of their insecurities as they arise, disregarding what phase of their life they are in. I have a 23 year old, a 19 year old and a 14 year old.
During the previous seven years, we collectively have faced many fears but to name a few, I can share we have tackled the Fear to speak up, as in the example shown above, fear to make mistakes, fear to be rejected, fear to be alone, fear to be rushed, fear to be bullied, fear to be decisive, fear of the unknown, the fear to trust oneself, and the fear to take full responsibility.
The list is extensive and not exhaustive, but at least it has helped me to see the threads that our children all encounter in one form or another. I have been helping my kids to find their own voice, and their own confidence and teach them that they can overcome the challenges that life brings, layer by layer, even if society is sometimes guiding them otherwise.
I can help teach parents on how to help their children in similar ways. We parents love to see our children blossom as they follow their own gut instinct and this thrill in itself is the joyful fuel that motivates me to offer my guiding hand.
Looking forward to seeing some of you soon! xx