I was raised in Germany, by a patriarchal father who believed in collective punishment. So whenever one of his four daughters did anything wrong, he ordered us to stand in a line from oldest to youngest, and made my mother hit us all with a wooden stick. Although my butt hurt after this discipline, what hurt even more was my spirit, because the truth was that I was the good one, the well-behaved one, the one who tried her darndest to never do anything wrong.
My father told us this form of discipline built character, but all it built in me was the belief that I was bad, and that I needed to be punished, no matter how hard I tried to be good.
And then, when my hormones kicked in at the age of 15 (I was a late bloomer), my goodness exploded in a puff of smoke and was replaced by fierce rebellion against my father’s unjust expectations. I was done being “good”. This got me kicked out of the house when I was 17, and I promptly moved in with my boyfriend and his family.
25 years later, I live in the United States and help women transform their lives as their life coach. I help them explore and evolve false beliefs that we all carry through life like the truth. We all make meaning from what happened to us when we were young, and since most of us didn’t have a sane, conscious, awake adult to explain what happened and that it wasn’t our fault, we walk through life looking through the lens of these false beliefs.
My false beliefs were “I’m bad”, “I’m not enough”, “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not wanted”, and every now and then “I’m alone” and “I’m not safe” get thrown in there.
The interesting thing is that these false beliefs live in our bodies, and whenever we get triggered by something, we drop right back into the young child that made meaning about herself, about others, and about life. So instead of showing up in life as a wise adult, the little four-year-old or eight-year-old in us is running the show.
Let me give you an example:
If you have parents or caregivers that didn’t express love to you when you were little, and even abandoned you (either emotionally or physically), you will make that mean that deep down, at the core of your identity, you are not wanted.
There was no sane, loving adult who explained to you, “Honey, the reason your parents don’t pay attention to you is that they are trying very hard to make money to provide for you. The reason they don’t express their love is that they never learned how, since they grew up with parents who never showed their love.”
And you didn’t, as a little kid, exclaim, “Ahhh, that makes sense. Let’s see, who could I turn to for support with this?”
No, you retreated into yourself and believed that you are not wanted, that other people don’t care about you, and that life is a cold, cruel place. This belief created a set of mechanisms that still play out when you’re an adult. So now, you show up in life in a way that actually creates evidence that validates this identity – and mostly, these ways of being are unconscious.
For example, you may talk in a disagreeable, combative tone of voice, which makes people not want to be around you, which then reinforces your false belief of not being wanted.
Or you might be a little bit oblivious and clueless about how our behavior is affecting other people, which could be hurtful or inconvenient for them, which in turn makes them retreat and have you feel like you are not wanted.
See how this works?
You may often feel left out or rejected, try to be someone you think others want you to be instead of being your authentic self, make friends with people who don’t appreciate you, not make as much money as you would like to.
Other people might find you difficult to be with and get drained by your energy, feel rejected by you, feel talked to as opposed to spoken with when they are with you.
Heavy stuff, right?
But here’s the good news: You can make these false beliefs conscious, and you can learn tools to help the younger self in your body make a different meaning that’s more empowered and aligned with the deeper truth.
From there, you get access to power and stop victimization, and you can look at the ways you have been showing up towards yourself, others, and life, that have created the painful patterns in your life you want to change.
And then the real magic happens: when you are aligned with the deeper truth, you then can identify new ways of showing up, practice new skills and new capacities, and from there create new outcomes that are totally aligned with your intention.
I have completely transformed these old identities through the kind of coaching that I offer. I teach powerful tools and practices to evolve these old stories, and I am so grateful that I found this work!
If you would like to explore how this plays out in your life, you can schedule a free discover session with me. It’s on me, because I think every woman deserves to be mothered!
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