No one can make you feel inferior without your consent ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
That is a powerful quote that struck a chord with me this week.
It is amazing how as we grow, our sense of self, changes. We get covered in layers and layers of other peoples opinions of us, that we actually let “stick”, rather than slough off or be analyzed as truth or not.
Someone else’s opinion could be totally wrong, yet you might be having a bad day and agree with them. You might let that idea adhere itself to your shining nature and block, yet a little more of your true self, shaping how you will become, act or how you let the world see you.
Maybe it’s not one person, but a group or a whole town, society or culture.
Over time we have a skewed vision of who we are and how we let people treat us. This can be a deep dark subject, with oh so many layers.
I had a friend ask me one day about one of my nuggets of truth that I had been chewing on lately.
It goes right along with that quote.
We teach people what to expect from us.
Let that one sink in.
Followed by a question from a life coach – me!
“What things about yourself have you made true over time because that’s what people always expected from you? E.g. being late, unorganized, uncommitted.
Are you really those things? Do you want to change them, or do they fit inherently with who you are?
You teach a dog what to expect from you.
You teach your kids. You react or don’t react to certain things.
You teach your friends and family what to expect.
So the big question is, how do you change this if you want to?
We see the world around us a certain way because it is colored with how we grew up, the choices we made and our unique story.
We take certain actions or react because of that story. Our actions equal certain results.
When we find ourselves frustrated with our results, and repeat the same actions over and over without changing our view of ourselves or our life, how can we ever think to make a sustainable change?
Hold close to you the people who fill you up with possibility. Create your own quiet space that you can take reflective moments and look at yourself with discovery.
Go within and really look at who you are, today. You are not the person you were yesterday.
I’ll share with you a tool I use occasionally with clients.
Write for 15 min about you. When you were born, about your youth, who you are or what your life is like.
I remember, when I did this for the first time, I really got into it. Like I was writing a grand memoir. “I was born on a sunny and beautiful day in August.”
Well, it may not have been sunny for someone else. They could have lost their wife that day, got shot or went to war.
I had long blonde hair. Not long compared to someone else, and how blonde?
Take the same amount of time and write only facts about your life. It cannot be an opinion.
Now, look at the simple bones of your existence.
You have a grand story, but what colors it in are memories, opinions, circumstance, timing, and self-perception.
How powerful would it be if we could strip off all the crap layers and keep the ones that make you who you really want to be. Peel off the ones that are not serving you or making you a better person.
What would that look like? How would you speak to yourself and others? Who would you become?
The sad thing is, this kind of deep change or looking within, often comes from a major life break. Like the death of a loved one, an illness or a divorce. A hard life lesson that stops you in your tracks and forces you to take a moment.
It is never too late to reinvent who you are and what you can become. You never know until you try and if you harness it, you have that power every single day.
Make today the beginning of a different story and do not forget that small steps still move you forward!