Most parents, while trying to keep their children safe, inadvertently, teach them to fear.
As I explained last time, if fear-inducing messages outweigh confidence-nurturing messages, you grow up approaching opportunities with a sense of caution, rather than stepping into the world with courage and confidence.
Fortunately, as I’m showing you in this series, it is possible to root out this early programming and redevelop the unshakeable confidence that you were born with.
What Were YOU Taught?
The first step to any change is to be honest. Look at your own childhood to see what was nurtured in you.
Were you encouraged to be courageous and bold?
Or were you taught to look under every bush?
What kinds of messages did you hear more of as you were growing up?
Did you parents tell you that can do anything you put your mind to?
Or did they mostly tell you what’s not possible, even if they disguised it with outrage or resentment.
For instance, “Only rich people get to do that.” Or “The system is rigged against people like us.”
We’re programmed with either fear or confidence, not both.
And it’s the predominant message that wins out.
Again, your socioeconomic status has little to do with it.
Children can be raised in a ghetto with drugs and gangs, but if prominent people in their lives encourage them and feed their minds with what they could and can do, those children can sail beyond their peers, who lack that same support.
And we certainly don’t have to look far to see people raised with wealth and privilege, who seem to squander the opportunities that come their way.
The Welcome Chink in the Armor
As I said, 99% of the time, I grew up hearing what I cannot do. But, fortunately, two factors intervened to help me break the cycle of fear.
1. I was inquisitive enough to hold onto the idea that I would like to do something meaningful even though everybody was telling me I could not.
2. My parents got divorced and I moved around a bit.
Most kids look back at their parents’ divorce and bouncing around the country as something harmful. For me, it was beneficial.
Their divorce when I was young allowed me to have a variety of experiences that broke up the fear-inducing messages a little bit.
It didn’t squash the messages I was getting at home, but it allowed other messages to come in that I could hear.
So I didn’t get as solid in what I thought I couldn’t do.
There was always a chink in that armor.
And there was always enough wonder about what I really wanted to do, which kept that spark alive.
You have that spark as well, or you would not be reading these words.
So hear this, while you need to recognize the truth of your programming, it actually doesn’t matter how thoroughly you were programmed to fear.
Because, in this series, I will show you the five steps for fanning that little spark of what you think you can do into a flame.
And with that flame of unshakeable self-confidence, you can be, do, or have whatever you want.