I read a Facebook post today about a teacher inspiring students by telling them that they do not have to live to others expectations of them. It started me pondering about perception and how it effects our lives. In particular how it effected my life.
I grew up in a house where I was told daily that I was not good enough to be part of my Stepfather’s family. Add to this that my mother was unmarried when she had me. At the time that was quite a stigma. She had a daily story about all the ways she tried to get rid of me while she was pregnant. Between both of these daily occurrences and others, it was a recipe for no self esteem whatsoever.
Luckily I had neighbours, grandparents, aunts and uncles and teachers who believed in me. I had 2 teachers in particular that were very much like the teacher at the beginning of this blog. That being said my belief that I was somehow wrong or stupid had an impact on my social skills, friendships and even my education.
In 1991 I began a journey of healing that continues to this day. I am eternally grateful to Shakti Gawain for her book Creative Visualization. I am also grateful to Louise Hay for her book You Can Heal Your Life, as well as the manager I had that gave me this book.
From Creative Visualization I learned to see my value as a human being. From You Can Heal Your Life I learned that I deserved to be loved and to have a good life. From other books and my psychologist I learned that it really is possible to change the way you look at yourself.
Time went by and my life got progressively better. Then one day I was downsized from my corporate job. My manager had a history of getting rid of anyone that didn’t agree with her. It was a setback but I had altered my perception of myself enough that I just started a different job the next day. Yes, it really sounds easier than it was, but I had done the work.
I remember clearly the day about a year or so ago when I actually realized I did love myself. Sure I thought I had loved myself before that, but this day everything changed. It was a perception shift of monumental proportions.
The anger at peoples nasty remarks went away. As a matter of fact I became totally comfortable with myself to the point where I stopped seeing my outside and was perfectly comfortable with my inside. I no longer allow people to treat me poorly. If they matter to me I confront them. If they don’t then I just don’t spend time around them.
I have learned to value who I am and what I do. I have had a number of confirmations on this fact over the past couple of days.
When I became a Hypnotherapist I learned that children are in hypnosis from birth to age 9 or so. This is the time of their lives that they develop the perception of themselves. Everything they hear about themselves at this stage will have an impact for the rest of their lives. Please be careful what you say around children.
I found a great article at education.com that speaks to this. They write, “Children and adolescents tend to behave in ways that mirror their beliefs about themselves.”
I really hope that the “mirror” will tell them that they are unique and wonderful each and every one of them.