We are born into this world, in many respects little sponges, soaking up as much information as possible. We learn, we grow, we change and adapt based on what is going on around us. Over time we develop core belief structures which continue to guide us, in our behaviours, our decisions, and importantly the way we speak and treat ourselves.
And while it would be ideal or preferred if our belief structures supported our own development and sense of self, the reality for many of us is very different.
Awhile ago, I was confronted with a thought about my own belief structures. I was confronted by the fact that when I speak to myself I do not do so with kindness, rather I speak with criticism, doubt and fear. The reality is, I have done so for many years.
My thought patterns were incredibly negatively driven. Outcomes predetermined by effort and importantly worth. I am sure many of you have also been in this place:
My belief structures were focussed on things being unattainable, so mediocre was where I was aiming. The thing is, when mediocre was my aim, and my belief was that I wasn’t worthy, when things got too hard, or I was challenged, my belief structures supported one outcome… giving up.
On the flip side of that, one aspect of my personality which I love, is that I am stubborn as all hell. So, when the outcome was giving up, my stubbornness kicked in to ensure I didn’t.
When I would achieve, I would criticize how I got there, how long it took, my behavior along the way. I would criticize every damn aspect of the process that my belief structures continued to be cemented in my brain.
Then, somewhere along the lines something shifted, and I realised that actually, my belief structures, what I believed about myself, didn’t align with my core values. There was a significant disconnect between what I believed about myself, and what I innately knew I could achieve. That disconnect created many years of disjointed behaviours and conflicting values. My values that I apply to my life focused at the time on simple structures. Be kind, treat others as I wished to be treated, don’t lie etc, but these values were not serving me, because they focused on how I believed others should be treated. No where, at the time, did my values focus on how I wanted to be treated.
After this moment of clarity, I did the work. It wasn’t easy, and at times I can easily slip back into old patterns, but what pulls me out now is my core values and belief structures.
- I will achieve X when I prove…
- I am unable to achieve this because I…
- I am not worthy of X because of…
- Why cannot I not achieve…
- I am too…
- I am not enough of…
- I cannot do…
That last one has perhaps been the biggest for me, that I, am responsible for my life. That I am accountable for my own journey. That I am capable, to create the narrative which aligns best with me.
Worth is a funny thing, which is more than one simple statement. Worth, in my world, refers to an underpinning value and belief structure that supports (or not) my future success, emotions, experiences, and story.
Worth is not something which is given by others, nor can it be taken away. Because worth comes from within.
- I believe I am worthy because I am, I show up, I am committed, I do the work.
- I believe in authenticity.
- I believe in self-respect.
- I believe in truth, and in truth, although challenging, I can find clarity.
- I believe in my ability to hold myself.
- I believe that at the end of the day, I am the author of my story.