One reason we often think we’re not good enough is due to the arsenal of guilt, criticism, fear and resentment we were armed with as children. Out of the hundreds of messages 2-year olds hear from their parents in a single day, approximately 32 are positive – 432 are negative.
Throughout our childhood most of us looked upon our parents as the “good fairies” who were sent to protect and guide us. However, our parents often unwittingly played the role of the “evil fairies” by instilling guilt and fear and by passing on their critical, resentful patterns. These negative controls were intended to elicit correct behavior; instead they often promoted low self-worth.
If we heard messages about how “bad” we were as children, we tried to “act” in ways that would earn our parents’ love and acceptance. Accordingly, children who experienced a great deal of guilt were brought up to please others and to reject their own needs. Ask yourself how you feel when you do something simply to please yourself.
Some health studies suggest that children who were brought up with a lot of guilt messages often experience sore throats, tonsillitis and thyroid problems. Our larynx is where our voice originates – the instrument by which we proclaim to others who we are.
We have all been criticized by our parents and know that nothing produces such an overwhelming sense of unworthiness. Remarks like “you never do anything right” cause our self-confidence to plummet.
When under stress, we sometimes hear the same words coming out of our own mouths directed at our own children. How can we stop the flow of critical abuse that filters down from one generation to the next? Release the habit of criticism, and your self-esteem will begin to spring back to life.
Children naturally want to explore, experience, ask questions, and look into the world around them. As a result, a family surroundings filled with fear is possibly the most damaging. As adults, our fears may transform into physical diseases such as ulcers or back problems.
Fearful adults often disguise their emotions by overstated bullying behavior. When confronted with a child’s emotion that triggers their own fearful response, they belittle the child, calling him names rather than offering support and understanding. Fear can squelch an individual’s creativity and willingness to love. You overcome fear by learning to love and value yourself.
When we’re resentful of others’ achievement, happiness or material wealth, it means we have lost sight of our own goals and ambitions. We all have different gifts, capabilities and innate talents. Resenting others’ good fortune is a barrier to our own growth and change.
We need to let go of the past and all the injustices it contains, when we find that resentment clouds our relationships. Begin confirming your own uniqueness with statements like, “I am my own person and claim my unique place in the universe.”