Don’t Fall Back



We’ve all met the person who as a child may have struggled with obesity, grows up to lose the weight, yet still views himself as fat. Likewise, a child who struggled in school and may have gotten bad marks, but still views himself as slow even after achieving a college degree or gained success in a chosen trade. Another typical is the child considered unacceptable by peers due to size, braces, and bad skin, who often grows into a good looking adult, yet still fixates on the previous interpretation of beauty by peers, who no longer matter, or aren’t even around.

In my counseling experience I’ve noticed this improper view of self often develops when people are forced to do things on their own that is beyond their maturity or skill set which then leads to failure. This failure is internalized and becomes part of the person’s perception of self. However, the belief is hardly ever based in fact. Usually, the person should never have been expected to succeed in a situation in which they were ill equipped or too young to accomplish. Then, this false narrative plays over and over whenever they are placed in similar situations. “I can’t do that, I’m not smart enough,” or “That person is out of my league.” This occurs even after time transpires; they refuse to engage even though they now possess that skill, or are capable of acquiring it. They will continue to act out under the defeated premise since the previous interpretation of “self” is burned into their psyche.

During the holidays the temptation to “fall back” into the previous perception of self is enhanced by relationships that knew you back then, before you developed into a better or mature version of yourself. Resist falling into the past and stay in the present. Focus on your current experiences and share new accomplishments, and more importantly ask others about theirs as well. Chances are they too struggle with embracing their new and improved self.



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