There are three key patterns that were persistently imbedded into our little precious heads whilst we were children:
- Be a good girl/boy
- Make your parents proud
- What would others say or think
So much so, that long after we break (should we succeed) even a single one of these imbedded impediments, the voice inside our head will constantly remind us of all three.
Of course there are other so called mental impediments we are subjected to by our parents, however one thing we need to remember - they knew no better. And in order to break free of such a mental prison, we need to understand why our parents would subject us to such restricting mentality, as well as understand what we can do ourselves about it, so that we can all smoothly dream to achieving a permanent carpe diem state.
If you compare your life now to your parents past, they didn't have as many choices and as many real possibilities we have now. We can move (almost) freely between different countries, we can choose a profession depending on a country we want to relocate next. We can choose who to have a relationship with. We no longer have to take the decisions-for-life at an early age. Compared to our parents, we are free like never before. So when your parents try to tell you why you shouldn't do this or that, or like a mother just told my pregnant client that she should stop going to the gym as it now shows that she is pregnant and men don't like it (yes! believe it), remember: they knew no better.
And what can you do yourself?
Let's start with the obvious choice: what would others say.
According to Carl Rogers (1902-87) who developed a theory of Self-Actualization that is very similar to Maslow's, Self Esteem depends on the gap between Ideal Self and Self Image. The bigger the gap, the lower the self-esteem. Clearly, we are all aware of the time most of us spend on adjusting our selfies, and other proofs that would represent us in a way we see our 'Ideal Self'. With the explosion of social media usage, and the Ideal Self standards being constantly changed and tested, the only way to reduce a gap between the Ideal Self and Self Image, is to look for something within you that is different to others. Something that can't be compared. Then using it to your advantage.
Or if to follow the words of my friend and world famous athlete: "It's not about trying to do every fitness trick there is, you'll just hurt your ego and fail during competitions. Instead, figure out what you are really good at, and then perform the very same trick you are really, really good at, on different apparatus."
Make your parents proud.
Let's be frank. If your life goal is to make anyone proud (even sometimes including yourself, subject to the goals required to be achieved) you are doomed to fail. Not only do you sacrifice the hours you could spend enjoying your life, making yourself and those around you happy, you waste your life on someone who wasted their lives on themselves. If whoever you are trying to make feel proud, isn't satisfied with their own life already, no matter what you do, you will never satisfy them. It is true you'll occasionally make them feel proud for about a day or so, but that is not that long lasting lingering feeling of satisfaction you crave for. Besides, how can anyone who hasn't been through your struggles, your efforts and your invested time and more - appreciate the true depth of your achievements, no matter what they've been through. Because what you experience, the struggles, the effort, is all your own unique experience.
Be a good girl/boy.
Luckily, the paradigm of what's good and what's bad is continuously challenged, and you know better than me, what one day used to be 'bad', nowadays is 'good'.
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