Featured image by 34053291@N05 on Flickr
Today is my son’s birthday. He’s no longer a baby and not yet a pre-teen. Yep, we’re at that fun transition stage where he’s still young enough to want to cuddle sometimes but old enough to want his own independence.
He’s also old enough to develop his own limiting beliefs.
This morning as I thought about this, I realized I might be responsible for some of them. There are some beliefs I want to encourage. There are others I want to actively try NOT to pass along to him.
Some of the limiting beliefs that I want to encourage in him:
- I should treat others the way I want to be treated
- I should be respectful to adults, and also to other kids
- When I feel shame, the best way to get rid of it is to apologize and ask forgiveness
They are limiting, but in a good way. If he follows them, he will change his behavior when necessary and will get along a bit better in this world.
Here are a couple that I recognize in myself, and that aren’t always true. These rules of thumb I want him to use generally, but realize that sometimes they don’t apply:
- I should always do what adults and authority figures tell me
- I should do my best to look at the bright side of life and be cheerful
Here are some that I fight against myself, and hope he doesn’t inherit:
- I need to please everybody
- If everyone isn’t happy with me, I must be doing something wrong
- If someone doesn’t like me, I need to work harder until they do
- When I feel angry, depressed or frustrated I should stuff it down and cover it with false cheer and happy behaviors
The Acid Test
For each of these limiting beliefs that I’ve grown up with, the test I ran them through to see whether they were helpful or hurtful is this:
Would I like my child to believe this and act accordingly?
What limiting beliefs do you hold? Which ones help you get along better in the world, and which should you modify or abandon?