I recently had a coaching session and realized how cultural programming completely influences how I represent myself in the world.
Admittedly, some of my mental programming is generational. My mom raised me with sayings like "little girls should be seen and not heard". It was becoming a mother to a daughter, that I began to analyze myself on a deeper level. My intention, initially, was to identify and rectify, to not pass on to my daughter what I now understand to be oppressive and repressive. But on deeper introspection, I realized my reluctance to voice my opinion or to stand out in a crowd stemmed from not being able to voice my opinion as a child.
Many cultures have a "speak until you're spoken to" way of "raising" children but It doesn't translate when you're an adult and have to be stand strong in your convictions and desires.
What is your mental programming around...
What were your childhood experiences around money? Did you grow up in lack or in abundance? Were you taught about money? Were you taught about bills and savings? Were you taught about the responsibility of money?
Were people in your childhood openly expressive? Were there a lot of secrets? Were you allowed to express your feelings and work through problems to solutions?
Is your idea of success based on what your parental figures want or wanted? Is your drive for success based on being the "first" to reach a milestone? Are you terrified of "failing"? Is "winning" everything to you?
How to change the programming?
NO RUSH! It's about beginning to be aware of how your current reactions and behaviors are influenced by family, cultural, gender specific, environmental, societal programming.
1. Be patient and kind with yourself. If you're ready to look In, it takes courage. You're not always going to like what you realize about your past so try as best as you can to have an objective point of view.
2. Acknowledge when you are projecting and judging others through the lens of your programming.
3. Keep the good stuff and work diligently to get rid of the bad stuff. In other words, as you start reflecting on your past, tune in to how you "feel". Some of the influences, that have become your subconscious programming, make you feel good and some make you feel really bad. Tune in.
4. Believe you can choose to change. Anytime you want.
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Everything changes, nothing stays the same, so why should you?
Jennifer S. Heslop
Leadership Life Coach