Author SIUBHAN GREEN reveals that our children’s futures — their careers, relationships, every aspect of their lives — depend on their sense of self belief. So what can we do, from the get-go, to ensure we raise ours to believe in themselves?
Nearly seven years ago, I embarked on a journey. I left an unhealthy relationship and wondered why? Why had I made the choices I made in my life? There were things I loved to do, things I was actually pretty good at, but something kept holding me back. I stayed put. I stayed stuck in relationships that didn’t serve me. I stayed in jobs that didn’t fulfil me. I had great ideas but was scared to follow through. I took courses and passed with flying colours then sat on my trembling hands and did nothing. I felt unfulfilled and dispassionate. I felt like I had untapped potential yearning to break free but never quite felt good enough to pursue the things I loved to do. And I wondered, why?
Leaving my relationship with two young children was perhaps the bravest thing I have ever done. Had it not been for them, I doubt I would have ever delved so deep into the ‘whys’; but I am so grateful I did. My discovery that everything comes down to our internal belief system hit me like a smack upside the head. Life started to make sense and I read and researched more and more. What I learned is that we have inbuilt ‘wiring’, for want of a better word, that is ingrained in our mind in the way that water, over time, leaves grooves down a rock face. Wiring created by everything we experience in life, but most especially growing up. It is this reason that so many of us find ourselves in the same situation, time and time again.
I grew up in Scotland, an only child to parents who wanted a better life. And so we emigrated to New Zealand when I was six years old. My parents held down five jobs between them and I grew up at a time when ‘children should be seen and not heard.’ My parents loved each other deeply and fought one another passionately. A large part of my childhood was spent living in silence when arguments were followed by prolonged periods of grudging silence, often weeks at a time.
And so as I reached adulthood, I believed that I didn’t have a voice and that conflict should be avoided at all costs. I was terrified of being abandoned and therefore allowed the men in my life to treat me badly and I never spoke up. My boundaries were crossed time and time again and I felt powerless.
Once you know something, you can never not know it. If you knew that your children’s futures, their careers, their relationships, their entire lives, depended on their sense of self belief, what would you do?
From the second our children are born, every single event and experience is stored in their subconscious, creating their belief system. And it’s this very thing that will dictate how they view the world, what they believe they can achieve and who they believe they can be.
It will decide whether or not they follow their passions, how successful they are in life; it will determine their sense of self-worth. Unless they truly believe in themselves, our children could easily fall into the trap of growing up and living the mundane; worse, they could end up being abused, or abusing themselves.
Too many adults are unhappy; leading lives they don’t particularly enjoy; working in a job that pays the bills but doesn’t inspire them, fulfil them or give them a sense of purpose; trapped in unhealthy relationships, popping antidepressants and seeking out answers in therapy sessions. Too many teens are choosing to end their lives prematurely.
Armed with this knowledge I determined to create awareness for both children and parents; sadly those who love us the most can instil doubts and fears without even realising.
Let’s break the cycle and raise children who believe in themselves, who will then become teenagers, who believe in themselves, and ultimately adults, who believe in themselves!
I Believe… In Me!
was written to help children discover the power of self belief.It was also designed to demonstrate to parents and caregivers alike, that our words hold considerable power. Every child should grow knowing that with enough self belief they can be whoever they choose; no matter what someone tells them, no matter what their situation, it is all possible.
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