I have a story that I would like to share with you! The main point of the story will be to point out that awareness, in any area of a person’s life, is the first step when trying to make great changes (or small changes as well). I think this story may bring some clarity to what I am trying to identify in my articles about building family foundations and becoming your best self where parenting and life choices are concerned. I am using a touchy topic because I want to point out that as parents we use a lot of our childhood experiences in making adult choices but it is okay to become someone other than your parents. This experience in my life is as close as it gets when trying to express my feelings and opinions on the matter and I would like to share this with you, my Tribe.
What do you think about this story?
How Awareness Can Be A Great Thing If You Let It – Don’t Let It Bring You Down, Let It Lift You Up
I knew a girl and she had a baby that was about 9 months old at the time that I met her. We lived together for a short period of about 8-9 months. I won’t go into great detail ( and I will refer to the baby as “the baby” and/or “It” just for confidentiality) but my point here is that she seemed like she didn’t really know the proper way to show her baby affection or how to calm the baby when the baby cried or fussed. To be quite blunt it seemed like she didn’t care to. She would even get upset or frustrated yet she hadn’t made one attempt to soothe the baby. Eventually, we ended up in a conversation about her childhood. She made a statement that as a child she was never shown love and affection, therefore, she didn’t know how to show her baby love and affection.
To clear this up, I was not the one that brought this topic up and/or made any comments about her not knowing anything about love and/or affection, period. She brought it up either by a reaction she saw from me or a comment/question I had asked her, or it may have even come up because a lot of the time I would be the one to pick the baby up and console/care for it.
When this girl told me this outrageous excuse about “I was never shown love or affection, therefore, I can’t show my own baby love and/or affection”, I immediately told her that she was trying to feed me a crock- of- “dile”.
First off, let me point out that I am aware that some people reading this may think of me as uncaring or not able to see what she was saying to me, but I totally see what she meant and I completely understand it. There are so many people in the world that have been through so much in their childhood (I am one of them and I sincerely understand) and it has greatly affected the person they grow up to be! I am not blind to this fact.
BUT…What If You Are Aware
If you are aware of the situation…if you are aware that you, as a child, was not loved enough or cuddled enough, or whatever the case may be, if you were lacking in these areas that children so desperately need…how could you be aware of it and still do nothing to try to change it?
If you are aware of a possible issue, to the point that you can explain it to another person and give an actual “reason”, as to why you are unable to properly tend to you child’s nurturing needs/wants, then how in the world are you not aware enough to at least try and make some changes toward doing it better and fixing the issue?
This is where the word “limiting” comes in. If you limit yourself you stand still, you make zero change in your life, in your efforts, in your successes; and you have a million “reasons” as to why you can’t “un-limit” yourself. When you stop limiting yourself you must move, you must strive, you must look yourself in the face every day and say,” This is going to be so hard and it’s going to be so uncomfortable, and I may fall on my face a few times, but I will make a change in who I am today”. And you will! Just telling yourself that bit in the mirror IS a change. You weren’t doing that before you decided to “un-limit” yourself, right? Even if you make a 5 minute a day change or one item a day change. For instance, you drink water with your dinner on Thursdays and you commit to it for one month, every Thursday, because you need to stop drinking so much soda/ pop/ caffeine/ alcohol…etc. You start small and work your way up. The first step is awareness, though.
Back To My Story…
This girl had that awareness and still…at the time…gave me a “reason”. For a while, the “reason” kept becoming an issue as we were living together in a house where her parenting habits wouldn’t go unnoticed. I was also not the only person doing the noticing. Of course, anytime parenting is an “issue” or parenting habits become a topic in conversation- things could get heated. Luckily, that didn’t happen and things were handled fairly decent enough to where it was understood that the only thing that was going on here was that she had an opportunity to receive the help she needed to become the parent she wanted to be, yet hadn’t realized it until now.
The story gets better, though. After a while, and after a few conversations, she started to catch on and she did start to tend to her baby more and more as time went on. It was a very long process and it took a lot of me doing and her watching. It felt like a silent conversation or like so much was being said when neither one of us was saying a word. I didn’t want to make her feel like I was belittling her or degrading her, she was and still is an amazing person and we became great friends, so most of the time I wouldn’t say a word and I would just tend to the baby and I would say things like, “You need a break so I’ll take over for a while”. All she needed was to be shown and after it was out in the open it was just like it was meant to happen. And it did.
After a while, she would jump up before I did to tend to the baby and try out something she had seen me do with the baby. This was good! This was a pleasure for me as I felt so blessed to be able to help this mother. I watched her change and I watched her mindset switch from the fixed-mindset to the growth-mindset, so lost and so limited from being who she had grown up to be as a child (unloved with little to no affection) into a proactive mother using resources to change this negative belief she had about herself. I watch her grow into the mother she didn’t even know she had shut away inside. She didn’t even know she had control over herself but she knew there was a problem and she knew what the problem was. She even knew why the problem existed, or so she had a “reason”. But she didn’t have a clue that she could change it. In her eyes, she was this way because of her upbringing, and that was that-end of story.
So, just to put a bit of an example toward such a broad variety of ways we can all limit ourselves and become blind to our own demises, I hope you can see that once you become aware you are officially responsible for the steps you take next (or the steps you don’t take). You can stay the same, you can limit yourself, and come up with a great reason that will fit the profile. You can become your own demise and be the actual reason you subconsciously have limited yourself for a number of years. -Or- you can finally dig down deep and allow yourself to become aware of this problem that has been holding you back in all areas of life, you can figure out where this problem stems from (most likely a childhood trauma or crisis you have yet to let go of), and you can name it.
Name the problem and the why. Why do you have this problem and why do you need to get rid of it? Describe a past event that allows you to pinpoint this answer so that you can understand it in a more intimate way. Then you can do some research or talk to someone about it. Send me an email, leave a comment, whatever you feel comfortable doing based on your particular problem. Start soaking in all of the information you can about how to fix this problem that has limited you in your life for so long. This lingering, stalking, “hiding in the bushes” problem that is too scared to let itself be known. Rip this problem out into existence so you can begin to tear it down and dispose of it once and for all. Face it head-on and fight it with knowledge and power and independence. Take back the control in your life and kick out the Fixed-Mindset, welcome in the Growth-Mindset in its place.
Awareness In Action
Once you start getting a grasp on identifying the problem and you start finding out that there are answers and formulas that you can apply to your problem areas, you can start getting the real you back on top and out into the world of your own successes- Man! That’s enough to make you strive even more to grow and grow and grow! The more you allow yourself to identify problem areas in your life (becoming aware of them), and then gathering useful information as resources to dispose of the problem, it becomes a little bit easier every time. The more problems you fix and the healthier you become the easier it gets until eventually, your main goal is to tend to every problem area and strive to become the best version of yourself because it feels good when you do!
I just want to get this point out here and make sure I stress to you that it is 100% possible to change something about yourself (a habit, a trait, a characteristic, etc… that you don’t feel like being a victim to any longer. Put something positive in place of it- a dream or a goal or another skill.
Please, if you feel like you have a problem area in your life right now that you would be willing to take on and find the answers to dispose of it, email me and we will work on it. If you are ready to kick out the Fixed-Mindset and welcome in the Growth-Mindset- this is your opportunity. I am calling you out and I am calling you out because if I don’t then who will? If you don’t take the first step (Awareness is the first step) now, then when?
Bring On The Awareness
If it is something you feel comfortable sharing with the Tribe and gaining feedback about it in that way please leave a comment and we can work on it as a community. If you have a friend or a loved one that is also aware of your problem area invite them to join in on the conversation and put their advice out here for others to learn from as well! I am sure that getting a variety of answers and a variety of opinions could open up a doorway with your specific opportunity inside. Keeping everything bottled up and not taking the opportunity to use available resources will only hinder you in your future successes. We will never know the answers to our “What If’s” if we don’t take that first step. Awareness is the first step. Become aware of not only the problem areas but also the opportunities this problem could potentially lead to!
Awareness= Kick out the Fixed-Mindset and Welcome to the Growth-Mindset!
Awareness Is The First Step!
Become a member of the community and Join the Tribe! Parents helping Parents become the best versions of themselves! What dream do you have sitting on the back burner? Let’s find the best path for you and start prioritizing your dreams first!