Day 3 – Your childhood strategies

Exercise – Day 3

Your self-worth is created and nurtured through your childhood. As a child, you had to fit into a home, a family, and other people.
If you have taught that some of you were not OK, not wanted, or your parents did not have room for some parts of you, you have concluded those parts to be wrong. You have concluded that you were wrong.

Maybe you tried to rebel against the constraints during your upbringing, or maybe you just adapted.
Along the way, you have created your own strategies on how to feel loved and good enough.

Who you are – or in other words – your personality plays a part in this. Imagine you and someone else have been raised using the same premise and parents through childhood. Since you might have different mindsets or personalities, you will perceive situations differently. Thus, you have concluded on different strategies. Simply because you have different personalities and see the world through different eyes.

So why are these strategies important?
The strategies are often the rules you live by. You tend to criticize yourself if you do not stick to your strategy.
For example: if you, as a child, concluded that you had to be clever to feel loved and feel good enough, your strategy might be to achieve great knowledge and work hard on your intelligence. On the other hand, if you feel stupid, you will criticize yourself hard.

You need to learn that you are worthy of love with everything you are – without being or doing something you decided as a proper strategy when you were a child.

Today you are going to reflect on:
1. Who do you think that you must be to be loved?
2. What do you think you have to do to feel good enough?

You will learn about the general type of strategies we use as human beings to feel good enough. You are going to be presented with what you can learn from that.

Happy self-reflection 🙂

Tip:
Put your phone on airplane mode to avoid distractions for the next 8 minutes.

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STEP 1:
This step takes approx. 2-7 minutes.

How do you feel about the below and write it on paper or on your phone.
Write the number of the sentence together with your answer.

How true do you think the below statements are?
Very true, Somewhat true, Little bit true or Not true?

  1. I often make great demands on myself to be proper and/or detailed. I tend to be good and moral, and I judge myself when I am not.
  2. I need someone to need me. I often do something or am something for others. I have a very hard time saying no when others ask for my help.
  3. I need to accomplish something and be successful. I really like being a role model for success or for living a happy life.
  4. It is necessary for me to be special, different, and unique. I am different from other people. Sometimes or often, I feel a sense of emptiness.
  5. It is important for me to acquire knowledge. It makes me feel competent and skilled.
  6. It is important for me to do what is expected of me. I can become very insecure about my own decisions.
  7. It is important for me to experience everything life has to offer. I am busy bouncing from one activity to another. I find it difficult to be in or have negative feelings.
  8. It is important for me to be strong, independent, and confident. I need to be in control. I don’t like to be fragile and vulnerable.
  9. It is necessary for me to feel peace. I do not want conflicts or changes in my everyday life.


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STEP 2:
This step takes 2-5 minute.

Can you relate to some of the sentences above?
Think of it as rules you have created in your childhood.
Rules that you have made for yourself to feel good enough.
If you do not comply with those rules, you will feel as if you failed.
If you want to increase your self-worth, you have to release the feelings that keep you on a thin line of what is right.
You are worth loving and good enough even if you do not use your strategy.

Now, look at your paper with your answers.
Find the number of the sentences with your highest scores.
Read below what you can learn from your strategy.

For example, you have scored sentence numbers 1 and 3 with your highest score. Then read (only) numbers 1 and 3 below.

  1. It would be helpful for me to learn that mistakes occur. I am good enough even if I make mistakes, do something wrong, or am wrong about something. Mistaking is part of life. I do my best, and that is good enough. I can be happy with myself and life.
  2. It would be helpful for me to learn to love myself, so I don’t need love from others to feel good enough. I can learn to take natural care of myself, just as I do for others. I am worth loving even when it is me I care for.
  3. It would be helpful for me to get to know myself and learn that I am good enough, just the way I am. I do not have to be or have great success. I’m good enough without that. I am good enough as I am.
  4. It would be helpful for me to learn that I do not lack anything to be perfect. I do not have to overdo parts of myself to feel perfect. I am already perfect – just like everyone else.
  5. It would be helpful for me to learn that I am worth loving even without my skills and knowledge. There is more to me than the skills I have acquired. I’m good enough just because I am me.
  6. It would be helpful for me to learn to feel myself and get to know who I am. I have to learn what I want so I can be true to that. I am my own support and reassurance – and I am worth loving for that.
  7. It would be helpful for me to learn to be in the present moment long enough to enjoy it. I can be with my emotions and I am worth loving even when life gets tough.
  8. It would be helpful for me to learn to open up to my vulnerability and know that I am good enough even if I am fragile. I am worth loving even though I am not in control.
  9. It would be helpful for me to learn to stay true to myself, even if it creates distance and conflict. I do not have to create harmony. I am worth loving even if there are emotional disturbances around me.


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STEP 3:
This step takes 2-4 minutes.

Now think of what you just read.
Have you thought of it before? Do you agree that it would be helpfull to learn those things?

Write down you reflections on this:
A. What parts of above do you recognise the best and agree with?
B. Do you feel it affects your life? How?

Save your paper with all your answers and your reflection when you are done.


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STEP 4:
This step takes approx. 2 minutes.

In steps 1-3, you have zoomed in on your behavior.
It is all part of coming closer to an understanding of yourself.
When you are curious about your own history, your past, and your upbringing, you get to understand how it shows up in your every day.
Understanding yourself helps you closer to forgiving yourself and thereby releases you from being your own critic.
You can read more about this after the feedback form below.

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For now, you will take a sweet moment with you:

Close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath in and exhale slowly.
Take your time. Do this 3 times and open your eyes.

Say this out loud:

“Dear [your name], I am lucky to share this life with you. I will meet you with respect, love and compassion on this journey – I will be your best friend.”



Well done! You are done with today’s exercise.

You are getting closer to yourself every day.
Try to observe yourself for the next couple of days. When do you use your strategies?
How does it feel when you don’t use them?

Remember: you are precious.
You have a value from the top to the toes. Your mind, your breath, your feelings – all of this has value; all of this combined is you. All of it is worth loving.

Thank you for today.

Go to the feedback form further down.

“One of the most courageous things you can do is to identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.”
— Shiela Murray Bethel


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Feedback:
Please share your thoughts on today’s exercise. Was it easy/difficult? Did you understand it? Did you like it or not? Are you skeptical or positive about such exercises? Your feedback is valuable:

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Self-curiosity


Why self-curiosity and understanding of your past are important.

Self-curiosity is a powerful tool that, if implemented self-compassionately, can give us direct access to our inner world. It can help us grow and transform into emotionally healthier human beings. Consequently, it improves our lives and our relationships.

When you are curious about your own history, your past, and your upbringing and analyze how it shows up in your system of beliefs and emotional management, you lose your critical voice along the way.
It is difficult to criticize yourself once you start to get an understanding of why you are you.
That is why understanding yourself gives you direct access to work on your own worth – and to develop.

The magic in this journey is that it directly affects your view and behavior towards other people.
When you are curious about yourself, you view other people the same way.
You will be curious about other people too. Your children, your friends, your partner, your family, and everybody else.

That is why working with self-worth is not just happening inside of you but affects and improves your life.

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