I was so excited, I could barely contain myself. I had been asked to go to a Homecoming dance for the first time in my life and I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my mom about it. Upon learning the big news, she and I made plans to go out shopping for the perfect dress and shoes.
But my dream of being accepted by the other kids, came crashing down two days before the dance. The boy approached me at school to let me know that he couldn’t take me to the dance because his grandmother had gotten sick; but the truth was he had asked another girl to the dance. I was devastated but I didn’t let anyone else see it. I waited all day to break down the minute I stepped into my mom’s car.
How limiting beliefs steer the choices we make in life
As mom to a teenager, I can’t imagine the anguish and anger my mom must have felt watching her “beautiful daughter” believe that she was “too ugly” to go to a dance. I grew up believing that despite my mom’s best efforts to encourage me otherwise. I have often heard many people talk about their high school years being the best years of their life; but I can tell you that for me they were a living nightmare. I dreaded going to school every day. My mom begged me to transfer to another school; but I was determined to not let others defeat me. It was a matter of pride and control for me.
I was teased incessantly by mean girls who used me as target practice daily. A popular boy once spread a rumor that I had asked him to a dance, only he had turned me down. It was a complete fabrication with devastating consequences to my fragile state of mind.
The more they beat me down, the more I believed I was ugly. And the worst part was that I was completely unaware of it at the time. That’s how the subconscious mind works – it takes all this information in and stores the memories, the feelings associated with these events, and forms core limiting beliefs that direct the choices you make which give you the results you are currently living. Accepting the first marriage proposal that comes your way because you believe deep down you are not beautiful enough to be asked again is something that I live with, all because I *thought* that I was ugly.
As an Empowerment Coach I am determined to reach as many young people as I can that have been bullied, if only to let them know that they have other options and outlets. I know exactly what they are going through and how devastating the consequences can be because of the beliefs that get formed during these years. I want them to make better choices than I made; because if they do, they will find happiness sooner than I did instead of chasing the wrong dreams for a large part of their lives.
*In 2017, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 14.46. (Source: https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/)
I know my choices in life and my limiting beliefs had an impact on my first born. He lived with parents that didn’t truly love each other and that was the modeling he received in the early part of his life. Happiness comes from within; no one can truly make you happy except yourself. Modeling the best version of ourselves to our kids will impact their choices and outlook on themselves throughout life. It is imperative that as parents we understand the importance of investing in ourselves, our personal growth, to change the patterns of behavior that are ruling our own unhappy/unfulfilled lives. This gives our kids a greater chance of leading well-adjusted lives with a positive outlook on themselves. They are enough and deserve to believe that as they grow.
I am beyond grateful that my mom showed me the importance of being there so that I may do the same today for my kids. She believed me in me when I couldn’t or wouldn’t and for that I will be eternally indebted to her. The gift my mom gave me growing up was her time, her joy, and her friendship. That friendship saved my life.