Recently, I had a session with my coach, Sarah (Yes, I get coached too!). Her program allows you to take a unique personality test that determines your natural personality when you're relaxed vs what happens to your personality when you're stressed. The results were fascinating!
When relaxed, I function at high levels of faith, optimism, and see opportunities everywhere. When stressed, my go-to reaction becomes that of a victim. Ouch! I pretty much knew this, but seeing the percentages of how your personality breaks down was enlightening. I knew that stress makes me see limitations instead of opportunities, and causes me to react with fear instead of faith. These are elements of a victim-based reaction.
After getting my results, I mentioned to Sarah that I grew up feeling a lot of fear. It was the defining emotion of my childhood. After hearing a few examples, she asked me how I was able to turn out so well and keep my higher functioning levels despite the challenges of my childhood. It was a great question, and I still don't have a complete answer other than I always believed things could be better in the future than they were right now. I used comparison with others not as a tool to make myself look bad, but to educate myself on how my upbringing was abnormal and what other possibilities were out there. I used elements of my adversity for inspiration and didn't let myself sink into depths of despair. I kept moving forward.
Even now, I'm able to recognize how fear holds me back. A large portion of this is due to the conditioning I had as a child. I was told things like, "Don't trust anyone. Never let anyone know what you're doing. Keep everything you have to yourself. You don't need friends because they'll stab you in the back". Things like this were repeated over and over like a broken record by my Dad. I thought I was brushing it off at the time, but some of it snuck in through subconscious programming even when I tried to block it.
If you know me or have worked with me in the past, then you know that I'm not afraid to dive into my subconscious (or yours) in an effort to figure out the WHY of things. I think finding out when and why certain patterns began is the key to changing and unraveling them. If you've ever read comic books or watched superhero movies, then this is called the Origin Story.
Every superhero or villain has a story behind an event that shaped the course of their lives. Guess what? So do you! If you want to understand some of your patterns, fears, sabotages, and behaviors, then you need to find the Origin Story.
My origin story of fear began with my Dad. He was an alcoholic with anger issues and often took his anger out on the family. In school, some of my teachers were his high school classmates. I asked them occasionally what my Dad was like when he was my age. They all said that he was very funny and outgoing, but he changed his senior year and was never the same. He became angry, withdrawn, and distrustful of anyone. They said it was sad to see. When I asked my Mom what happened to make him this way, she said that his cousin who was like a brother died. He was struck and killed while walking down a road by a police officer's car. Although the death was ruled accidental, my Dad believed otherwise and felt the officer had gotten away with murder after intentionally hitting the boy.
My Dad grew up in a time and place where he wouldn't have been able to seek professional help for his anger and grief. Either he didn't have the resources, or it just wasn't done by men of his time. I can look back at his Origin story to see how his inability to deal with his grief led him down a lifelong path of distrust, anger, and bitterness. Unfortunately, his issues carried over and became fear-based conditioning for me.
Because I've been trained as a doctor and an emotional release practitioner, I'm able to look at his story with compassion. This allowed me to offer him forgiveness in a way that I wasn't able to as a child. Although I'm still unraveling elements of his fear-based conditioning, I'm able to see how the challenges of my childhood have allowed me to be very good at helping others navigate and release their own traumas.
Here are a few techniques to use when you're trying to identify your Origin Stories and how to release childhood conditioning.
1) What was the defining theme or emotion of your childhood?
This probably isn't something you've thought a lot about, but it's so good to know. Once you've identified your theme or emotion, then write down several examples. This will help you gain clarity about any patterns that may be affecting you in the present. It also helps you identify your Origin Story.
2) Rewrite your story.
If your childhood or life has been difficult, then you have an opportunity to change things. Although you can't time-travel to the past, you can rewrite history. Your subconscious brain can't tell the difference between reality vs what you tell it. So, you can use a journaling exercise to go back in time and rewrite events as you wished they would've happened. For this exercise, I went all the way back to my Mom's pregnancy and changed the relationship between my parents, our life circumstances, and events in my childhood, teen, and college years. I found it to be incredibly powerful and healing.
3) Do some inner-child healing work.
In my opinion connecting with and healing your inner-child is underutilized in counseling and therapy. Even though I've done tons of work on myself, somewhere inside if me is still a scared little girl. If I don't take steps to heal my relationship with her, then she's free to keep filling me with fear and sabotage my efforts. There are many ways to connect and do inner-child healing work. Journaling and visualization exercises are two of my favorite techniques as well as buying her things she might enjoy like toys, foods, and clothing. If you tend to see certain things and dismiss them as "silly" then that can mean your inner-child is being stifled.
As an Emotional Strength and Confidence Coach, I specialize in not only helping you identify your Origin Stories, but also in providing you the tools to release stored emotions which are sabotaging you in the present. If you're ready to change your story and change your life, then book a FREE phone consultation HERE.
Want to keep tabs on all the latest news related to Empaths/Highly Sensitive People (HSP's), positive mindset, and anxiety relief? Subscribe to my mailing list to receive a free gift on how to feel better and function better in today's world.
April Darley N.D. is an Emotional Strength Coach specializing in helping Empaths/Highly Sensitive People (HSP's) feel better, and function better by releasing stress, anxiety, pain, and sabotaging behavior. Through the combination of coaching and emotional release techniques, you'll learn how to step into your own power, comfortably deal with life's challenges, and stay calm and balanced.