As an adult, you can uncover clues about ‘Why You Are the Way You Are’ when you listen to your parents talk

I remember getting a text from my mom on the way home from the gym while back. At the beginning of a particularly booked-out week, she’d asked if I wanted to catch up on the phone and talk. I told her it wasn’t a good week to talk, I was unusually booked out, but let’s catch up the following week.

She texted me back. Her text read:

“So happy you are that busy. That means you are successful!!!”

I remember freezing. Whoa.

If THAT’S how my mom thinks – and she’s PROUD of me for literally just “being busy” – and she actually believes that busy equals successful, what messages did I likely pick up at home during my childhood, teens, and 20s?

  • Busy is a related to success…
  • Being busy is desirable…
  • Busy is something to strive for…

If a child/teen gets these types of message over and over and internalizes them, as children/teens do, she’s likely going to be a child who finds herself striving to just be busy, if she ever desires being successful.

As I listen to my parents now as a middle-aged adult myself, I hear themes and threads and clues as to how they think, and what “truths” they raised me with.

  • Consultants will try to steal your money.
  • Always be prepared for the worst.
  • Part of running a business is always looking out for and preparing for the worst that could happen.
  • Being skinny is very important.
  • If someone does something wrong, they deserve punishment.

I hear ways of thinking that not only surprise me, I hear ways of thinking I’ve had to work through and clear from my mind as I worked to overcome depression and anxiety.

My parents have always meant well.

They raised me to be a pretty good human.

They are NOT bad people.

They have their own beliefs about how the world works and, like other parents, through messages and modeling, they passed their understandings down to their children while they were doing the best they could.

Sometimes though, by the time we realize it’d be for the best if we reconsider some of our parents’ outlooks on life, the messages are already embedded as always-on programs in our subconscious.

This means we then expend a great deal of energy for the rest of our lives trying to NOT believe they’re true.

I’m not here to demonize my parents or anyone else’s. I love my parents.

Instead, I simply invite you to pay attention to the “statements of truth” your parents make. It’s a fascinating game that is one of the quickest ways to uncover gold nuggets of insight into why you are the way you are today.

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