“You’re no good. And you’ll never amount to anything!”
This is the most insidiously hurtful story a child can hear from a parent or authority figure. It can become faulty wiring that short-circuits your ability to overcome setbacks throughout your entire life.
Ironically, the accusation is often a projection of that authority figure’s own frustrations and failings. They unfairly attach their heavy baggage to a kid who does not know how to carry it. That authority figure needs love and help… but that’s a post for another day.
Today I want to speak to you… the child who is now an adult and still believe that story you heard so long ago. I, fortunately, heard the opposite story from my parents, and it’s one of the reasons I’m such an optimistic person today. But believe me, I’ve had my share of adversity.
I have coached countless clients in public speaking who do not believe their voice matters or should be projected too loudly… all because of a story they heard as a child or young adult.
My friend and coach Mel Martin encourages people to challenge their story. This means doing some work to rewire your usual response and create a new story that helps you break through barriers. This rewiring may require the help of a professional “story electrician” like Mel. Or you may be able to research, read and find the right words to help you.
Maybe the words you are reading right now.
My friend, you may be burdened with baggage based on your parents, gender, culture or environment. You may have generational negativity or toxicity in your family, but I believe you can rise above it.
You are a unique individual who does not fit neatly into ANY category that others want to stick you in. Anyone who is allowed to categorize you can then easily “generalize” and “marginalize” you as well. It’s a deceptive dirty trick.
It comes down to this. YOU decide what story you believe and YOU define who you are. Are you no good or specially gifted? Are you unworthy or immensely valuable to your fellow humans? What you “amount to” at the end of your life will be a result of the mindset you choose.
Like you, I’m still a work in progress… and it’s not easy work to become what I want to become. I have found strength in talking to kindred spirits, consulting the wise and praying for guidance.
You can do it too. I’m simply encouraging you NOT to use the worst story ever as your guide.