Is it something you inherit or is it something you can learn?
Written by Shawna Patruno
Shawna Patruno is a Skin Care Therapist, Facial Expert and Model with over 10 years experience in the industry. She recently started her own global facial and wellness business and has a goal to change the face of beauty and love the skin their in.
I want you to sit and ponder how everything that you know is something that has been taught to you—and your reaction to it may not even be yours. The reason for this is that over time, we learn different thought patterns from the things we interact with, whether through our parents, our relatives, television, or society, and over time we start to develop a specific mindset pattern. But what if we could actually rewrite these patterns and finally break our generational bondage, be our best selves, and build real confidence?
I developed low confidence at an early age, and I believe this was due to the fact that my mom had also suffered from low confidence due to her mother’s limitations. I would often hear my mom say things like, “I’m not smart,” or, “I’m fat, I can’t eat that,” and over time, those were words I started saying to myself. It’s not that my mom was bad or even that she meant to teach me these things, it’s just something that she herself was taught.
As early as four years old, I remember pinching the skin on my stomach and saying to myself, “I am fat.” Looking back, I think it was an attempt to seek love and feel like I fit in after seeing my mom behave in a similar way. I started to mimic her behaviours much like a monkey does. I’ve since come to know that this is called a social norm; as humans, we mirror each other for acceptance and survival.
Now, we’ve all heard the phrase, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” but what if we could actually relearn what we were taught and break these limiting patterns so that we could grow our own tree from new soil?
I’m here to say that you can! It’s not going to be easy, but you can retrain your mind. Whatever limiting beliefs you’ve been taught through your family can be changed. I believe that you can relearn your thought patterns and become a more confident you. I know this because I have done it! Some of my previous limiting thoughts were that to be loved I needed to be skinny, smart, perfect, and beautiful! The problem was, I felt I was none of the above. This led to a severe eating disorder that almost killed me. This was a thought pattern that I learned from my mom, but I took it to an extreme. I was not receiving unconditional love at the time, and I was a perfectionist, and these factors set me on a path of self-destruction as I started searching for outside validation. I believe my mom also learned this mindset from her mom based on her own needs not being to met and not receiving unconditional love.
I inherited my beliefs from my mom, and my mom inherited her beliefs from her mom, and so on, leading to a lineage of low selfworth. But confidence is an inside job, people, passed down through generations and learned through our getting and needing behaviour. As children we learn survival techniques—we cry to be fed and we learn how to get our needs met by adapting our behaviours to what pleases the individual providing for us. If we aren’t accepted for being ourselves, we can lack confidence. But this pattern can be broken by you today! You can start by retraining your mind to see the thought pattern, disrupt it, and not react to it. You can break down the meaning you have attached to your self-worth and realize that what you’ve learned is not actually you.
You are perfect, and you being you is enough! You are made of stardust, and it took billions and billions of events to have you here on this earth at this exact moment—and that is enough. One small step you can take is to start seeing a thought as just that—a thought—and to start replacing it with a statement like, “even though I think I am not smart enough, I love and accept me just as I am because I am enough just because I exist.” To explore further strategies, I recommend looking into emotional freedom technique, also known as EFT tapping, and reading The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. Feel free to reach out for more suggestions on how you can let go of your false identity, and if confidence is no longer an issue for you, keep up the great work!