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  • Resilient Practice

Shining your Inner Light

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart – Khalil Gibran

We all have our own individual model of the world. It is the unique lens through which we see life and it is formed using information from our upbringing, life experiences and genetic makeup. It is the way that we make sense of the world and everything that happens to us.

There are as many versions of this as there are people. It is the framework from which we can properly assess how to act in all situations. We need it for survival. To compliment this framework of understanding, from the moment we are born, we seek a sense of Self. To interact appropriately in this world that we have created, we need to know who we are.

How do we do this?

We do it by accepting the labels given to us by others and by creating them for ourselves.

As children we are hardwired to survive. This means that we must act in a way that gains approval rather than rejection. Rejection and ultimately abandonment are synonymous with death to a helpless child. Approval is the opposite and may come in the form of many different kinds of attention. For example, love, praise, delight and expressions of pride.

To a child, any attention is better than none, so negative attention can also shape our sense of Self.

As children we are most likely to willingly adopt any label that brings us a positive response such as ‘clever’ or ’caring.’ It is seen to increase our chance of survival.

We also take on negative labels such as ‘lazy’ or naughty.’ This happens when we have formed a negative core belief about the Self and the label supports it.

The two most common core beliefs are ‘I am not good enough’ or ‘I am broken or not whole.’ Perhaps we create negative core beliefs to help us to process negative experiences.

Perhaps we are seeking to improve on the current model of Self and so we turn our internal Judge inward.

Whatever the reason, it is clear that adopting a negative label is likely to create an obstacle to moving forwards in that area of our life.

The fact is however, that all labels, whether positive or negative seek to define us and therefore box us in and can stop us from reaching our full potential. This is because, in order to wear the label and preserve our safety, we must adopt the appropriate behavioural characteristics to fit. When we unconsciously do this, the label becomes part of our personality. Those around us observe that unconscious behaviour and it defines us with them too, thus the label is cemented in.

To learn how to recognise the label you have accepted and choose consciously whether to keep or shed them see ‘How to Rise – A Complete Resilience Manual’ from Sheldon Press takes you on a journey of self-discovery; it shares over 60 tools and techniques, including meditations with purpose, visualisation exercises and practical tools to help improve your mental wellbeing, reduce anxiety and allow you to take control of your life.

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