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How Your Childhood Crushed Your Confidence and How to Get it Back

Imagine if we got together and talked about bit and pieces of our personal lives, in particular, how we were raised. What would we be talking about? I suppose some would have fond memories, but not everyone had a happy childhood. Even so, many of those who came from a stressful childhood environment had gone on to do good in life. But what most people do not realize is that there was a constant during our childhood that shaped our life today.

The constant I am referring to were the seeds that were planted in our minds and became a part of our attitude. Today, we do not even know of its existence but it is a part of what we think and do. Either way, this constant has influenced us in both positive and negative ways.

How We Were Raised During Childhood

We were once young boys and girls, lovable, huggable, and definitely adorable. I’d like to think that we remain that way today. Our parents loved us so much that they feared for our safety. So, what did they do?
Far more times than necessary, we were discouraged from doing what we liked to do, and at young ages, we sure want to have fun all the time, isn’t that so? But no, our parents would have none of that. They feared that we may hurt ourselves so some of the things we liked to do, we were simply told to stop. Furthermore, if we did not listen, some of us were punished.

Thinking about it, we can’t blame them. As a matter of fact, we should appreciate them more because they stopped us because of love. To be clear, I am referring to instances of our parents stopping us because they feared for our safety. Unfortunately, some people were stopped because their parents did not believe in them, but I digress.

Seeds of Doubt

What happened each time we were discouraged, stopped or even punished? I believe the message we received was that we should stop. But subconsciously, the seeds of doubt were planted.

Let me use the game of soccer as an example. Children in primary school are encouraged to pick a sport and some do like to play soccer. Some parents ​are glad and support their kids 100% all the way. But there are others who fear that soccer can hurt their kids. So, they tell their kids to pick a safer sport. Some even go as far as telling their kids that if they play soccer, they can end up with broken bones. On rare occasions, some parents may even go as far as graphically describing the excruciating pain of having broken bones.

But children who play soccer are taught how to keep themselves safe. Sure, accidents happen, but it happens mostly when kids have no idea what they were doing. And that brings me to a better way of handling fear.



Seeds of Belief

Fear can freeze people and to a lesser extent, cause people to make poor judgments. If our parents feared for our safety, then there’s nothing much we can do today, because what we are talking about here are things that may have happened in the past. But it’s good to know because moving forward, we have (or will have) our own kids to take care of.

Instead of stopping kids, I think it is better to teach them, train them, and guide them. Our kids want to climb over fences? Fine, let’s teach them the proper way beginning with making sure the fence is sturdy enough and how to fall down safely, just in case. Do you see where I am going? When we teach our kids, not only are we teaching them valuable life skills, subconsciously we are planting the seeds of belief.

We are influencing their minds to believe in themselves, and as a result, develop an attitude of learning whenever they are doing something unfamiliar.
As a result, kids develop the confidence to step out of their comfort zone. They are not discouraged by the unknown because they know they can learn about it, plan, and then act.

What Does this Mean for Me?

Knowing our past and embracing our childhood is the first step to regaining the belief in ourselves. And for us who are parents, knowing how we can plant either the seeds of doubts or belief should make us rethink our parenting ways.

In the coming days, weeks, months and years, how are we proceeding and moving on? Are we still held back by fear of the unknown, or are we willing to throw away the seeds of doubt within ourselves and learn?
If we were to get together, we talk about our strengths mostly. And if we were to talk about weaknesses, it’s far easier to talk about other people. So, if we think we understand better than the people we talk about, when are we going to do what we think is better?

Talk is cheap, right?

So, let’s do away with the seeds of doubts planted in us during our formative years. In its place, let’s believe in what we can do and take the first steps.
I end this post with a personal message. I know that you are a person who seeks to improve yourself. Reading this post is proof of that. But there’s another step you can take, but to be sure you are stepping on solid ground, then you need to have a solid belief in yourself, for that
serves as your rock, the foundation on which you build everything on.

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Robert Lee
Staff Writer: Robert U. Lee is a proud father, one of USANA Health Sciences' top directors, ELITE Trainer of XTRM 1-11 and the creator of Amazing Life Daily.

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Staff Writer: Robert U. Lee is a proud father, one of USANA Health Sciences' top directors, ELITE Trainer of XTRM 1-11 and the creator of Amazing Life Daily.


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  • I invariably thought that I’m a product of a broken family until I’ve grown up and became mature. Way back when I was still at my young age, I always blame my parents for leaving us and that no one have thought us good thing in animation. Exactly like what I’ve learned, when I became an adult I work hard to fix the bad memories of the past and that I’m still thankful that I learned a lot.

    Thelittlelai: Beyond limits January 4, 2017 1:07 am Reply
  • Some parents truly are worry warts. Meanwhile, some discourage their children for lack of financial resources. So as adults we are the ones to explore on how we can improve ourselves. I agree that we have to do away with seeds of doubt. We can do it. We just need to hope and believe in ourself.

    Me-An Clemente January 3, 2017 6:15 pm Reply
  • I think all parents think well of their wards.Every parent wants his /her son or daughter to grow up the right way. They probably draw their lessons from their own experiences while growing up.But, don’t you think that childhood is also shaped by the approach of the teachers also?I know of several adults who did not quite like their teachers while growing up.

    Swayam Tiwari January 3, 2017 4:53 pm Reply
  • It is very unfortunate. Sometimes its parents and sometimes its some products and other people. With the craze for fair skin (which is slowly getting reduced of late with several campaigns in India), I had a complex about my brown skin. I love my skin color today.
    When I think of it, certain products meant for kids are gender targeting like cars for boys and barbie for gals and when you gift them to the kids that itself is bad!

    Bhusha January 3, 2017 12:20 pm Reply
  • I have always been the princess of my family. They have protected me so well that I didn’t experience any hardships as a child. I would always be alone at home because my loving parents and grandparents fear for my safety. They wouldn’t allow me to go out and play. I couldn’t even buy a candy from a store across our house. I realized that I have every material thing that I desire but I don’t have freedom.

    When I started working part-time during college, I realized how hard life is. I was emotionally and mentally weak because I have always been loved and treasured. Encountering difficult situations made me feel depress and even thought of suicide a couple of times. It was stupid, I know. But I learned a lot from it. I don’t hate my parents for it, because I know that they only care for me. In fact, I am thankful, that it was through their strict actions that I personally learned how to cope with life.

    Gryselle Mae January 3, 2017 10:21 am Reply
  • I can totally relate to this but on a different capacity. As an athlete, I had tremendous confident as a child. That confidence was spurred by my parents support and belief in me and I overachieved tremendously. The tragic death of my mother; however, sent me into somewhat of a tailspin that took many years to overcome but I’ve found that by striving to become the best version of myself possible I’ve been able to get back that same winning attitude.

    EG III January 3, 2017 9:27 am Reply
  • I do feel a little bad talking about parents like this, but I strongly feel that most parents stop their children from doing certains things (not including those that are life threatening, like playing with electrical sockets, fire etc) not out of love, but because they view their children as their investment. they need their children to do well in life (in the future) to secure their well-being in old age, hence they need their children to embark on the route they’ve planned out for their children. route they think will lead their children to success in life, according to their expectations. a parent’s love for the child may be boundless, but it’s not entirely unconditional. maybe it’s just a typical Asian mindset, and it’s really a depressing thought, but it’s true. When I mentioned of my decision to never have children, most of the response I get will be, “and when you’re old, who will take care and provide for you?”

    Mia Foo January 3, 2017 8:31 am Reply
  • Just a few years back, I used to be a complete introvert and I wonder many times if I was supposed to be like that? As a kid, I remember being told not to talk or laugh too loudly, not to accept anything if offered to eat or drink whenever we visited a relative. All in all, behave in a certain manner. I know my parents wanted me and my siblings to grow up disciplined and well behaved but I think that somewhat curbed my natural instincts. I always thought a 100 times before actually performing a certain action like approaching someone to talk, communicate or to speak my mind. It was to such an extent that I would be scared to even approach my teacher during the school days if I had some query or if I had to go and use the bathroom. Also, I’m not really complaining about my parents, they’ve done a lot for me in their own capacity. Things did change for me and I started working for my current company and got plenty of opportunities to interact with newer people.

    But I must say that I’m trying to give my child ample freedom within the confinements of safety with a hope that he’ll not find himself in a spot of bother if he had to speak to someone in the future or approach someone to or for any help.

    I think maximum number of people must read this article to change that pattern about raising the kids, making them more confident and ensuring their future to be bright.

    Kcalpesh Ajugia January 3, 2017 8:16 am Reply
  • My childhood was full of happiness and tears but because of my Mom, I have never let the negativity wash over me. I use whatever painful part of my childhood I have had to help me be better and never let me be dragged to failure.

    Kathy Ngo January 3, 2017 8:08 am Reply
  • A few years back, I really felt so bad about not growing up the way I wanted to. You know, with your expectations for yourself and “things would be easier for me if…”. Really. For me though, it’s not being held back that triggers these thoughts – it’s NOT being held back that I feel really strongly about. Can’t say what it is as it’s a personal matter, but that’s that. How about for you, sir? Anything from your end you’d like to share?

    Veeyah | The Indy Miss January 3, 2017 7:48 am Reply

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