Does Being with Certain People Increase Your Value?

Ask yourself that question.  Do you hear a “yes” in your head?  Do you feel that it is true?

Intellectually we might know that to believe this is ridiculous, or we might lie because we don’t want to appear “shallow”.  But just for fun, really get honest for a moment.

I know that this was the case for me, and I would have been loathed to admit in the past because I wanted to look good to others.  It was vital to me at the time that others thought well of me.

We’ll come back to that in a moment.  If you answered “yes”, there are people in the world that you have determined will either increase or make you valuable.  Don’t worry, you are in the company of billions give or take a thousand.

This isn’t a pleasant way to run our minds for sure.  Let’s break it apart a bit

  1. If you think that another person either makes you valuable or increases your value, you unconsciously have created yourself as someone who needs to have your value increased or created.  This all happened when you were very young and the source of your determinations about you are based on the interactions you had with your parents.  It’s most likely that you have beliefs such as, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not valuable”, etc.
  2. After these beliefs became part of who you are, the “I am” of you, a problem arose.  How were you going to make it on this planet if you were not good enough or valuable?  Your life was at risk, so you looked around to see when people were safe.  The way you measured safety was based on the praise and positive feedback they received.  The more positive feedback a person received, the more likely they were to survive because it seemed like other people “liked” them.  We depend on others to live, especially as small children.
  3. In the culture I grew up in, I saw that people who joined up with certain types of other people (“fit”, “beautiful”, “smart”, “talented”, “rich”, etc.) were given praise.  I concluded that those people were “valuable”, “lovable”, “good”, “worthy” and so on.
  4. And then when I compared myself to them and realized that they “had” (objectification, dehumanization) what I didn’t, I concluded that they were “better than me”, “smarter than me”, “more worthy than me” and so on…
  5. And then I felt a bunch of terrible feelings, was not nice to people, and missed out on seeing people as creators of their own lives.   Sound familiar?

So where does this leave us?  In a great place because fortunately Morty Lefkoe gave us the tools to free us from this prison of the mind.

First, we can eliminate all negative core beliefs such as, “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not lovable”, “I’m not good enough”, and “I’m not valuable”.

Then we can find the survival strategy beliefs that we created after we created ourselves as, “not good enough” and so on, including a belief such as, “What makes me good enough or valuable is to have a rich/beautiful/smart/successful person”.

Imagine two versions of you.  One who still has beliefs like these and one for whom these beliefs are impossible.  Which would you rather be?

A belief to consider as well:  Is it possible anywhere inside of you that your survival is dependent on others thinking well of you?  If so, how would you logically feel if people didn’t think well of you?  It’s bound to happen, even to the greatest people-pleasers in the world.  it would feel pretty scary right?  Did you know that you can completely get rid of this fear?  Wanna guess how?

Looking Like a “Fool” Can Be Removed From the Equation of “You”

In the world of “self-help” I have been to quite a few rodeos.
I had heard many times the phrase, “Events have no meaning”.  I nodded, I agreed, but I didn’t really get it until I started doing Morty’s work.  I’m a late bloomer I guess.

One of the earliest beliefs I eliminated using his process was, “Mistakes and Failure are bad”.

As part of my journey toward becoming a cured perfectionist, it really struck me today that it is human to err.  As in, it’s part of our make up.  To blow it, to screw up, to fail.  It’s how we function as beings.  Blow it, learn better, screw up, think and do different.  I’ve always known this “intellectually” but today I got it on a deeper level for lack of a better term.

I was thinking about baby sea turtles and how when they hatch they just know to go downhill and head for the water.  There might be a couple of funny ones who head the wrong way, but for the most part they are all scooting for the surf.

If it was me, newborn and tearing through my soft-shelled egg, I’d have to run up to the parking lot of the beach, stop by the ice cream stand, and muse about the nature of life, instead of heading straight for the water.  Actually, I’d probably just lie in the sand hole and suffocate or end up a delicious crab snack.

None of us could run or flipper along as newborns, some of us might have had teeth (!), but we were helpless.  It’s because we are still gestating outside the womb so to speak.  And that doesn’t stop until like age 47.

So making mistakes and learning from them is an evolutionary gift and boy have we learned ourselves into some amazing stuff.  Minivans anyone?

If this is the case, why do we think that failing and making mistakes sucks so hard?  It’s because of the beatings and screamings and shamings we took as toddlers.  Sort of.  That was the source material, but we linked to our failings and mistakes the reason why were given so much guff.   I do something “wrong”, big person does horrible thing to me, it  must mean that my doing “wrong” is the source of the hurt.  Therefore mistakes and failure are bad, dangerous, deadly and so on.  And furthermore, I’m an idiot or fool if I commit them.

But here’s the jig:  We are the only source of our beliefs, even if our parents swear why they are hurting us is because we are bad or did wrong. In reality, we cannot know why our folks responded the way they did because we can give what they actually did (screaming, hitting, punishing) many many different interpretations.  And we can give ourselves in relationship to our measurable accidents as many different interpretations as we want.  Maybe we are the heroes of the galaxy because of our screw ups?  Who can really say what using a flow bee to cut our hair before our high school photos really meant?

 

So the question is, which version of us do we want to be?  One for whom idiocy and foolishness is intrinsically part of our inborn and sacred mistake making ability, or one for whom that is impossible?  Me I choose #2.  Why not you do the same?  Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better in those shoes…and that perm…and that t-shirt…and that…and that…

One Way Children Make Themselves “Always Wrong”

One way children eventually conclude they are “always wrong” is when parents or primary caregivers never or hardly ever apologize.  My parents never apologized for mistakes they obviously made.  They went so far as to make it seem like I was crazy (gas lighting), or shifting blame (“I did it because you made me”) or eventually getting violent or threatening a terrible future for me if I persisted with my complaints about their behaviors.

They were living out crazy survival strategies to avoid living in a state of “blame” as far as I can tell.

I think at the root of all of this are the beliefs such as, “Mistakes and failure are bad” and “Mistakes and failure make ME bad”.

It makes sense that if a person thinks that her actions could make her “bad” she is going to come up with some crazy ways to avoid that possibility.  “Bad-ness” could lead to loss of love, then loss of care, then loss of life right?

If a person feels his mistakes could lead to his death, the crazy strategies of avoiding accountability (gas lighting, blame shifting, etc.) make sense right?

People, am I making sense??

Now imagine this person becoming a parent and creating a culture of, “I’m always right, you are always wrong” with his or her children.  Just one of the devastating conclusion the child will most likely make is, “I’m always wrong, others are always right”.  This child will grow feeling horrible, incapable, incompetent, afraid to take risks, deferring to others and feeling like an outsider right?

They will think that have a “wrong-ness” that is as real about them as their elbows right?

Have you ever felt this way? Like everyone at a party or social event knows exactly what is going on but you don’t have a clue?

Fortunately, you can now get rid of the conclusions your reached as child if your parents behaved in the ways I described above.  Are parents are not modelers or reality, they are beings living out their unconscious conclusions.  Just like us!

Fortunately, you have a rare opportunity, you can get rid of all the negative conclusions you created when you were young.  The steps of the process are here and other places on the big beautiful internet!  Get started and get the help you need!  I conclude about you that you deserve it!

 

What Were You Praised For?

What did your mother, father or other primary caregivers give you praise or positive attention for?

Was it for not ending your sentences with a preposition?

I received praise for doing well in school.  Negative criticism was the common interaction with my parents, but if I showed academic excellence, I got rewarded.

From early negative interactions from my parents I concluded these beliefs about me (to name a few):

I’m not good enough.

I’m not important.

I’m not lovable.

I’m not special.

Being special is bad.

And yet, I got the message that it was important to my mother that I appear a certain way.  It was important that I got “A’s” in school so that she (or what she called the “family”) would look good.  “Dumb” people were considered “bad”.

I did get “A’s” and a lot of them.  And when I did I got positive attention from her (father didn’t care).  More specifically I got her to:

  • Smile
  • Express happiness
  • Praise and congratulate me

And because of this I concluded stuff that could not be seen in her responses such as:

  • I’m good
  • I’m okay
  • I’ll live, I’m safe
  • I’m special
  • I’m lovable

Some survival strategy beliefs I created are, “What makes me okay, good or special is to appear to others as smart or a genius” and “The way to survive is to do well in school”.  Again, to just name a few.

These beliefs have been very limiting for me because of the possibility in my mind of looking “dumb” or “stupid”.  What would happen if I didn’t appear to others as smart? What if I didn’t do “well”?  I would no longer be good, okay, safe, special and so on right?  In the mind of a child, I might not even survive.  So what would be a likely pattern of behavior that would result from this?

Action avoidance.  It would be better to avoid trying something new, taking a risk or completing a project if there was even the slightest chance I could look “stupid” or “dumb”.

Fortunately, survival strategy beliefs like these can be removed with the Lefkoe Belief Process.  I do think that the core or identity negative beliefs like “I’m not good enough” and “I’m not special” need to be eliminated first so that when you tackle a belief like, “What makes me good enough is to appear smart or a genius to others” you have already taken out one of the legs of the survival strategy belief’s legs.

Namely, since it is impossible for you to be “not good enough” anymore, you wouldn’t have to be smart, or appear smart, or be a rocket scientist, or do anything to be good enough.  So the survival strategy belief cannot be The Truth!

Which is what we want.  We want to get to a point where all of our limiting and negative beliefs are mere possibilities, or even better completely impossible.  Personally, I want all of my negative beliefs to be as impossible as me becoming a volcano in the South Pacific, but if there is some planet in the Universe where my negative beliefs are The Truth so be it.  May it be 500 million light years away.

I’m going to keep working on these survival strategy beliefs and the deleterious effects of parental praise.  I’ll post more as I know.

NOTE:  If you decide to plunge into this work, you will have to explore your earliest moments with whatever set of bigger people were taking care of you.  This can be a challenge for some.  I want to be clear, this process is not about blaming your parents, it’s about finding the source material you used as a little being to create yourself as, “not good enough”, “bad” and so on.  We are the belief creators and the creator of ourselves, but we used the actions of others to sculpt our identities when we were young.  We are sure we see in mom and dad’s punishments or even worse, their abusive behaviors, the negative beliefs.  But what really happened is we hung our conclusions on those actions.  How do we know this?  Because we can give their abuses any distinction we choose!  So it’s not what they did (which they most likely shouldn’t have done), it’s what we concluded about ourselves, others, and the world that are the source of our problems. Finally, if you really do have a healthy and loving relationship with your folks, they would demand that you eliminate any negative conclusions you made up about yourself based on what they did when you were three.  They weren’t perfect and no one expects that.  Now, if they freak out and get defensive, you are definitely in the right place, because that means that your needs are secondary to their childish feelings and you would do well to get after creating your life on your terms.  This is great time to ask yourself, “is this love or is this old people tantrum avoidance”?  You’ll know, I’m sure of this.  Oh, and one last thing, I’m not saying praise is bad for children.  I think it’s awesome if it’s not just given for what a child does and not who the child “is”.  I think you get this.

 

 

Taking Some Actions Are Effortless Now

Two tasks I wanted to complete today, paying a fee and purchasing a clothing item did not feel effortless.  I felt some discomfort therefore I was putting it off.  Knowing what I know about the Lefkoe processes, I know that the feelings did not come from two events:

  1. Purchasing the items
  2. Thinking about purchasing the items

I have often had avoidance patterns when it comes to taking action.  If something doesn’t feel good to me, I often won’t do it.  Since there are positive consequences for me that come from taking actions as simple as paying fees, and purchasing clothing it makes sense to me that I would want to eliminate the negative feelings right?

So what belief was driving this?  After some searching this phrase popped up in my head:  If I get too successful and take too many actions, I won’t get breaks or the rest I need.

What is a belief that might drive this thought?  The belief that came up was:  Success (getting stuff done) is constant work and stress.

Why would this make sense to me?  I was raised by a father who was a workaholic and always expected us to be at his beck and call.  Rest was the weak and lazy.  Life was about work, work, work!  Specifically, I remembered him saying negative words to me if I wasn’t doing what he expected all of the time.  I saw his frowns and his sighs of disgust.  Breaks and rest were indulgent according to him.

It makes sense that I would have concluded this? Yes right?

And it seemed like I could see in my dad’s actions and words that this belief existed right?

And another kid in my situation would have concluded the same right?

I, like most people, wanted my dad to be happy.  So if I saw he wasn’t, I made it personal, and also made his behaviors and indication of how reality was.

Thank goodness I have the Lefkoe Belief Process to eliminate this belief.  I won’t write it all out, but I’ll throw out a few alternative interpretations for my father’s behaviors and words.

  • My dad may have thought so, but he was wrong?
  • Maybe success or getting stuff done are just actions that have no inherent meaning, so there is no “constant work” or any other distinction attached to it?
  • Maybe it was when I was a kid but not now?

I continued through the process and belief is gone.  I now feel okay doing some work, taking breaks, finishing tasks, and so on.  It feels like life has much more of an ebb and flow.

And, here’s the best part.  Both of those task are done!  Fee paid, clothes bought.  Easy.

I think there are more negative beliefs related to taking actions that need eliminating, especially around making the “wrong” choice or decision, but this was a big (and small, day to day) success for today!