A point opened up today when talking with a friend about how one single thought, during the formative years, can influence the way we move and direct ourselves in our reality. It is interesting how us grownups, do not take into consideration how our words and deeds influence the people around us and especially children, who takes in the information so literally and make instant decisions about who and what they are accordingly.
This can be anything from - "why are you so slow in doing your homework" where the child now believes that society sees them as slow learners and this is now how they define themselves as who they are; or - "look at this girl, she dance so funny" where the child now realizes that when you place/express yourself in public, you will be judged by others and so you need to really be self-conscious about every move you make to make sure you give no reason for anyone to judge you - Here a potential decision that the child may make is to limit and contain their natural self-expression within the fear of being judged by others; another example - "look at your brother, how successful he is, I am so proud at him" where the child now feels that they must compete with their siblings so that the parent won't be disappointed with them and now the child will decide to suppress their natural skills and only work with what they believe would make their parents happy with them.
I've been looking at my own reality and how through one single statement that was spoken to me when I was a child, I made it so absolute in my mind to a point of suppressing my natural expression in public. I remember as a child how much I enjoyed dancing and I never had issues with dancing around other people, performing and participating in shows until one day where I was watching dancing performance that my friends participated in and my brother was sitting next to me and made a negative remark about one of the girl's dancing ability and in that moment, a thought came up - "what if other people were also judging how I danced". It was the first time that I actually considered the possibility of people judging the way I danced.
From that moment onwards, I developed a high sense of 'self-conscious' thought pattern when I was around other people - I didn't want to dance, I didn't allowed myself to sing - things that I really enjoyed expressing, I believed that I could no longer do/express. Every time the opportunity to sing and specifically dance came up, the memory of that day where my brother judged my friend's dancing ability came up, as a reminder that I must not express myself in public if I don't want people to judge me.
Fascinating enough, when no one was around and I was all alone - I would secretly put on the music and dance. It is quite ridiculous if you think about it - me naturally enjoying to express myself through dancing and yet, allowing one thought memory to influence me to such an extreme where I believed I cannot express myself through dancing when people are around.
Later on in life, going out clubbing with friends became part of my reality but to me.. That was a nightmare - I just couldn't dance - this one thought, about the possibility of people judging me like how my brother judged that girl, prevented me from expressing myself through dancing. My friends pushed me to dance and the more they pushed, the more I resisted dancing because now, if I dared and danced, all the eyes would have been on me and the possibility of me being judged was on the line. The only way I could get myself to dance was by having lots of alcohol so that if anyone judges me, I could blame the alcohol. So for couple of years, I danced and hit the dancing floor lol but, under the influence of alcohol so in essence, I wasn't really expressing myself but allowed the alcohol to take the directive sit of my expression whereas even under the influence of alcohol I was very much self-conscious about my dancing movement and the people around me.
As I grew up of the alcohol and clubbing scene, I decided to stop having alcohol completely and without alcohol, I stopped going clubbing because I believed there was no point to it meaning, I knew I will not dance without alcohol.
Couple of years after, my roommate insisted that I come with her to a party and obviously, I refused but she kept on pushing because she knew how much I enjoyed dancing as she was the only one I shared my secret dancing sessions with and every so often we played music in our house and 'secretly' danced.
With her pushing me to come with her when she went out I eventually did go dance with her one night and with her support, I danced, still very much restricted because now, in my mind, I had to also let go of the connection I created previously between alcohol and dancing. After couple of years and lots of Self-Forgiveness in investigating all the lines of information, emotions, feelings, pictures and memories that I created in my mind, I reached the point where I allowed my natural expression to come through around other people where I no longer have that thought memory from my childhood governing who or how I express myself.
So parents and adults, It took me over 20 years to move past the point from when my brother made that remark to where I am able to fully express myself in dancing. We really have to be aware of the words we speak around the children, to be aware of the influence we have on their life within the decisions that they make, based on what they hear or observe us doing. If you haven't already, I suggest listening to 'Parenting - Perfecting the Human Race' to support you with preventing such moments that can lead to your child making life decisions they would rather live without.