One of the joys of being a parent is when your conviction in your child pays off and they are absolutely brilliant in the end of term play. ‘You’ll be brilliant’ you said to them, ‘You can do it’. And they did. Wahoo! What’s not to like?
Do you remember seeing your child scan the audience, anxiously looking for you? And, seeing you there, they rose to the encouraging nod, all fear forgotten? [They’ll carry your reassuring look throughout their childhood and beyond.] The pride in your heart made you fit to burst. Happy Days! You just planted the seeds for a brave soldier who’ll achieve more, and go beyond. 😊
But there are children, young people and even adults who don’t like anything out of the ordinary and who ask lots of ‘How do I do it?’ questions about ordinary life events. I recently heard one Teenager ask ‘How do I get into to the Bank?’ (You go up the steps and through the door.) followed by ‘What do I do if the door’s closed? At age 19, you’d thought they wouldn’t need to ask!
As parents, we plant all sorts of seeds in our children. We say things like, ‘Exercise is a really good thing to do’, ‘You’re a natural at football’, ‘You draw so beautifully; etc.
Apparently, Benjamin Britton’s mother always referred to her child-prodigy son as the ‘4th B’ – the first 3 being Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. How that must have encouraged the little chap when he was writing his first composition aged 5!
My mother had very bad Rheumatoid Arthritis and I remember that from an early age she would make me work out which platform to join or bus to get; a challenge I those days at Charing Cross. She said later that she wanted to make sure I could always work out what to do. It’s left me with a really useful attitude towards problems. I’m a bit like Bob the Builder. ‘Can you fix it? Yes, I can!’
This is all quite natural, very influential and it’s a lovely thing to do. It’s called Projection.
The difficulty comes when you’re not in a good space yourself and you’re operating from a less than empowered state yourself. It can cause you to believe that how it was for you is how it is for your child [and, by the way, standing up in front of others always terrified you – ergo it must for your child too].
The conviction that ‘having to perform is simply dreadful can be disempowering to a child and immensely disabling in adulthood; for example, limiting the ability to stand up and speak in front of others.
PROJECTION: the mental process by which people attribute to others what is in their own minds. For example, individuals who are in a self-critical state, consciously or unconsciously, may think that other people are critical of them. [Encyclopaedia Britannica]
Whilst it’s true that it’s dark at night, beyond that it’s down to your interpretation; both in the moment and on reflection. [Mind you, staying in with a cup of cocoa and a Midsomer Murder sounds good to me. Hmm… I wonder where that came from?]
Some of the most harmful upsets that linger are events that left feelings of unresolved anger, sadness, fear, guilt or shame. This is never more so than when a parent has suffered an unsatisfactory experience that they’re still holding on to; such as a relationship split that left you heartbroken or angry. It can be hard to Project strength and positivity when you’re struggling with emotions yourself.
But Hey! There is an alternative and you can reclaim your ability to reinforce resilience and the art of moving on; probably the most useful life lessons anyone can learn.
The question to ask yourself is whether you are operating from a position of strength and empowerment, or from a place of past stuff and unfinished business? You’ll recognise that you’re Projecting when the reactions that come back to you are your own. Watch out for signs of anxiety or nervousness too.
Some experiences can sap your Confidence, and a good place to start is by getting it firmly back in place.
Confidence underpins everything your do. Confidence in yourself, gives you Confidence in your World and that things will be ok. When you have Confidence in yourself, you can move on some of your ideas, or you can decide Confidently that you’re OK where you are. That’s fine too.
Don’t suffer in silence. Sometimes, the process of moving on starts with having someone understanding, who can really make a difference. Let’s get your Confidence ready for the good times to come.
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