Updated: Nov 16
I remember as a little girl my mom always telling me that I could grow up and be whatever I wanted to be. It felt good to have my own personal cheerleader growing up; therefore, with my kids I adopted the same role. As I would tuck them in at night, I would plant the seed of encouragement and confidence, and tell them that they could be and do anything in the world that they dreamed of - the skies the limit.
So, at what age do we start disbelieving this? When does all the doubt and fear creep in? Whether we had the biggest cheerleader on our side or maybe we didn’t have anyone on our side, the world around us can creep in and distort our thinking and change the way we feel about ourselves. Then and one day we no longer feel that this is true, or even possible. Throughout our lives we learn to adapt to our environments. When we have an experience that is not nurturing, we can adapt in unhealthy ways. This new adaptation is marked in our brains, and our brains continue to go to what is familiar, so we keep going back to unhealthy thinking, feeling, and behaving.
We all have a personal identity: it is what you believe is the truth about yourself. Our identity is what informs how we think, our feelings, and how we show up in the world. We can’t reach our full potential with a poor self-identity. Our habits, our relationships, and all our daily decisions make or break a healthy identity.
So how do we change our identity? One of the simplest things I learned was to keep the promises I make to myself - even the little ones. For example, if I say I am going to wake up early and exercise or go for a walk but instead I hit snooze, now I no longer have time. This decision plants the seed that I cannot even trust myself. When we add up all the little promises that we don’t keep for ourselves, they compound, and we end up with a poor identity. This translates into insecurities, low self-worth, doubt, shame, etc.
The words we speak to ourselves are so important. Sometimes we don’t even pay attention to that little voice that tells us negative messages all day long.
I am a believer that it is not the big things in life that make us who we are; it is all the little things that add up over time that equate to what we believe about ourselves. Our brains are so powerful, but we can’t always just buckle down, get disciplined, and make changes that are sustainable. This is where EMDR Therapy comes in. When we revisit those places where we get stuck, we can reprocess those not so nurturing times in our lives, that left us with a negative self-image. This helps everything from low self-esteem to more adaptable behavior, and positive self-growth, from the past, present, and even the future.
So, when you tell yourself you are going to do something, make sure you follow through and do it. Yes, stuff comes up, emergencies happen; but decide, to the best of your ability, you will start keeping the promises you make to yourself. Remember it’s the little things that add up to help you create who you want to be: what you plan to eat, who you plan to spend time with, or not spend time with, how you manage your time, and when you go to bed. Keeping promises to yourself flows into all areas of our life. Keeping promises builds your confidence and spills over into better time management and more positive healthy daily habits and routines.
I do believe we all need a cheerleader in our lives, but we also need to believe in ourselves. I have had several times in my life where my circumstances were so bad, I felt helpless and hopeless. Through my own personal therapy, I have grown to love and believe in myself by building confidence through a strong healthy identity. Many times, my therapist was my biggest cheerleader, and I would not be who I am today with her.
This is why I became a therapist. I want to impact others with encouragement, love, compassion, and empathy, to help them discover that they can be whoever they want to be. Everyone was born to do something great, and I want to help as many people as possible discover their unique gifts and start their journey on building their positive self-identity and becoming who it is they dream of becoming.
Interested in learning more about how EMDR can help you? Schedule a free 15 min consult to learn more! With offices in Gilbert & Phoenix Arizona, our therapists are ready to help you achieve your limitless potential.
Gilbert Location: 2563 S. Val Vista Dr. Ste 108. Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phoenix Location: 1440 E. Missouri Ave. C270. Phoenix, AZ 85014