We often hear our young people doubt themselves as they look towards their peers for acceptance and credibility. They might say things like, “I’m not as smart as they are,” or “I’m not as funny as him.”
As parents and supporters, a typical first reaction is to reassure them, to praise and affirm them, and to try to help them eliminate their limiting beliefs.
Ten minutes later, though, we might experience a limiting belief of our own. We might look at our neighbor and think “He is so together, and I’m such a mess!” or “Ugh, I’ll never be able to keep up with them.” These comparisons are a essentially self-doubt that stems from deep seated fears.
I was recently stuck in a cycle that looked something like this: “I don’t fit in as easily as everyone else… I don’t get invited and welcomed the way other people do… I’m always getting left out… I wonder if people think I’m not fun/interesting/cool enough…” and so on.
So, let’s break this down… While it is true that I didn’t get invited to something I wish I would have, I allowed myself to drift into a vast lake of self-doubt… alone, and it was difficult to stay afloat. The ways in which I don’t trust in and accept myself come from fears. In this instance the big fear was likely, “I’m not lovable.” While this thought never directly crossed my mind, it’s at the core of each of the doubts that I allowed to pull me down.
While talking with a parent recently, we discovered that she was comparing herself to other moms of teen daughters, and she felt like she was failing. She assumed that other moms had closer bonds with their daughters; she started to believe that she had ruined the relationship with her daughter, worried that all that would remain was resentment.
Now, if we break this mom’s challenge down. Her self-doubts might have come from a fear of being alone.
In both of these situations, the phrase “compare and despair” came to my mind. Yet, while I believe that there’s truth in this statement, the negative slant wasn’t resonating with me. It didn’t give me the loving support to bring me to shore… back into self-acceptance… back into connection with my deepest sense of Self. It felt too harsh and seemed to only look at the symptoms this mother was facing.
Thus, I mediated on this phrase. I came up with a few mantras or phrases to use instead. Phrases that get into the roots or the beliefs that I tell myself. Then, I put it out in the universe. I asked friends and a few of my Facebook communities to share.
Together, we created 12 Affirming Beliefs for Getting out of Competition and into Connection:
- I am perfect exactly as I am.
- I am content with the life I’m creating.
- I am good enough.
- I am right where I’m supposed to be.
- I walk in love and light.
- Only love today.
- I have all that I need within me now.
- I am here for a purpose.
- I love myself.
- There is only one me.
- I am here.
- I know who I am.
These beliefs are crucial to us as parents and supporters because we model our mindsets for our young people. When we can live in and practice radical self-acceptance, our children and teens will be touched. They will have clearer pathways into their own self-acceptance and the acceptance of others. Our work, then, is to face our fears and grow into connection with truest Selves, our loved ones, and our world. Then, from this place of alignment, we can give our young people the space to know and trust in these beliefs of and for themselves.