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Repeated experience of failure or disappointment has a way of re-conditioning the mind to life reality and possibility. It takes strong willpower, and belief system to not let past painful life experiences shape our future. We all have a story of the hands' life has dealt us, but people who succeed amidst all odds, do not let their past experiences shape or define their life.
Our outlook towards life has some of its element drawn from our past and childhood experiences. As pointed out by Hanan Perez, In order to illustrate how our past experiences (especially childhood) result in the formation of beliefs that strongly affect our behavior, here are some examples
"A child who was abused forms a belief that he is less worthy than others because of the way he was treated. So he is very likely to have a low self-esteem and live with shame for the rest of his life. He may, therefore, become a shy person.
The youngest child in a family receives a lot of attention from everyone around him and so he develops a need to always be at the center of attention. As an adult, he may become a very showy, successful or a famous person just to remain at the center of attention.
A girl whose father abandoned her and her mother may form a belief that men cannot be trusted. So, as an adult, she might find it very hard to trust any man and may have problems forming an intimate relationship with a guy. She might end up sabotaging every relationship she gets into without knowing why.
A boy who always felt financially insecure as a child because his parents always worried about money may develop a strong need to become rich. He may become very ambitious and competitive. If he fails to meet his financial goals, he may become severely depressed.
A kid who was bullied in school may develop a need to become strong and therefore he might become very interested in martial arts or bodybuilding. If you interviewed gym addicts, you’ll find that most of them were either bullied as kids or were involved in a physical fight before. Very few do it just to improve their body image."
Because of the experiences that people go through in life, they develop certain deep-seated beliefs, needs and ways of thinking. In order to fulfill their needs, they develop certain personality traits. They might not be aware of the reason why they have certain personality traits, but their mind is working in the background continually seeking ways to satisfy its needs.
We all are made of our experiences that we encountered in a specific circumstance. If an individual behaves in a particular way, it is because his or her experience thought him these responses and resulting characteristics were born. We all are victims of our life experiences. But we each can change ourselves and others by changing the scars in memories by creating new and positive experiences and circumstances. We can influence opinions, understanding, memories, feelings, responses, love, hatred, prejudice, knowledge and lives by how we chose to behave and the experiences we create for ourselves and others. Your personal experiences are created by how others treat you. Likewise their experiences with you are based on how you treat them. It is a chain of continuous actions and reactions. But to change this link from a negative to a positive one, pressing the “start” button needs to come from you.