Why Don't I Think I'm Good Enough?
Our minds are like computers. They are constantly trying to understand the world and file information in a way that makes sense.
The problem with most of our minds is that our filing system was formed when we were very young, based on our experiences at that time. We don’t realise that we are operating on very out of date software. Small children do a lot of random things…their minds are constantly jumping from one thing to the next, and the things they do don’t make “logical” sense a lot of the time.
If you ask a child why they are doing what they are doing, they usually respond with “because I want to.” They don’t have a clear understanding of why they want this thing or that, they just simply do.
In fact, children’s brains have no idea why anything happens the way it happens. Because the ‘why’ requires the conscious mind to be operating. That’s the part of our brain that explains and understands things. But when we’re little, that part of our brain is not online yet…and so why things are the way they are is not a question that we are able to understand. We don’t have a logical mind yet.
And when we explain to a child why something can’t happen, their brain doesn’t register it. Logic does not apply! For instance, telling a child that she can’t go in the swimming pool because her family doesn’t own one does not sink in. In her mind, a swimming pool was available to her once, and she wants it again, and the reality of ownership or access are far beyond her ability to comprehend.
But at the same time, kids aren’t stupid. There is an extremely active part of a child’s brain that is always trying to figure things out…it’s the part of our brain that operates without our conscious awareness. This is the part of our brain that is forming what we call implicit memory - the filing system that figured out how to walk and talk and stay away from hot surfaces, and that very rapidly formed an imprint of the world around us so that we could operate in it without having to “think” all of these processes through all of the time.
But the links we make are totally dependent on the types of experiences we have when we’re little, what our resources were for handling those things, and what reactions we received from the outside world in relation to these experiences.
And as we get older, unless we start to investigate our own minds, we remain totally clueless as to what links our mind formed and how these links are still playing out without our awareness.
So how does this apply to us now?? Why do we care?
Well what if when we were younger we struggled with something really scary or painful or hard? Or we just happened to come up against a lot of situations where we weren’t able to cope and didn’t have the resources? Our minds would come to the conclusion that we can’t do things. That we aren’t good enough. That we need to change. That something is wrong with us.
Anyone have any of those thoughts?? I certainly do. Well this is where they came from! All those negative thoughts about “I can’t do it “I’m not good enough” “I’m not loveable or likeable or competent” - all these thoughts come from links our minds made when we were very little that make no logical sense…But at the time, it was our young mind’s only way of filing and understanding the situation. Because remember, we couldn’t use logic in the way we think of it now when our brains are forming these links.
For instance, I have an older brother who I adored growing up and who could always do everything better than me because he was older. So my mind formed a very strong thought pattern that I’m not good enough simply because I would have had repeated experiences with not being as good as him, and my mind - unable to factor in the logical reality that he was older, simply came to the conclusion that there is something wrong with me, and that other people are better than me.
So we walk around in our lives, thinking we are seeing things the way that they are, but in fact we are seeing them through the filter of our brain patterns that were formed when we were a child...
Totally behind the scenes, our minds are filtering all of our experiences and giving us information about whether something is exciting, scary, comforting, overwhelming etc.
The important thing to take away from this, is that those thoughts aren’t real!!! They don’t hold any truth to them, and over the course of this blog, I’m going to show you how to understand them better so that you can begin to change them. That’s the good news - We can change our brains! We can upgrade the software! But first, we have to really get to know what we’re working with inside our own operating system.
We need to start noticing what automatic thoughts are popping into our heads, and take a moment to consider if they are logical and helpful thoughts, or outdated filing systems that we need to upgrade. Simply the act of noticing - of bringing these implicit memories into conscious awareness - is the first step to taking away their power in how we live our lives.
Want to see more? Check out my Youtube video on how this whole thing works: