Self Development Comes From Challenging Your Truths
When you understand the theory of what makes you YOU; what makes you tick, it opens up a whole new world.
You can use your understanding, of what psychotherapists sometimes call the “human condition“, to bring about dramatic change. Change in your business, YES, but more impactful are the changes to self.
We call this personal growth and it’s what Person Centered Business is all about.
I like to use real life examples, that are relatable to you and your life, in order to explain psychological theory. That way you can be an active participant in the learning.
Personal growth takes courage, the courage to ask the questions that others may not consider. Today I would like to focus on the question of your reality.
Are your beliefs truly yours – or are they values and beliefs that you have adopted from others?
Do you see yourself in this story?
A little boy (Johnny) is four and a half years old. He falls over and scrapes some skin off the top of his knee. OUCH! He starts to cry.
Johnny looks down, sees the droplets of blood, feels the sting and instantly he is sad so he runs to Mommy.
Mommy looks at Johnny’s knee and says, “Come on, it’s not too bad. You are mommy’s big boy now and big boy’s don’t cry.” BANG! There it is. Johnny takes on an introjected value that “big boys don’t cry.”
Let me explain
Johnny falls, he is hurt and his inner self – called the organismic self – feels pretty miserable, so turns on the biology to create tears. Crying is a base physiological reaction we all share as humans; it’s cathartic as we release pent emotion.
Johnny turns to his mom who is his primary caregiver. At four, Johnny sees his mom as the knower of all things and the center of Johnny’s world. Literally.
Johnny shares his true self with his mom; he cries and looks for comfort. Johnny’s organismic self is “telling it as it is,” expressing truthfully how Johnny feels inside. What Johnny feels on the inside is clearly shown on the outside.
But then something happens that changes Johnny’s life forever.
Mom says, “…big boys don’t cry.”
Johnny measures what his mom says against his own feelings and they don’t match. Johnny is sad and crying, his mom is saying he shouldn’t be feeling this way because he is a big boy. Johnny adopts mom’s message as his own truth.
Next time Johnny falls and skins his knee he holds back the tears. His little lip is quivering as his organismic voice calls out – but the introjected value “big boys don’t cry” tells him to hold the emotion in. The emotion is not welcome so Johnny must swallow it to gain mom’s approval. He learns to hide what he feels inside so what is felt internally and what is shown outwardly do not match. This is called incongruence.
Mom tells Johnny what a brave “big boy” he is because he isn’t crying, thus reinforcing the introjected value.
Johnny comes to my office for therapy when he is 45. He says he is having difficulty expressing and showing emotions. He hasn’t cried in years because he is a “real man.” Johnny has hidden 40 years of hurt and sadness behind an introjected value. He took on the truth of his mother over his true organismic self and adopted it as his own truth.
Can you spot any introjected values in your own life?
What about values you have introjected into others?
Do your introjected values hold you back from being the person you want to be?
If you find this kind of exploration interesting and challenging then you may enjoy exploring my coaching service.