As parents we certainly do our best to teach our kids the things that make them feel self confident, believe in their own abilities, and the skills to handle any situation and rise up to any challenge. Do our best and we hope it’s enough. Yes, we hope…is there a way we can know for sure? Well, the easiest way is to look at how we rise up to challenges.
The whole idea of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the pear tree” is actually true – and scientifically proven. Children (the apples) learn most from the people (the trees) who have the most influence over them – whether that’s biological parents, step parents, or other guardians.
Think of yourself in a challenging situation, how do you respond? As Dr Wayne Dyer says, “When an orange is squeezed, orange juice comes out. What comes out of you when you’re squeezed?” And no, he doesn’t mean blood and guts. He means, when you’re under pressure and challenged, what are your fall back responses? What are your most familiar and instinctual behaviours?
Knowing these will help you identify the underlying story that you tell yourself about how to respond to situations. These stories are what create your life and the majority of them are deeply unconscious to us. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re true, you just learned them throughout your own life experience. These are also the stories you’re passing to your apples – your kids.
If you find that you’re not rising up to challenges in a way that you want to, then the good news is you can change your response! Phew! And no, it’s not difficult . Here are a few questions you
can ask yourself to help you start rewriting the stories you tell yourself.
- What are you saying to yourself about a given challenge?
- Is it true, what you’re telling yourself? (We spend so much time convincing ourselves that we can’t, we’re not, we’re don’t have, we….it’s just as easy to debunk those lies and start telling ourselves things that don’t sabotage us.)
- Who or what would you be if you didn’t believe this?
- What resources do you already have to be this person who believes the truth?
Once you realize that what you tell yourself about any situation in your life is what creates the outcome – you can simply change what you tell yourself. And don’t’ get all caught up in the “I’m just being realistic” game. Reality is all in your head and with the right tools and action on your part, you can pretty much do anything you want. Ok, maybe not grow wings and fly, but you know what I mean. Everything that you experience around you was once a challenge for someone – they chose to rise up to it and not tell themselves the “I can’t” story or the “it’s too hard
story,” or the “here is my list of excuses” story.
You don’t want your kids to have excuses; you want them to achieve their best, right? Why do you allow yourself to have excuses then? Teaching your kids by example and by role modeling for them is the easiest way to influence them. They may not always listen to you but they sure as heck always watch you – even when you’re not aware of it. Rise up to challenges with confidence and your kids will too. Who knows, maybe they will be the next inventor of something that will revolutionize humanity the way electricity, toasters, and smart phones did.