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Think Piece

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You don't have to be a product of your past.
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We are all products of our environment and parental styles. The two most influential factors in the outcome of a person’s personality or character. Psychologist Gordon Allport theorized that our memories, past, and thoughts of future affect our mind set and, in turn, how we act. Ergo, how we think impacts our mood which then determines our behavior. The way we react to certain stimuli is adopted from the behavior patterns of both societal and familial relationships. Understanding the dynamics of interpersonal connections with others and the influence it has had on your actions is a key tool needed on your journey to self-awareness.

Healthy coping skills and dedicated support systems are imperative to the development of positive personalities. The correlation between our upbringings and how we respond to the world is undeniable. If a parent is too authoritative, cold, or demanding it can result in the engagement of rebellious, delinquent, and/or self-destructing behavior. If a parent is too lenient, sets no boundaries, and does not discipline their child, what you get is a self-centered adult who doesn’t follow the rules and most likely has difficulty maintaining relationships. Learned at an early age these responses become embedded in our psyche and dictate how we act every single day.  

The good news is that what is learned can be unlearned and replaced by new mental processes. It all starts with the simple act of acknowledgment. Acknowledge your behaviors and then think about how you came to acquire them. The next step is acceptance. Accept the parts of you that you are content with and own the parts of you that you dislike the most. All are pieces of you that make up your whole truth. Never deny your truth. Lastly, make adjustments. Be real and ask yourself, “what am I unhappy about? What is it about me that I don’t like?” Know that most answers to those questions are changeable. Also know when to refer back to step 2 and accept the things that you have no control over. Work on letting go to move forward and build a better you. Good luck and blessed be on your adventures!