If you would have asked me ten years ago to go on a stage or speak to a group of more than four people, I would have run screaming for the hills.
I literally became physically ill at just the thought. Why? I didn’t know because I never questioned it, I just avoided it like the plague! It was a behavior I defaulted to without any thought. I wonder if you have any?
A default behavior is one you give no thought to. It is a knee-jerk, yet predictable, behavior that happens over and over again. Mine was avoidance of anything that had the potential to produce embarrassment or humiliation, which can be just about anything except breathing. This was all caused by an event in my childhood where I felt vulnerable, embarrassed and humiliated. Unknown to my adult self, the little girl I once was vowed to never feel these feelings again. Thus at the ripe old age of ten, I stopped being me.
When I began this journey of uncovering my true identity and discovering my destiny, I realized I avoided a lot of things I once loved as a child: athletic competitions—because it was embarrassing to lose, having an opinion or speaking up—because it would be uncomfortable and embarrassing to not have everyone agree with me, and being on a stage—because it invoked scenarios of forgetting my lines or freezing with nothing to say. Even though it was irrational, I argued with anyone about anything because it was embarrassing to be wrong. These scenarios were all too risky for one as frightened of embarrassment as me.
All of these behaviors were default; they required no thought on my part but stemmed from the erroneous belief that I was an embarrassment and my behavior was embarrassing. I constantly felt unsettled in my soul, and my behavior was betraying my belief about myself. I had a negative core narrative that needed to be exposed. My default behavior provided the clues.
An negative core narrative or belief always begins with an “I”:
I am an embarrassment.
I am unplanned.
I am of no value.
I am unattractive.
I am unworthy.
I am unintelligent.
I am ugly.
I am an accident.
I am unlovable.
I am insignificant.
Do you see how these statements bestow an erroneous, negative identity upon us? When we come into agreement with any of these negative narratives, we begin behaving out of this false identity. When we believe we are unlovable we act unlovable. When we believe we have no value we will treat ourselves as valueless. Your behaviors stem from your identity, from who you believe you are, which may or may not be true. Isn’t that frightening?
What if we just changed the tape in our minds and began telling ourselves who we truly are? Loved, significant intelligent and worthy. Would we start to act and react differently? I certainly did.