Ever since I hit my 20’s I’ve put a lot of thought into the experience and upbringing that shaped me into who I am today. I’ve thought much about the type of woman I want to be and who I hope to never become. One big question I’ve searched myself for is how my inner voice was formed- what I tell myself about who I am and where this esteem came from. You’ve experienced this, haven’t you?
I mean, our childhood must have served as a foundation into the pattern of thoughts and behaviors we’ve become accustomed to as adults. Plenty of research shows that just the first 2 years play a critical role in the onset of our development- cognitively (the structure of our mindset) and emotionally. And it all begins with the very first relationships we experience at the beginning stages of our life.
Attachment theory says that in order to develop a healthy sense of security within ourselves of growth, confidence in taking risks and branching out, first a sense of stability, emotional support and strong bonding with our parent (or caregiver) plays a vital role.
How secure we are made to feel during childhood is a launching pad for how securely we navigate the rest of our world.
Remember, that these are usually based on general findings and common patterns in humanity. There are always exceptions and this is not always the case.
However, research from Frontiers in Human Neuroscience recently studied the relationship between how our emotions affect the level of how we mentally cope with situations we interpret as highly negative or stressful.
And to put the results in simple terms, studies showed that those who had an insecure-attachment personality had a harder, slower time recovering from negative and stressful situations than those who had a secure-attachment personality.
Consider this: Have you ever noticed how some people adapt quicker, recover faster and move forward with a higher resilience to life crises than others?
Two people could experience the same crisis in life but have two completely different reactions and approaches. It isn’t so much the actual problem as it is the person’s mindset and personal security through the problem.
So say you didn’t have the security, emotional support or esteem you wish you had as a child- I want to let you know that you can change the pattern of insecurity in the face of crisis.
Here’s the good news:
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close. Psalm 27:10
No matter what your childhood looked like or how present your parents may or may not have been, this is not the only form of security you have. You cannot forget God’s sovereignty or His loving provision for you.
So many times these crisis’ that pop up are out of our hands and even a solid security in ourselves is not enough, because we are limited. So you must be able to turn to your security in God. This is what gives us the confidence to move forward. We know that when we are in His hands, we are in good hands. Things may be out of your control, but they are still under His control. A major factor of bouncing back from overwhelming stress and seemingly impossible obstacles relies on our ultimate faith in God. You do your best and trust God with the rest.
Make adaptability your best friend.
One of the biggest reasons we hinder ourselves from pushing forward successfully is because we put too much focus in how things “should have gone” and not enough focus into how to shift gears. Adaptability is an essential characteristic to healthy functioning. Why? Because life is always changing and disappointment is inevitable in this world. You have to put on your grown up pants and be able to change your plans when plans change. If not, you will make yourself the victim of every circumstance and neglect the opportunity to grow forward. Adaptability must become a mindset in order to press on with greater resilience.
Now that you know, use your awareness.
Maybe you’ve read this and you realize a lot of the reason you handle life crises with insecurity is a result of your childhood experience. Maybe it wasn’t specifically your parents but other critical traumas that put a dent in your self-worth at a young age. And I get that this seems incredibly unfair. It’s difficult to battle with the fact that we’ve been shaped in ways we never asked for and didn’t have the power or understanding to do anything about. But the present truth is, we can’t go back and change the past.
However, you can become more aware of how certain experiences may have rooted qualities in yourself that need to be uprooted. You can reshape how you decide to approach the future. You are your own person now. You have authority over your thoughts. And while the past has been a part of you, it doesn’t have to define who you become.
Let’s recap. In the face of a life crisis you will:
1. Put your security in God’s sovereignty. He is above all things and He has you.
2. Focus less on what “should have happened” and adapt to “what’s happening now” and shift gears into “what needs to happen next”.
3. No longer be defined by the voice of your past. Realize you are your own person and take authority over your thought life.
Now is the time where we say, this mindset will no longer be my life and we do something about it.