Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to assert yourself properly? It probably has to do with perceptions and beliefs that were passed on from your parents and absorbed by you at a very young age. These assumed beliefs impact how you view yourself and your capabilities in this world.

By the time you reach 7 years old, key foundational principles have been established in your brain. This becomes your template to live by. Whether you know it or not, you’ve made critical decisions about yourself and life based on what you’ve learned up until the age of 7 years old.

I want to give you a real example of how these learned perceptions and behaviors can impact our lives. Meet Mary*. Her core belief is that she’s not important and has no value. These learned observations show up in Mary’s adult life and specifically in her relationship with her spouse. In her marriage she’s completely unable to stand up for herself, she can’t communicate with her husband, she’s submissive and she does what she’s told. On the other hand, while she’s doing all of these things, she’s angry and resentful of him because she sees him as a bully.

For whatever reason, Mary learned to feel less worthy, not special, and not loved. As such, she will never feel like she has the right to stand up for herself. Although she cannot assert herself properly, her adult self believes that her husband is controlling her.

This unworthiness pattern can also show up at work. Other employees may bully her and she may not be paid what she’s worth. She gives of herself endlessly because, as a little girl, she was made to feel unimportant and she felt like she didn’t have the right to ask for more.

These feelings of unworthiness stem from psycho-emotional patterns and behaviors passed down from your parents. If you reflect on this, you can begin to question many layers of your life based upon what you have experienced as a child. Analyze how you feel about how smart you are. Analyze how you approach learning new things and how you approach your job. If you panic when you think about learning new things it’s because you learned sometime in the past that you were stupid or incapable. Watch your own life to see what reactions and responses you have and trace them back to see where they started to emerge in your life.

Once you begin to notice these things you can start to rebuild your own psycho-emotional nature and change negative thoughts. You will live a confident, empowered and assertive life. This is precisely what we help you with at Mindful Change.

Do you think there are other reasons why people can’t stand up for themselves?