Call the shots
BELLA is the sort of girl one would label as the “cool kid” in school. She wears her hair in a funky way, has her ears pierced and wears her school uniform just a little shorter than all the other girls. She has a group of tightly-knit friends — her clique — whom she hangs out, plays truant and gets into strife with. She’s bright but tends to hide her true self.
On the outside, she displays her rebellious streak. But people don’t know that she, in fact, has a kind heart. It seems that she likes to drive away people who try to get close to her and enjoys provoking others.
When I was able to dig deeper into Bella’s past, I discovered that she turned out the way she did as a result of her father leaving her when she was only 6. At that tender age when most children’s character traits are only being formed, Bella could not fathom why her father had done so. She blamed herself, believing that she was not good enough. She also blamed her mother for not doing enough to ensure that he stayed.
With this template in place, she grew up forming a fiery side to her character. Although the trait has served her well in her career in the corporate world, it has, however, been detrimental to her personal relationships. Such is her fear of getting hurt and being rejected that she ends up turning away a lot of potential relationships.
There are two distinctive scenarios to describe how we respond to situations — it is either rebellion or conformity. Subconscious programming moves us to make decisions that are not always for our greater good but rather a reaction based on past experiences, something we may not even be aware of.
So if you find yourself making decisions based on rebelliousness, here’s what you can try and do:
PRACTICE MAKES PROGRESS
There are things that happen to us in the course of our lives that end up shaping us into what we eventually become. Going back to your childhood days and recalling decisions you made when you were pressured will give you an idea of how you made them and how that, in turn, shaped your life.
Review major decisions that you have made in your adulthood as well. Did you make them out of fear of other people or were they based on the desire to conform to what’s considered “normal”? All these responses actually tell a tale.
Most traumatic experiences dampen our spirit and impresses upon our subconscious a default reaction to situations. For example, if a child were to see his parents fight or separate, he might end up vowing never to marry to avoid the same predicament from happening to him. Now this subconscious vow can lurk in the background somewhere and as much as he may want to be in a relationship and start his own family, it can be hard.
So I encourage you to look back and make attempts to clear past trauma so that you can manoeuvre through your life challenges easier. If you find challenges difficult, seek professional assistance. When you can empty the emotional baggage that you’ve been carrying for years, you can then set yourself free from the limitations you’ve unconsciously set on your life.
An important aspect of being mature comes from being able to make heart-based decisions that are not influenced by external sources, namely those made to conform to societal norms or peer influences. It’s also mature to move beyond our own patterns and make an effort to dig deep into understanding who we are and what makes us behave in a certain way.
When you can make decisions based on heart-felt responses and not just rebel against something, a whole new experience can open up, enabling you to be the unique person that you are. It’s liberating to call the shots instead of giving in to our default responses and react out of our own interest.