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Do childhood experiences determine behavior in later life?
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You are in control of changing self-limiting behaviour

The treatment of a child helps them develop core beliefs. These can be positive or negative. It is possible as an adult to change your self-limiting beliefs.

The Argument

Our belief systems are formed as children. We transition through life based on these. These beliefs are shaped by surrounding adults. If as children we were rewarded for doing a chore, we may get into a mindset of seeking approval through doing a good task. This can result in harmful behavior in seeking validity from others, and when not on the receiving end of such validity, we may begin to consider ourselves as not good enough, especially when transitioning through teenage years. These self-limiting ideas can become detrimental to self-confidence and the ability to achieve. Psychological methods such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and clinical psychology assist individuals to unravel the thought process, and help people embrace the emotion, understand the root of their belief, rationalise the thought process to understand it is a false belief, and then uproot it. You are therefore able to control your self-limiting thoughts, which then helps you engage in healthy behaviours.[1]

Counter arguments

It is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to get rid of self-limiting beliefs that have been formed through childhood. Even if you are an excellent performer at work, where you have supportive colleagues, uplifting friendships and relationships, there is always a part of you that may go back to a childhood memory, a nonchalant comment or act towards you by an adult you saw as influential, and convince yourself that that self-limiting belief is true. These beliefs can cause you to give up opportunities to progress. Why do these beliefs have such an impact? It is due to a psychological principle called “belief perseverance”. The principle dictates that once you have formed a belief, you will always negate the importance of evidence to the contrary, whilst utilising any information that supports the belief as evidence to endorse it. [2]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 4 Oct 2020 at 21:26 UTC

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