It has been said that more than 97% of our daily actions are implicit, that is, they are not conscious. It’s an adaptive strategy that promotes survival, so we can preserve mental energy in case of emergencies. However, this means that the majority of our behaviour is not mandated by our conscious choices.
What reins in our behaviour?
Beliefs and ideas, deeply woven into our subconscious
Most of these deep beliefs and ideas are totally unknown to us, as they have been so woven into our subconscious. While it is near impossible to know what they are exactly without the help of psychodynamic therapy, getting to know ourselves is the most logical answer. Think about it; the more we know about our own insecurities, sources of happiness… self, the closer we come to deciphering these deep beliefs that rule our behaviour.
Knowing yourself is a journey. And so, here our journey begins. Get ready to become familiar with your fears, hurts and unmasked self. To listen to them. To give your shadow self your undivided attention so that you can offer them comfort and ultimately, rest.
This week let’s begin our odyssey towards our most emotionally developed self, by taking an introspective step backwards.
Think about yourself before the whirlwind of adulthood had hit you, maybe it was when you were 16, 13 or 7 years old.
- What advice would you give yourself?
- What knowledge would you equip this little bud of innocence with, to not just survive, but to thrive in this world?
- Why do they need this advice?
Whip out a diary, some paper or even your laptop. Here is a methodological way to address yourself in a way that will serve your journey the best.
- Title the letter: dear little me
- Introduction: describe your younger self, give your younger self two compliments and one point of constructive criticism. Start with “right now you are … old”, “you want to be a … in the future”, ”your biggest goal in life is…”
- Start with one piece of advice at a time, here are some questions of inspiration:
- How should they deal with stress?
- What should they do in the face of criticism?
- What fears do they have? And how can they tackle them?
- What will make them unhappy? Can they avoid it? How can they deal with they deal with these triggers?
- How can they avoid regrets?
- Finish up with the words they need to hear. Tell them how loved they are, how they are perfect in their own flawed way, how they belong. Tell your little bud how much you love it, just the way it is.
- Sign it, put a date on it and seal it up for the next time you feel like you need a bit of guidance.
Now that you have written your letter, consider the advice you have given to your younger self.
- Can it be applied to you and your life right now?
- What advice really stands out to you, and why?
- Is there anything you’re going to implement from the lessons you’ve said to your younger self?
- Was there an order of importance to your advice?
Written by Ishana Durante-Bose