Childhood Messages

We bond with whatever we experience in our childhood, whether that is positive or negative. Receiving support and encouragement as a child increases self-esteem and confidence. Receiving criticism and negativity reduces those same characteristics.

The messages you heard as a child influenced the ways you saw yourself and the world in general. 

What are the messages you received about:

  •  your intelligence?
  • your ability to solve problems
  • your education?
  • handling money?
  • marriage?
  • children?
  • your relationship to men? to women?
  • your body?
  • your ability to excel in sports?
  • feminine behavior?
  • masculine behavior?
  • your ability to be a leader?
  • your place in religion and your spiritual life?
  • your ability to drive cars, buses, trucks?
  • working mothers? nurturing men?
  • the value of raising children and making a home?
  • your sexuality?
  • the importance of your appearance?

Feel free to add any other messages you think were significant for you.

Think about how these messages have affected your self-concept as a woman or man and have affected your life script – what you thought possible for your self – in both positive and negative ways.  Hopefully there are more positive than negative. However, it is the rare individual who doesn’t have some baggage to work on.

This is intended to assist in greater awareness of why there may be stuck places in your life.

Next: Building Self-Esteem

Adapted from Women as Winners, Dorothy Jongeward and Dru Scott, Reading, Ma.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1976. 

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