The Power of Re-Parenting

Most of us have baggage and insecurities that stem from our childhood experiences. Even if our upbringing wasn’t overtly traumatic, few of us get everything we need emotionally when growing up. Perhaps it was our environment, or our parents’ own baggage and insecurities that resulted in us experiencing a lack of consistent support, acceptance or guidance at times.

These unmet emotional needs we have as children can and often do leave lasting imprints. Those of us who grew up lacking positive reinforcement may carry an unshakable “I’m not good enough” story within them. Those with parents who may not have been able to be emotionally available can internalise the belief “I’m unlovable.” This is simply an unfortunate result of how we make sense of our experience.

These core beliefs then drive psychological patterns intended to avoid further emotional pain. For instance, in the example above, where a child whose parents were emotionally unavailable, the child may unconsciously conclude “I must be unlovable” to explain their experience. This belief could then lead to adult people-pleasing and a lack of boundaries in an attempt to earn love and acceptance. Another common example is a lack of validation and acceptance in childhood. This can solidify a core belief of being fundamentally flawed or unworthy. This damaging self-perception frequently leads to patterns of chronic shame, approval-seeking behaviours, and perfectionism in adulthood as a means to feel acceptable. These unhealthy patterns generally persist unless we take steps to re-evaluate and re-shape our core beliefs.

There are likely as many ways this kind of process takes place as there are people. Suffice it to say, our self-perception is formed by these ingrained childhood experiences, for better or worse. The degree to which our fundamental needs were nurtured or went unmet becomes essentially hard-wired into our developing psyche. Our neural pathways that set our core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us, take their shape based on this dynamic. As a result, we can then become stuck operating from outdated coping modes that prevent us from thriving as our full, authentic selves.

This is why re-parenting can be so effective- imagine if you received everything you needed as a child. The nurturing, acceptance, and guidance that was lacking from our younger selves’ experience is something we can consciously and intentionally give to ourselves. It’s about becoming a strong and compassionate adult for the younger, more vulnerable side of yourself- the part that was shaped by a childhood which may have been lacking in this way.

It can take time to explore and access our past. However, this is where the insights into what our unmet needs are can be found. With this knowledge you can begin to be the parent that you needed- and the rewards can be life-changing. With re-parenting themselves effectively, people have been able to:

●     Restore a healthy sense of self-worth

●     Develop healthy boundaries

●     Let go of harsh self-criticism and perfectionism tendencies

●     Become free of the need for others’ approval

Aside from these, there are many more benefits that can be experienced with re-parenting, and each benefit generally builds on others. In turn, our relationships, work, and overall life satisfaction tend to benefit as well. Perhaps the single most radical change, however, is developing true independence and autonomy to fully embrace your authentic interests and identity. You become the most authentic and genuine version of yourself- free from outdated coping patterns and limiting self-beliefs. With this re-parented source of self-compassion, you’ll be equipped to face life’s challenges from a place of resilience, while staying true to your most authentic self.




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