Many people become codependent in relationship and lose their sense of identity. They become care takers and begin to neglect their self care. They lose their boundaries and allow others to manipulate them. They become addicted to abusive relationship s, substances, and lose their self esteem. Many of these patterns of behaviors are learned, and stem from not getting adequate parental love and support. As a result, there is a blow to the self confidence and the person also become too passive or extremely aggressive in interpersonal style. Boundaries become loose and the person begins to adopt a core belief that he or she does not deserve to be happy. A wave of pessimism begins to color their perception and they become absolutely negative in their outlook. Since their childhood was deprived, they grow up feeling worthless as adults. Some of these folks grew up with a feeling of insecurity, lack of protection and consistency. Consequently, they begin to lose their capacity to trust others. Some of them were deprived of adequate childhood experiences. Being raised by alcoholic parents, being deprived of the love of step parents, absence of a father or mother figure, all these childhood circumstances can make the person believe that life is deprived and begins to feel worthless and undeserving.
How do we get out of this mode of thinking and behavior pattern? It is possible to change the beliefs and transform them into healthier and functional beliefs. It is important to fill in these blank spots with proper attitude and belief that contributes deserving state of mind. Following is the list of things one can choose from to become deserving again from the state of deprived. The list is taken from the book Beyond Codependency and Getting Better all the time, by Melodie Bettie, the famous author, who has done fantastic work on codependency and has written many books on this issue.
An underlying feeling of safety
A norm of feeling good
The ability to resolve conflicts
Many of us were deprived as a child, as mentioned earlier, but many of us have carried that deprivation into adulthood. Deprivation creates deprived thinking and deprived thinking fosters deprivation. We may become desperate, resentful and jealous of people who have enough money. Deprivation becomes habitual. We may continue to feel insecure and deprived while in reality we may have enough. We may react to deprivation in several ways. We may adopt a negative attitude and grumble for the half empty glass and fail to recognize that we are alive, healthy and well. The most detrimental effect of being deprived, is the belief that we are not worthwhile and do not deserve good things in life. This limiting belief becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and also prevents us from focusing on the good things of life. The best thing to deal with this type of limiting belief is to say,” STOP, I have enough and I deserve the best.” I suggest that you adopt an attitude of gratitude and begin to focus on what you have and show your gratitude. When you are grateful, you feel gratified and fulfilled. Deprived thinking makes good things into less or nothing. You will change your attitude when you begin to show gratitude for what you have. You will begin to think positive and thoughts will create good feelings versus depression and sadness over what you do not have. Your new attitude will make you problem solve for how can you cope with the current problem versus crying, and feeling hopeless. The principle of gratitude will either change you, or the circumstances, or both. The trick is to be grateful for what you have. You don’t need to be desperate, fearful, jealous, resentful, or miserly. All you need to do is to appreciate and take care of what you have today. Gradually, you will see you will be making right efforts and will be able to reach your goals.
It is important to note that with the sense of gratitude, you also need to believe that you deserve the best life has to offer. Changing our beliefs about what we deserve is not an easy process. It takes time and persistence. It happens gradually in small increments. Therefore it is important to believe that we deserve to have good things. It is as important as having gratitude for what we have. Practicing gratitude without changing our belief about what we deserve, may keep you stuck in deprivation and lead to depression.
In order to change your current beliefs, the following activity will be effective. First thing is to determine what you believe you deserve, complete the following statements. Write as many completions as come to your mind for each statement. Write until you are able to erase your bottom-line beliefs. When you write your sentences, do free association, which means keep writing whatever comes to your mind without evaluating and judging. This will increase self awareness about your current belief systems so that you can take some action to change and dispute them.
I can’t, or don’t have a healthy, loving relationship because:
I can’t or don’t have trustworthy friends because:
I can’t enjoy life because:
I can’t be intelligent and smart enough because:
It is also important to replace your negative dialogues with affirmations and replace negative messages with positive ones. You need to learn to empower and emphasize the good in yourself to be able to see more of it. Similarly, if we empower the good in others, we will get more of it too. It is in your control to impact this change. It is good to be around people who empower you but until you do this empowering yourself, you will not be able to make giant strides forward. Recovery is a process and use of affirmations aid in the recovery from codependency. Using affirmations does not mean that we ignore our awareness of the problems that exist in our lives. That is denial. We need to identify problems, but we need to empower solutions first. Affirmations will help solve the problems. You need to use affirmations with surrender, spirituality, and letting go. At the outset, things may not look good and you might feel that things are getting worse because old ways of thinking might surface into conscious awareness. It is normal to resist affirmations and positive thoughts because after all you have been used to thinking negative for so many years. However, if you are diligent, assertive, and continue to persist in the use of affirmations, you will begin to see desired results. Be patient and don’t give up. Don’t let problems reinforce your old, negative thought patterns.
Sometimes, we get tested when we begin to change our negative beliefs. When this happens, hold fast to your new beliefs, let the storm roar and when the storm passes, you will see you are on solid ground with your new set of beliefs.
It is also important to engage in healthy activities like reading meditation books, concentrating on uplifting thoughts, prayer, attending a church or temple, attending seminars and workshops focused on positive thinking. Sometimes, “Acting As If” also helps reinforce your affirmations. When you fake it till you make it, tends to send positive messages to your subconscious mind. Using imagery or visualizing is another method for inviting the positive. When we create mental images of what we want to happen, we see ourselves as we want to be. Athletes use this method to improve their performance. For example, a tennis player visualizes his serve mentally by adjusting the pressure, angle of the wrist and so on to be able to serve the ball. When he serves in real life at the match, the visualization and practice really helps him in serving the tennis ball to his opponent. Writer has written about this technique in other blogs entitled, Power of imagery and visualization and I would refer the readers to this blog to get more details.
Positive self talk is also a way of reinforcing the affirmations. Surrounding yourself with those who believe in you, also, helps in the process of affirmation. Relaxation, having fun along with exercise and proper nutrition, could also be instrumental in helping you become more deserving. Also, if you celebrate your accomplishments and achievements, you will become more positive and get inspiration from your own success. Reading positive literature, watching inspiring movies can also be helpful in changing your attitude from deprived to deserving. Most of all, it is important to be grateful for what you have. Make sure you indulge in self care to fill in all the blank spots you have from your childhood, which made you feel you are worthless. Give yourself encouragement and support. Begin to believe that you are lovable then you will see others will love you too. Stop berating yourself, accept yourself and nurture yourself unconditionally. This is how you will enable yourself to grow. Exercise discipline and believe in your Higher Power to reinforce your new set of beliefs.
In summary, you will be able to take this journey from deprived to deserving with strength, persistence, and endurance by following the above mentioned ideas.
Hypnosis can also uplift self esteem and help you become more assertive in your interpersonal style by offering powerful positive suggestions to the subconscious mind in a hypnotic trance.
Please visit our Blossom Hypnotherapy page to learn how hypnosis can help reduce symptoms of Anxiety disorders.