The Nature vs. Nurture has been one in long contention. It’s my theory that we are a product of both. Our Genetic Makeup certainly gives us our appearance, our height, our eyes, our nose, etc. and even potentially some of our psychological characteristics. But, I think nurture certainly plays a large role as well. This argument could be verified by taking a quick glance at our behaviors. For example, if a person grows up in an abusive environment, it’s likely that they too will become an abusive or violent person. If you don’t believe me, check the statistics. If someone grows up in an environment where there’s a lot of hugging and affection shown, it’s likely that that child will be affectionate as well. These are learned behaviors.
Think about yourself and your behaviors.
Do you like to cook because your mom was a good cook? Are you a huge sports fan because your father was always watching sports? Are you a huge pet lover because you have always had pets around?
Now, psychologists they like to blame our mothers for things. Moms definitely get the brunt end of things where this is concerned. Okay, mom may be partly to blame for our weirdness, but certainly as adults we have the choice to continue in our “strange” behaviors.
So, I was talking to a client today and she was talking about the driving factors of her behaviors. She had gone to a weekend self-help seminar and learned some interesting things about herself. She learned that she thought of herself as incompetent and spoiled. And it’s been these behaviors that have driven her attitudes about how she views others. We have a tendency to see things in others that we don’t like about ourselves. It’s strange how that works isn’t it?
What’s really interesting about it all, is that it is perception. She had somehow learned and perceived as a little child that to be competent meant getting rewards for things, whether it was a A on a report card or a pat on the back from a parent. Competence in her mind meant receiving some sort of affirmation or validation from others. How many of us think that? It’s more common than we might think. However, according to the dictionary Competence is the ability to perform a specific task, action or function successfully.
Now of course, success can be a perception as well. Some people might define success in different ways. Some people may think they’re successful if they have a great job, making lots of money, and have a great career title, while others may think success is being a great stay-at-home mom. Some people might define success as how they treat others. There are many ways people can define success, therefore many ways that competence can also be defined or “perceived.”
To me it’s a matter of semantics, but you can be your own judge.
My goal with my client was to shift her perception of what it meant to be competent, so that she would begin to see that she does not need outside sources to validate that she indeed is a competent, capable, intelligent woman.
Through a little strategy and word playing she came to realize that perhaps her perception about her competence was a “little-child-like”.
We do not need outside sources to know that we’re competent, that we’re a good person, that we’re intelligent, or that we are successful. We all have everything we need to be all that we can be, it’s just a matter of shifting our thought patterns to actually believing that we can.