Which labels were given to you? Which ones have been given to your child?
· the shy one
· the over-achiever
· the trouble-maker
· the smart one
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a label (which is really shorthand for a group of symptoms or behaviors). It’s how we let it define and limit us.
None of these labels and diagnoses means that we can’t live a satisfying and joyful life… unless we accept the predictions that go with them:
· You will always be this way and it will negatively impact your life.
· People will see and treat you differently (and you end up treating yourself differently).
· You’ll never escape the label.
· Someone will always appear to remind you of your limitations.
· You believe you can’t do more, so you don’t.
· Once in pain, always in pain.
The brain is a powerful thing; it believes whatever you tell it. If you tell it scary things, it will send messages to your body that you’re in danger. All sorts of chemical reactions take place to shut down less critical functions.
Stress giving you a stomach ache? The brain said to stop producing digestive juices.
Fear wearing you down and you feel a cold coming on? The brain suppresses the immune system in response to danger signals.
Panicking because you can’t focus? Forget about focusing for now. Not going to happen.
The brain-body connection is real.
What thoughts will you feed your brain today? Your child’s brain?
If you train yourself, you can just as easily imagine a positive outcome as a negative one.
Try it. Practice it. Work it. It works.
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Fern Weis is a certified life coach who learned that caring and good intentions are not enough in parenting. In fact, they are often the problem! Fern supports parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, including addiction recovery. She helps parents release guilt, end enabling and confidently prepare their children to thrive through life's challenges. Her articles are featured in Thrive Global, Medium, Motherly, The Teen Mentor, and Bergen County Moms.
Learn more about coaching and classes at www.fernweis.com. And then download your free guide, "Five Powerful Steps to Get Your Teen to Talk." For information on Family Recovery programs, visit www.familyrecoverypartners.com.