Research Paper By Sheila Holder
(Life Coach, BERMUDA)
I am very interested in the origin of self-limiting and disempowering beliefs, mainly because of my work and involvement with children for more than twenty years. I worked as an elementary school teacher for sixteen years and then a school counselor for eight years. Throughout those years I not only interacted with students but with parents, grandparents and significant others who have influenced the lives of children.
Secondly, my interest is fueled by my own upbringing and beliefs that influenced my actions well into adulthood. I do not remember being directly influenced by negative words and behaviors by the significant others in my sphere of influence. The evidence, though, of not feeling adequate to the task, or deserving of the “A” grade, or speaking my own opinions in public marked my teen and young adult years.
While teaching elementary school children showed up in my classroom in a multiplicity of ways. Some were withdrawn, inhibited, or shy; others were carefree, happy, or outgoing. Some believed in themselves, others were introverted or reserved. Some children exhibited traits of fear or courage; they may have felt empowered, or entitled. It did not matter so much if they had come from wealthy or underprivileged homes, their thoughts, beliefs or actions did not distinguish whether they were wealthy or underprivileged. What was the distinguishing key, was that “innate something” which influenced whether they believed in their own self worth, whether they felt loved or felt rejected or felt that they did not have much value at all. I posit the difference was the child’s belief system.