Feeling Like A Fraud
Continued from yesterday…
It didn’t take long for me to forget about the episode. The memory was too painful, so I suppressed it into my unconscious. But as it lodged in there, it had altered my personality and my self-perception.
My confidence was replaced with a nagging doubt that I was just not good enough: I was not as gifted or as smart as the other students, so I lost the motivation to study. My grades in every class began to drop. I felt less confident in class and stopped interacting with the other students as I had before. I felt like I was not as good as them, and therefore I didn’t think they would accept me.
Many years later, the unconscious memory lived on in my pursuits. Although I was an experienced orator, I would often listen to other well-known speakers and then redesign my message to imitate theirs. I felt that they were more accomplished than me, so what they had to say was somehow better than my own content. One traumatic moment (or at least one ego-shattering event) had redefined who I believed myself to be. And now it affected my career and shaped my dreams and pursuits.
Even when I began to achieve success, the memory lived on in my nonconscious mind. Any success I achieved was shadowed by doubts and even depression. I felt like a fraud when I did well because being a successful person wasn’t who I believed myself to be unconsciously. Depression was a way to punish myself for the lack of harmony between the success I witnessed and how I felt about myself in my nonconscious mind.
A combination of guilt, shame, and fear had entrenched itself as the filters through which I viewed reality. I could not be happy with myself even when I did well. It wasn’t that the incident in the classroom was the sole reason for my struggles.
The unconscious negative programming had begun almost the moment I was born. But somehow the minor event in the classroom had a traumatic effect on me and intensified the disconnect from my true self. Although I was not consciously aware of it, my life was being shaped by one teacher’s experiment.
To be continued tomorrow…
Adapted from section 2 of Awakening To I Am Love by David Youngren
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