Bent Nickel Beliefs – The Lint From Childhood That Creates Unhappiness – Insights from the Wilderness #19

No matter how hard a person tries, no matter how many attempts they make, it is virtually impossible to build a successful and happy life when you have a bent nickel belief residing at the base of your thinking. Dick Rauscher©

bent nickel beliefsEach of us has an “inner child” that contains all of our experiences and learning’s from childhood. Because it was formed when we were very young, the ego of that portion of our consciousness is called our “primitive ego”

Some of what we learned during childhood is simply not accurate. We refer to those learning’s as “bent nickel beliefs”. They distort or ignore reality and thus have the ability to create unnecessary pain and conflict in our lives.

Bent nickel beliefs come from two very distinct periods of our childhood, and like lint, these beliefs stuck to us because they were born of painful or traumatic memories…….some conscious, some not.

Fortunately, bent nickel beliefs are relatively easy to identify and replace with beliefs that more accurately reflect reality.

But first, let’s take a brief look at how these false beliefs were created and why we adopted them.

Much of what we know about the world actually comes from infancy or the first two years of our life……a pre-verbal time when our knowledge about the world comes to us primarily from personal experience.

Examples of bent nickel beliefs from this period might include impatience…… the belief that when we want something “we want it when we want it”. If it didn’t come to us immediately, we simply opened our mouths and screamed bloody murder. It worked.  People paid more attention to us.

Today, we may find ourselves impatient and angry when our needs are not met immediately……when “we” want them met.  This is a very common false or reality distorting belief.

From 2yrs to about 7yrs our beliefs usually come from what people actually said to us or how they treated us. A good analogy during this time in our childhood is to think about each of our bent nickel beliefs as a virus in our internal programming.

Statements such as “you are so stupid”,  or “here…..let me do that for you”,  or  “would you hurry up…….you’re such a bother” or  “how many times do I have to tell you not to do that. Don’t you ever learn?” are common messages that create reality distorting beliefs.

Some bent nickel beliefs come simply from assumptions we made about ourselves in childhood such as…….. I’m not smart. I’m not important. People don’t like me. I have to try harder to be good and do better so they won’t yell at me. There’s something wrong with me.

As we grow beyond childhood, we continue to pick up reality distorting beliefs.  But most of our false beliefs come from childhood. As we grow older, we tend to simply reinforce what we already know about the world…and about ourselves.

It is important to remember that the negative comments and behaviors of our childhood caregivers were not always accurate. In fact, they probably only reflected “their own” distorted false beliefs.

The way to awaken to the bent nickel beliefs that create problems with our self image is to become self-aware of how we are feeling. If we are fearful, angry, hurt, disappointed, frustrated or annoyed with ourselves or others, it is almost certain a reality distorting belief from childhood is present.

If we can learn to pay attention and sit with the feeling, the bent nickel belief behind the feeling will eventually become clear.

We all have them, the only question is what are we going to do with them.

If we refuse to become more self-aware and begin healing our bent nickel beliefs, we will most certainly attempt to pass them onto those around us. What we judge in ourselves is what we will judge in others.

Healthy beliefs reflect reality, not our ego.

Leave a comment below and let me know what some of your bent nickels are.

© Dick Rauscher, 2010

, , , ,

No comments yet.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this blog article