Breaking Inherited and Created Patterns of Low Self-Worth

Image from An Upturned Soul
Image from An Upturned Soul

“As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You have to be whole and complete in yourself. No one can give you that. You have to know who you are – what others say is irrelevant.”
~ Nic Sheff


2014 is a powerful year for clearing  old limiting beliefs and behaviours, especially for those of you brave and wise souls who are choosing to be big ancestral pattern-breakers in your family. 2015 is a year where you’ll be able to fly if you can only get these chains off your wings this year. It is time to do this work, even though the work can be hard.

We inherit all kinds of things from our families – hair colour, body shape, sporting aptitude, quirky humour and survival skills. Some things we learn from them, some we develop for ourselves.

I received a message yesterday from a lovely lass working through this week’s blog challenge. Her message really resonated for me. Perhaps it will for you too;

So I’ve worked out how I’m sabotaging myself, and I realise it’s a learnt behaviour from my father so I don’t get criticised and so I don’t get noticed. Well although I came up with things I can do to stop both the overt and covert ways I do this to myself so my life stays small, my question is how do I break this because knowing hasn’t made it stop. It’s made me notice, but it hasn’t stopped me just not doing what I know I should. So is there something else I can do to break this? As I’m in the crazy ancestral pattern breaking year?
Thanks for the tea, sweets and advice.
Love ya

Oh goodness. Sound familiar?

Have you caught yourself saying that nasty thing your mother said to you during an argument with your own child? Have you watched yourself exhibit that same neurotic obsession as your father, or the bitchiness of your grandmother? Have you done the thing you saw them do and vowed you never would?


Do you step back into those same childhood patterns of thinking everyone is picking on you as soon as someone questions you, so that you immediately get on the defensive? Do you panic if it’s not perfect because then no-one will love you – a throwback to your childhood insecurity although now you’re well and truly an independent adult?

Image from  The Liberty Beat
Image from The Liberty Beat

You can do something about it, and it’s easier than you think.

In my friend’s case she can work out when she does this thing, and when she catches herself doing it she can conjure an image of her father (and his father – because that is who he learned it from) and loudly say (yes, out loud!) ENOUGH! She might also add I AM NOT MY FATHER! Then she can breathe deeply, smile and affirm I AM ENOUGH. IN FACT, I AM AWESOME!

All you really need to do is arrest that behaviour or thought with a pattern-breaking gesture – by saying out loud ENOUGH! Then distance yourself from that behaviour or thought you no longer want by saying I am not my mother, I am not my father, I am not frightened, or whatever else this pattern is about, and then in that moment of clarity and awareness affirm something true and positive that your younger or wounded self needs to hear. I am enough. I am confident. I am capable. I can do this thing. I choose kindness. Whatever it is that you need and choose, name it. Out loud.

Image from I AM POOPED
Image from I AM POOPED

Then actively choose to behave differently in that moment. That’s a true pattern-breaker. Don’t eat that thing. Don’t say those words. Don’t fly with that limiting belief. Choose what the expanded and wiser version of you will do, and do it gladly.

After you’ve done this a few times you’ll start to recognise this as truth. You ARE wiser, kinder, not your father, worthy of love or success or a good marriage. You’ll be well on your way to reprogramming your old limits, and stepping away from self-sabotage and into that sunshiny place of possibility, peace and growth. You’ll be creating a more truthful and authentic life. You’ll be uncovering your wholeness. That’s a beautiful thing!

Image from Live and Diet
Image from Live and Diet
Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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17 thoughts on “Breaking Inherited and Created Patterns of Low Self-Worth

  1. i cant believe it has taken me all this time to finally sit and read your blog, i have just started the challenge and i already feel something inside me move, i feel the fear the love the strength many things i am feeling the old trying to hold on to the old ways and the new saying Nope its time its finally time, you can do it stop saying you cant. I feel so much lighter feeling this happening inside me,,,, thank you

  2. I have recently read an incredible book by Michael A. Singer ( Im pretty sure that is the author’s name) It’s title is ” the Untethered Soul” It covers this topic quite nicely I think ! It really helped me to get rid of that negative mind chatter that our ego just loves to throw at us every chance it gets!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And thank you to your friend too for asking the question. I always struggled with this but never thought to ask anyone “How?”. Another learned behaviour from my childhood maybe; I was always the clever one who was always supposed to know the answers. Hah! If only. But now I understand that it’s OK for me not to know because I know I can always ask someone. C xx

  4. OMG! Yes that’s exactly what happens, everything I do has to be perfect, and I worry a lot that people don’t / won’t like me.
    Time for change xxx

  5. Hey Nicole, I am not sure if this is how I am meant to respond. But I actually realised that I need to be ok with being nothing. I was shamed by my family criticism and have carried the wound of negation around all my life. I suffered burn out trying to prove I was good enough. But even though I stopped working, my mind kept it up. Daily nagging that I have to do this, do that, you have to do better and be better. I know now why I don’t want to get out of bed because I have to listen to that all day, every day. Enough! I need to allow myself to do nothing. To simply Be. Be nothing. This is who I really am and in that nothingness is perfection and Love. I need to practice being nothing and if my mind tells me that’s not right I will thank it and say but I am practicing being nothing. Then when I am comfortable with being nothing I can start doing. If I go from there, my home base, it will be motivated for right reason not because I am lacking or trying to be better.

    It is tricky because my mind is doubting and telling me, right now, I am copping out n making excuses for not doing what I should and accepting my responsibilities. But I will continue to practice being nothing. To allow myself to simply BE and grow from that place.

    Love Sharon

  6. I’m currently in therapy for this and learning to use the defusion technique. (ACT) I have learned some surprising “whys”. Learning why I do a thing has made it easier for me to stop and think so that I can respond and not just react.

  7. Loved the message for today, Nicole. I’m doing a lot of this clearing this year and am super excited for next year!

    I think an important part of clearing this behavour is accepting. The acceptance that at one time it was part of you but now you’re going to choose differently. I’ve been trying to rid myself of learnt attitudes for a while with a teacher, and that was the best thing she taught me – because I would often find that if I scolded that part of me that was still hanging onto the old, it would often try and hold onto it more and would make the problem worse.
    Taking a moment to recognise the pattern, understanding it and saying “thank you for trying to keep me safe, but I would like to let go of this now” was the best words I’ve ever been taught spiritually. Saying ENOUGH! would often stop the problem for a while, but it would eventually come up again.

  8. I loved this, thank you so much Nicole. I have often found myself recognising that I am engaging in negative and unhelpful behaviour or thinking, but not really knowing how to stop. This advice is so clear, practical and straightforward. Thank you again for all that you do. xxxx

  9. Yes yes yes this was bloody good a truly wonderful post that more people need to read, worrying doesn’t change things and usually only gives one a headache it isn’t easy to learn not to worry but it is worth the effort to try and learn………… is hard enough without making things harder for ourselves

  10. Such a great post! My parents are worriers, natural pessimists and people pleasers so you can guess where I am on this. 2014 is about breaking ancestral habits for me. I am trying to do the opposite of what my parents would say. Its not easy 🙂

  11. YES! we can all break the pattern and you have outlined the steps beautifully here. Is it hard to do? oh yes it is hard, exhausting even. But it is possible and like anything else becomes easier with practice. I like how you show the importance of releasing ourself from blame, even though we did something awful, we can’t give in and say oh well, I guess I am just like my father and there is nothing I can do. We all have the power of choice, and can choose a different path as soon as we realize the action happened from childhood conditioning, not our choice. What happens next is up to us.

  12. Yes this is good Nicole I think we do have to look at our Parents conditioning and sort out the good stuff from the bad… Easier said than done .. 🙂

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