I got into a heated debate a few weeks ago with a former family member who insisted that what we were exposed to as youth has no impact on us as adults. I agreed with him that everything is ultimately just a choice and that we could all make the “right” choice and live happily ever after but I disagreed with him in his opinion that we all have the same wiring to make that choice. I wish a choice were that easily explained but it is not.
Not That Simple
There are multiple things that go into a choice, especially in areas where we may struggle. Things like addictions, defensive reactions, overeating, and low self esteem may all be just a choice, but there are many factors that go into that choice. What you were exposed to ( trauma, injuries, dishonesty, stability/instability, honesty, etc), taught by those you believed in, how classmates treated you (being bullied can destroy confidence), your social circle, and how your parent/guardian approached education all have a role in the choices you make as an adult. Research proves over and over that our social conditioning as youth plays a huge role in our choices and beliefs as an adult. Studies also show that social conditioning, trauma, anxiety, and depression as youth can have an impact on the different parts of the brain that are responsible for reasoning, thought, and the ability to make a sound choice. Research also shows through multiple studies that if you began (as I did) to cope with life events in unhealthy ways during your teen years, your chances of battling them for life skyrocket. It is ultimately a choice but not so simple to make it.
What About The One Who Overcomes?
There are always stories of people that have overcome great odds to become successful. What is the difference between them and I who struggled for years to overcome my demons? They were aware from early in life that there was a different way to conduct a life and learned to make the choice. Many of them had support somewhere that taught them how to make a choice and overcome choices that may hurt them. And even though we all come from families and bloodlines, our genetics all differ which plays a role in choices. It is proven through research that things like resilience, outlook, and depression are at least partly genetic. The way you are wired physically matters. Life is always just a choice but not a simple one.
If You Struggle
You can overcome both genetic and social wiring no matter where you are in life. Many of us are doing it and changing our lives. Overcoming our programming begins with self-awareness that we have something we want to change about ourselves and we are going to commit to doing the work necessary to overcome the challenge, no matter how many times we fall. We can redevelop the genetic and social wiring of resilience by realizing that it is the key to everything. Learning to get back up after falling requires rewiring the way you believe about yourself, the way you believe about your mistakes, and how you believe about events in your life that challenge you. To do this requires you knowing that you have every ability needed within yourself to live the life you want. You are just as smart or smarter than others who have overcome great challenges. The key is to learn that you do not have to keep struggling. Keep fighting for your recovery and eventually the choice will become easier if you do the work necessary. It is a process but so worth it! Begin as soon as possible to learn how to make the choice that will lead you to where you want to be. Do the work. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!