Did You Hear Any Of These Messages As A Child?
- Go to school and get an education.
- Don’t go near the fire!
- You can’t have ice-cream unless you eat your greens.
- Money doesn’t grow on trees.
- Go to the doctors if you feel unwell.
- Respect your elders.
- You are rubbish at art/maths/spelling.
- Success looks like a big house, a spouse, kids, dog, goldfish and white picket fence.
- You need to save up for the latest iPhone, Xbox and shiny new laptop.
Your Belief System
By the age of around 6-7 years old, your belief system has been formed from what you heard and experienced around you.
You have been hearing those messages from a young age.
Those messages are going to seep into your subconscious mind. They are going to sit there and form what you believe to be true.
As a child, and later as an adult.
What you believe to be true today as an adult is a result of the social conditioning and messages you heard as a young child.
Think about how old you are now.
How many years have you been living your life with the beliefs that were formed when you were 6 years old?
Your life right now (unless you have worked on your beliefs and you have done some inner work) is being lived and experienced based on your 6 year old beliefs.
Your beliefs (which are simply thoughts you keep thinking) create your experience. They affect how you feel, who you are, how you behave and what your experience is of the world.
Unless you are aware of your beliefs and have worked on them, chances are you are living your life through your 6 year old self eyes.
Most Common Beliefs
Here are the most common beliefs formed as a result of social conditioning:
- I’m worthless.
- I’m going to be found out.
- I’m unlovable.
- I don’t deserve / am not worthy of … (success, love, happiness etc.)
- There is something wrong with me.
- I’m different (results in comparing yourself to others).
- I can’t be my real self or I’ll be judged.
- Everything is my fault.
- Fear of abandonment/rejection.
- I’m a failure.
When you dig deeper into these, they all point to the same thing; there is one belief that underlies all of these.
I’m not good enough.
The Masks You Wear and Authenticity
You show up wearing different masks for different environments and situations that you find yourself in. Work, in business, relationships, socially, on the school run – you name it, you have a mask for it.
These masks originate from thought. From how we think.
Let me tell you what I know about thinking.
As soon as your conscious awareness identifies with the content of your thoughts, you start actively thinking. Processing. Making stories and attaching to the thoughts. When you start thinking in this way, you have engaged the ego. That thinking might be in the form of a judgement about yourself, the way you want to present yourself, the pattern of thinking that there is something wrong with you or that you are not good enough.
So what do you do?
You create a mask to hide the real you.
Because all you want, is to fit in. And to be accepted.
The social conditioning and words you heard as a child, your old belief systems, judgements others have made about you, the criticisms you hear, the labels you carry (lesbian, non-binary, shy, mother, etc) – all of this builds up layer upon layer to form your identity.
Your identity is a culmination of all the things you have ‘acquired’ over the years that hide who you really are.
And now, these layers drive the patterns of thought you have on a day to day basis.
As soon as you identify with thought, you are no longer who you really are and there is a filter of judgement from within. That’s not authentic, it’s not real and all it does is distance you from the real you.
We have around 80,000 thoughts a day. The majority of those are the exact same thoughts that you thought yesterday.
The content of your thoughts limit you throughout the day and distance you from the real, authentic you that is inside.
Why? Because you attach to them. You BELIEVE them to be true.
When you let go of thought and let it drift off and when you let go of the patterns of your thinking, you reveal who you truly are. Your true personality.
Getting back to the stillness within, that is where the authentic you comes through.
From there you can only communicate truth. There is no possibility for judgement. From there everything is authentic.
When you communicate from this still, profound place (for this is who you truly are) your whole life and experience of life will change.
Aim to become an observer of your thoughts, rather than a participant.
I have noticed over the years that truly authentic people have it all together in terms of their thinking. They are aware of their thinking patterns and how to access the stillness inside and they communicate from their authentic, true self.
AND they actively work on releasing those layers that have built up to create the masks they wear.
What Is Going On In Your Head?
- The social conditioning you experience throughout your life
- The belief system you adopted in early childhood
- The things you fear
- The doubts you have (am I good enough?)
- Your anxieties
- Your worries
- Previous judgements about you
- Your insecurities
- The stories you tell yourself about your experiences
- Past hurts you have internalised and suppressed
To recap the important points here:
All of these have built up, layer upon layer and become ingrained into your subconscious.
Those layers form your identity. Your identity is what people see on the outside.
These layers are built up from childhood conditioning, the beliefs you formed at an early age, the judgements you have received from others, the labels you have ‘collected’ to describe who you are over the years, the masks you wear to protect yourself. AND lots more.
Let’s be clear here. You are NOT your identity.
The authentic you is underneath all of that. The authentic and real you is that peaceful, joyful, creative, loving, passionate soul underneath all of those layers.
Imagine an onion. When you peel it right back and get to the middle – that is where your Soul is. That is your heart, your essence. That is the real and authentic you.
When you drop the masks you wear and let your thoughts drift by (without connecting to them), you access that stillness inside of you.
This is where authenticity lies.
Communicate from this space and you will notice profound differences in all aspects of your life. Trust me.
The Hidden Impact Of Social Conditioning
Mental health issues, suicide and substance abuse are significantly higher for the LGBT+ community compared to the wider population; with many experiencing low self-esteem, PTSD, loneliness and the feeling of never being good enough.
MIND, the mental health charity state 42% of gay men and 70% of lesbians experience mental health problems, compared to 25% of the wider population.
What is going on under the surface?
The confusion, humiliation, shame and guilt you feel as a LGBT+ individual.
The judgements and criticisms you receive from others.
The expectations others have of you.
The impact of the homophobic, biphobic and transphobic messages being broadcasted from the media and the government.
Issues of low self-esteem, sadness and extreme loneliness – this results in anxiety, depression and identity issues.
Struggling to understand yourself, unable to be true to who you are and feeling isolated from a lack of deeper human interaction – this leaves you feeling vulnerable, helpless and powerless.
Emotional abuse, fear of change, the need to control things, perfectionism, attachment issues, a lack of personal boundaries, having trouble saying no, being passive aggressive and anger management issues…
Are all commonplace within the LGBT+ community.
What About Relationships?
Many LGBT+ people report a fear of intimacy, experience co-dependent relationships and struggle to have an authentic relationship.
It is not uncommon for LGBT+ relationships to be abusive and manipulative (from both parties).
Many seek reassurance, approval from others and are people pleasers.
For these reasons (and many more) a large number of people withdrawn from relationships, choosing to maintain superficial companionships instead or avoid relationships altogether.
Issues with safety, feeling a sense of belonging, connection, self-care, self-worth, justice and fairness, loyalty, overcompensating, putting others needs ahead of your own, valuing yourself and others and a lack of self-awareness are other issues my LGBT+ friends have experienced.
This conditioning and your wonky beliefs about yourself, instil in you ineffective behaviours, toxic desires and unhealthy emotional reactions that dominate your adult life.
How To Break Your Social Conditioning
So what do you do about it? How do you change the patterns of behaviour and emotional responses?
It all begins with awareness.
Raise your awareness of the conditioning you have experienced and are being influenced by every day of your life.
Ask yourself: What do I believe to be true about my…
- How I show up in the world
- The influence of media on my life
Once you have answered these questions, reflect on what this highlighted to you.
I wrote an article about bringing all of who you are to work (and life).
You might find it useful for the next steps, after you have answered the questions above.
Resources For Individuals
- Free E-Book: https://www.ginabattye.com/get-started
- Personal Development Retreat in Portugal. A 6 day deep dive, transformational experience to release your layers, outdated beliefs and masks AND to re-connect to your authentic and true self. https://www.ginabattye.com/retreat
- 1-2-1 Coaching Programme: https://www.ginabattye.com/coaching
Check it out and if you like what you see, book a call with me. Let’s explore, play and see where it takes us!
If you want to chat with me about the options for working together on a coaching programme, you can schedule a call here: https://calendly.com/ginabattye
About Gina Battye
Gina Battye is a world-renowned LGBT+ Coordinator and Authenticity Director for film, television, theatre and radio as well as an advisor for the global press, Fortune 500s + Leading Global Organisations.
In the last four years Gina has been called upon to advise and consult on best practice for actors playing LGBT+ characters; to ensure authentic delivery of LGBT+ characters and LGBT+ relationships in film, TV, theatre and radio.
Watching Gina at work is mesmerising. Working with actors, directors, celebrities, public figures and audiences around the world, Gina has the rare ability to electrify everyone in the room and on set whilst delivering original and useful insights that lead to individuals blossoming and stepping into their Authentic Self.
Gina specialises in being your Authentic Self, authenticity and inclusion in the workplace and LGBT+ awareness: relationships, transgender, non-binary, coming out, mindset and personal development.
Find out more about Gina and her work at www.ginabattye.com/media and chat with her on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.