‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man’
The great Greek philosopher Aristotle’s quote indicates that if you want to raise a child in a certain way, the work begins from the time they are born for a very limited time. And so what this suggests that the environment, experiences and the education a child receives during the formative years’ (0-7yrs) shapes who they become later in life. A child’s brain between the ages of 0-7yrs is known to be in the delta and theta brainwave state. It’s a state when they are observing and absorbing behaviors, attitudes and beliefs of others around them and subconsciously forming beliefs. These brainwaves are same as the waves found in a person in a deep meditative state or under hypnosis. During the times when the child’s brain is in this state, it is extremely easy for them to absorb information and so for a 4year old learning three to four different languages is nothing, compared with a 10year old.
The beliefs that start to form about themselves, their life or about others can be both positive and negative. This is because some beliefs may be nurturing and supporting whilst some often tend to be self-sabotaging and self-critical beliefs. Many beliefs however remain unconscious throughout our lives and may show up through our behaviour, attitude, goals, achievement or the choice of friends we make.
As adults in order to understand what beliefs we have formed, it is important to explore the environment and the people that were present in our early stages of life. This will allow us to understand how we respond to a situation today. Do we respond through fear & worry? If so, whose fears and worries are we carrying? Or do we become overwhelmed and unable to handle a situation. Why is that so? How we see ourselves amongst our friends, families and colleagues is impacted by our beliefs. Feelings of not being good enough often comes up in being self-critical and exploring through therapy is an opportunity to get connected with our true self by coming face to face with our core beliefs. As a therapist my job is not only to listen to what the client is saying, but picking up the core beliefs they have been programmed with and working through them together to understand whether they hold much purpose in the here and now. This is the beginning of transforming beliefs.