Keys to Growth
A popular theory within counseling and psychology is the Family Systems perspective. This view gives us insight into how the attitudes and often unspoken rules within our families causes us to act a certain way. The time when this is clearest is often around the holidays. Our family systems are so ingrained within us we cannot help but be pulled back into that style of behavior when we are around those who trigger us the most.
As I have noticed this behavior in my own life and in the lives of some of those closest to me, I found myself wondering why this was happening and what I could do about it. Changing our behavior can often be exceedingly challenging, and throw in 20-30 YEARS of a pattern occurring over and over again with that behavior being unconsciously encouraged or reinforced...Well... what results is what I like to call "job security".
In all seriousness, this feeling of my personality and behavior being frozen in time is disconcerting to me. I've worked pretty hard to grow and change, and that little sister (or annoying big sister) who comes out to play is not my favorite version of myself. So...What the heck? How do I fix this? How do I change? (you may be asking this while I am also asking myself) The truth is, changing it is going to look different for everyone, your patterns are your own and I cannot give you a magic formula for self development. A key to growth that I can give you is imbedded within much of my writing and inside of this own post. Building awareness is one of the most powerful tools (or keys) you can utilize to access your own steps to change. SO, my recommendation this holiday season is that you simply take a moment to look at yourself and hear your own voice; notice those times when the child or younger/older sibling comes out to play. Simply say hello and get acquainted with that side of yourself.
Changing decades of behavior takes a significant amount of effort and I truly believe that awareness is one of the first steps towards growth.
So Merry Christmas to your old and new self, let's get friendly with both sides so we can begin to say goodbye.