Things That Actually Define You!

What are the things that defines you??

The answer to the big question is: Conditioned Beliefs

What are Conditioned Beliefs?

In our society there is a common belief we like to call the “Big Lie”—the idea that our society and childhood upbringing do not influence who we are today at the deepest level. Most people do not deny those things have an impact, but they think the effect is minimal and resist believing that their experiences and other people formed their beliefs. However, the reality is that by the time we reach adulthood, all of us have developed a pattern of how we automatically react to life’s challenges.

We have also develop belief systems and attitudes that have been shaped by those around us. Each of us have learned different ways of reacting, which is why when faced with challenging situations some people may react by shutting down, others reach with anger, other with anxiety, and others with excitement. What determines the different reactions is the different ways the individuals view the challenges, based on their conditioning—their learned response.

Why you are the way you are

The power of 45%

So, how powerful is conditioning in creating our current story? There are research studies that have demonstrated that most of our daily habits is characterized by repetition. In fact, research has determined that about 45% of everyday behaviors are repeated behaviors that tend to occur in the same location almost every day (Quinn & Wood, 2005; Wood, Quinn, & Kashy, 2002). This means that for almost half of our day we are running on autopilot.

We repeat the same actions, behaviors, and thoughts because we are triggered by something in our environment. The challenge is that the part of our brain (prefrontal lobe) that helps us think critically, problem solve, and make different decision shuts off when we are on autopilot. In other words, we have to WAKE UP and become aware of our conditioning so we can change it.

For example, what if you grew up watching your parents come home and complain about how much they hate their jobs and you find that now you come home and do the same thing. Would you change it? Would you look for solutions? Probably not because you have been conditioned to think that it normal and probably do not even realize that you are doing it. Therefore, reflection is key to unmasking these conditioned behaviors and beliefs.

By reflecting on how much of what we do and think did not originate as our own idea, and letting go of things that do not serve us, we are freed to embrace a new mental state and a life that is more genuine to who we truly are and how we want to live.

Conditioning can be defined in many ways, but ultimately it is the residual effect of all past influences on our life, including, stored emotions and learned reactions.

The reason that understanding your conditioning is so powerful is because it is what created your foundation of understanding of life, emotions and behaviors. We develop an understanding of what a story is and what should be part of our story. This impacts how we react, behave, think, and what we create in our daily life.

Learned Helplessness

When people are exposed repeatedly to a negative situation that they felt they have no control over, they develop learned helplessness. This can happen when we have a job we hate but have worked at it for years and feel we cannot get out of it. It can happen when we are in a relationship full of drama but we feel obligated or trapped. It can happen when we experience severe financial difficulty and see no way out.

When we experience learned helplessness we stop looking for a way to change our situation and develop a believe system that “we will not be able to change our future.” Therefore, we may miss opportunities even when people around us show us that there may be a different way because we have already been conditioned not to believe it.

Things that don’t define you

Good News! The good news is that conditioned responses does not define our future.

  1. First, we have to develop an awareness that we are simply reacting to our programing.
  2. Then, we need to expose ourselves to something that will let our unconscious mind see that there ARE other possibilities. This interrupts the condition response when it occur.
  3. Then, we can replace our reaction with the desired response and then take the appropriate steps to implement those possibilities.

This can take time just like your original conditioning. Therefore, be patient with yourself and celebrate the small successes. Remember, you have the power to change that 45% and if you do, imagine what you can create if you channel all that autopilot time into a story you truly want.

Ways to understand yourself

Takeaway Reflection Questions:

  • How have you been conditioned to act in or think about relationships?
  • How do you behave or think about careers or jobs that you learned from watching others?
  • What’s your default coping strategy for life challenges and where or who did you learn it from?
  • Are there any obvious areas of your life in which you can identify things you’ve been conditioned to think or do?

You do not have to answer here but these questions are for you to understand yourself better. The intend of these questions is for you to find out “Why you are the way you are”!

If you think there are changes required do it, it never too late to start your personal growth journey.


Personal growth

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