Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Featured Writer, Beau Rambaut - International NLP Confidence Coach
It’s 3pm. I stand in a busy playground.
I’m 6 with bright blonde curls, a corduroy dress & buckled shoes.
The school gate is being unlocked.
Parents filter in.
I shuffle side to side, waiting.
My eyes scan the crowd.
I'm in the lower playground.
It’s concrete, with yellow lines.
That’s where you wait to be picked up.
Behind the yellow lines.
Where the teachers can keep an eye on you.
My eyes on the gate now.
I shuffle side to side, knowing.
One by one the playground empties.
Everyone is picked up.
Everyone but me.
All eyes on me.
My eyes on the floor.
I shuffle side to side.
I wondered if the teachers couldn’t see me, if they’d forget about me too.
Brief Life Lessons from a Forgettable Kid
You are reliant on your caregivers as a child. You can't get a job or pay rent so you don't have to be left standing alone in the school playground, at the end of the day, to start to start to believe that you're forgettable. Being forgotten is, simply, to consistently have your needs unmet and that can happen in plain site, it's confusing, painful and leaves scars.
Childhood trauma leaves in it’s wake many challenges, littered with lessons, lessons we can sometimes forget as we grow, as we too leave that child behind.
Your very existence stands as evidence that when they going gets tough, you get tougher, you survive. I see you, holding strong because you have to.
But, also, I feel you wanting to just take a f*cking breath, not wanting to always be tough, strong, ready. It’s exhausting.
So, may I introduce my inner child to yours, I’d like to share some lessons.
Showing up for yourself
Learning how to show up for yourself when people didn’t show up for you is really tough. You have little to no examples of how to do it, as it’s likely those around you weren’t really showing up for themselves either, at least not in a healthy way which nourishes self-love.
‘No-one is going to show up for you, until you show up for yourself', is a hard truth. I’d like to unpack it a little because it’s not that people won’t come into your life who care for you, love you but without the presence of self-love… It’s like reinforced glass and rubber bullets. Everything is visible, but there’s never any real connection.
Addressing the pain…
… are the waves we have to ride
... to show up for ourselves
The beauty of being an adult, is you get to be all the caregivers you never had but always needed. The Mother, Father, Sister, Friend. You can embody them all, and when you do the love you crave can be let in. Because you’ve always be worthy of it, but now you believe you are, through teaching yourself, through showing up even on the bad days.
From victim of circumstance to the Master of a masterpiece,
because you are your very own piece of art.
Anger isn’t what causes the storm, it is the storm.
Anger is great self-righteous smokescreen to hide behind. Or to be more accurate throw around like plates at a greek dinner party. It’s loud, messy, destructive, we can aim it at everyone else whilst convincing ourselves we’ve got what we needed out of our system. Then a few days, weeks, months pass and we explode (again).
Because you’re in pain, and no amount of anger will make that pain disappear. That’s why you still have anger. Anger isn’t the cause of the storm, it is the storm. While we still have anger, we have the perfect excuse to hate ourselves.
Anger does a great job at keeping you from loving yourself, offering you opportunity after opportunity to tear yourself apart. You always ruin everything, right? “The angry one”. And, so, here we have our classic cycle of reinforced behaviour. Providing us with just the evidence we need to support our core beliefs. Our reinforced glass.
"I am unlovable"
"I am unworthy"
"I am forgettable"
What’s interesting about negative
cycles like these, is when you step back and look at it. It’s not better, really, is it? It’s just better the devil we know,
than the devil we don’t.
Science says, when we are angry, which is to be in 'fight or flight' mode. Stress hormones
get released such as cortisol. Elevated cortisol, so when you are frequently in this state, causes loss of neurons in the prefrontal cortex. Suppressing activity in that area influences your ability to make decision and judgement calls. This also then gives aggressive behaviour a wide opening, as your brain has neither the power or practice to intervene.
This cycle on repeat, can cause depression. Depression is the king of avoidance.
Depression is present when you don’t move, because you don’t want to look.
But let me tell you, pain is power. I urge you to get to know it, sit with it, speak about it, write about it. Connect to it. After all, it’s your pain, which means it’s your power.
When you own it, you can use it.
Let the child play
If you’re anything like me, you’d have tucked that little you away. Deep down, where they can’t be hurt anymore. Protecting them, you tell yourself. I’ve come to realise, all they really want is the childhood they never had. They want to play.
Try new things.
Get cuts & scrapes.
Laugh out loud.
“O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple”
No matter what anyone tells you, you are absolutely never too old to play.
Allowing your inner child to play, you get to play. When we play as adults we activate our imagination. A stimulated imagination is to become more creative, and being more creative as an adult helps you become a better problem-solver.
What might seem silly, is feeding a part of your brain that can jump in when things get tough. That acts as a voice of reason when your emotions want you to close your eyes and slam on the gas.
Let creativity be your light house
You need more convincing. I hear the doubt, "but I'm not creative". Creativity is anyones.
When I was a kid, I lived in the land of make believe, even made my own toys… paper polly pockets were pretty pathetic now I think about it but I admire my enthusiasm. Without my imagination, I’d be one lost soul. And if I can walk into Tate Modern, see an unmade bed with a 7 figure price tag on it. I don’t want to hear “I’m not creative”.
Getting up is art, expensive art.
I give an awful lot of credit to my creativity, so much so that I would go as far as to say it likely saved my life. I bet there were times, your imagination saved the day. It is widely reported as a key ingredient of resilience.
I spent hours climbing trees with my imaginary fairy friends, or whaling ‘Wannabee’ on repeat… after I finally recorded if off the radio without missing the first verse. I wrote a lot, I wrote a pretty good story about people who lived in a flower in year 2. So, I think this goes without saying but you’ve not heard of me or my art… I’m not famous for any of my artistic abilities. It was simply for me what I want it to be for you. A tool. A tool I still use. I write, I sing, I dance. None of it award worthy (although sometimes I like to imagine that happening too but that’s more as a procrastination tactic that a tool).
The average person has around 60,000 thoughts a day, a creative task can help to give focus to those thoughts rather than have them run wild all day, every day. An artsy task has been likened to meditation. Try singing at the top of your lung in the shower whilst thinking about bills! Unless it’s “bills, bills, bills” by Destiny’s Child… I bet you can’t.
It is also widely discussed that when people can’t find the words dancing, drawing or painting can help express and process trauma. Creativity can act as a gateway to telling your story, connecting with your feelings & naming your emotions.
So, you see, doing the hard work doesn’t mean being in constant misery, you can learn to love yourself and have fun whilst you doing it. Creativity isn’t about being perfect. It’s not maths, there are no absolutes. So be sh*t, get it wrong, make a mess, literally dance because nobody is watching, unless you want them too. Use it as a guide to find the way back to your story, back home, as the person you are now, with the strength, passion, resilience to truly own it.
It’s not your fault
As an adult woman now, when I notice people trying to take chunks out of me I think… Never in a million years will you ever be able to compete with teenage me, not even on your worst day. There’ll never have the Access All Areas to my insecurities to weaponise 24/7. It doesn’t mean that now I am unfazed by other’s negative opinions or blaming. I still feel it, but I am not consumed by it because I am no longer consumed by my own inner critic.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”
We have such an impeccable ability to blame ourselves. It happened to us because of who we are. Shame is a heavy weight to carry, and you didn’t earn it… you inherited it… likely from people who also didn’t love themselves either. Hurt people, hurt people…
So let me remind you,
You deserved better.
You deserved to be loved.
You deserved to be remembered.
It’s not your fault.
It was never your fault.
You are not the things that happened to you, you are the person who survived the things that happened to you.
You deserve better.
You deserve to tell the Hero’s story not the Villains.
By reframing how you tell your story, changing your tone, your body language - it will have an impact on the inner workings of your brain. Each time creating new neural pathways, making way for new automatic thinking… don’t forget old habits die hard. Thinking is habitual. You have to keep singing your song until your body sings it back.
One area that is widely reported to be impacted by acceptance of self, is relationships. Once you start to tend to your own with love, you are more able to accept sincere love from others with less risk of self-sabotage.
To be good enough, you have to believe you’re good enough.
Which leads nicely into…
Resentment has no winners
Grief without motion is resentment. Resentment is without freedom to truly explore.
"Whether I forgive or don't forgive isn't going to affect whether justice is done," Worthington says. "Forgiveness happens inside my skin."
Another misconception is that forgiving someone is a sign of weakness. "To that I say, well, the person must not have tried it," says Worthington.
I held onto my resentment… and rage… for a long time, I needed it. I associated chaos with my identity, losing it meant I would lose myself. I would be weak… oh but the strength it takes to forgive, looking pain dead in the face… I agree with Worthington.
It took me years to realise that forgiving those who hurt me, isn’t a gift I give to them, it’s a gift I give myself. It isn’t letting them off the hook either, it’s allowing me take a f*cking breath.
I don’t care how tough you think carrying resentment makes you, how much you believe you need it to stay strong, it kills you where you stand. If you don’t forgive others, you take so much from yourself. Your ability to connect, love, trust, communicate, judge, problem solve.
Misery loves company, sure, but how about the company with less of the misery? You can sit their thinking it’s sh*t that you have to be the one to do the work, how unfair it is… I wouldn’t tell you you’re wrong… Or you can see that you have a choice to change this story into just a chapter… a chapter that tells part of your story but isn’t The Story…
because you’re not wrong
but equally you have a life to live and
no one is going to do that for you.
You cannot change the past, you just can’t, but you can learn from it at any given moment… because when you chose not to learn, you are choosing not to live.
You’re worth the hard work, I promise.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, eh!
Beau Rambaut NLP Confidence Coach
I have been a coach for a decade now, it’s looked lots of different ways I have been an Aerial Circus Coach for kids in New York to more recently popping on my digital nomad sandals to be a fully online NLP Master Practitioner travelling along the Quintana Roo Coast. I have enjoyed many perspectives while helping others reach their goals. From the outside looking in, my coaching path may
appear to be indecisive but what each and
every person from 6 years old to 60 has shown me is that the through line is crystal clear:
Confidence is a skill, it is not a personality trait. Self-Belief is the battery life for your talent. If you don’t keep it charged, you won’t be able to truly explore your potential. Forget "born with it" and fixed personality traits. We all have the opportunity to believe in ourselves. Confidence, like perfection, is relative. Which means cultivating it takes time, understanding and a hell of a lot of practice. It’s fun, and it’s your for the taking. Love Beau x IG @beaurambaut T: @coachrambaut W: www.coachrambaut.com