Once upon a time, as we were growing up, we had very little control over our programming— in fact, virtually none. 

We had very little control over what we watched. 

We had very little control over what was read to us. 

We had virtually no control over what was told to us. 

At the same time, we were learning what relationships and attachment were all about through our relationships at home and at school— and those relationships were shaping our beliefs about who we were and what we deserved. 

Some of us had relationship and attachment experiences that taught us we were basically good, basically competent, and able to adapt to and master situations. 

Unfortunately, many of us did not. 

Many of us had early relationship and attachment experiences that programmed us with the beliefs that we were basically undeserving. That we were essentially incompetent. That no matter what we tried to adapt to a situation, we’d feel “wrong.” 

Looking back, it’s staggering to realize how little control we had over our early programming— over those beliefs that became EXTREMELY important in how we viewed ourselves, the world, and the future. 

Fast forward several decades, and now we’re adults— but many of us are still operating on beliefs that we acquired when we were kids. 

Many of us still FEEL as undeserving as when we were kids. We FEEL incompetent. We FEEL unable to adapt. 

The thing is, our early programming may have had NOTHING to do with who we REALLY are or what we can REALLY do. 

Our early programming was very often a mishmash of the relationship styles and attachment issues of the people who raised us, taught us, and surrounded us. 

But many of us grew up thinking certain feelings were “right” because, over time, feeling those things felt familiar. 

We assumed we must BE undeserving, or incompetent, or maladaptive, because we were very USED to feeling those things. 

We were never taught that we could take charge of our OWN programming. 

We were never taught that our nervous system can change, even well into adulthood. 

We were never taught that we can change our beliefs about ourselves, the world, and the future— that we are NOT stuck with what the people around us believed or passed on. 

If you’re struggling to believe that you can feel and function differently, you’re not broken or hopeless— that’s a function of your programming. A lifetime of conditioning. 

It’s going to take time and consistency to feel and believe different things. 

I’m not just saying these things out of optimism or hopefulness. I’m just talking about how beliefs and characteristic patterns of feeling come to exist— and how they change. 

It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith to believe in the possibility of change. It takes a basic knowledge of neuroscience— and an openness to the idea that you deserve the opportunity to feel and function differently. 

Nobody reading this is doomed to the patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving they established early in life. 

We are not stuck with our early programming. 

But reprogramming ourselves takes exactly as long as it takes, and it’s exactly as difficult as it is. 

You’re worth the hassle. You’re worth the effort. You’re worth the time. 

No matter what your early programing is trying to tell you right now. 

One thought on “We are NOT stuck with our early programming.

  1. I’m crying…ah, so tough…takes so long…and, yet, I’m starting to feel the re-programming take hold a bit. Maybe in just 1% increments, but, I’m so grateful! It can be so tiring to put in so much time on this. Doc, thank you so much for helping me gain a healthier perspective over the last couple of years that I’ve been following your writings. It has made a huge difference for me. I’ve implemented suggested anxiety reducing techniques, remembered key phrases to put a distance between the spark and the flame of triggers, and gone to the blog as a part of my treasure trove of tools to re-center. It’s helping. I sincerely thank you so very much for the effort you put out. Blessings to you always….


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