Sit down some time and write a list of 10 things you've always assumed about yourself; 10 negative things...
1. I'm lazy.
2. I'm immature.
3. I'm irresponsible.
4. I'm inpatient.
5. I'm not smart.
6. I'm a baby.
7. I'm not talented.
8. I'm plain looking.
9. I'm boring.
10. I'm awkward.
This was an exercise I did over 20 years ago. I did it at a very stressful and insecure time in my life. I had no idea how many of these things I carried around. I stopped and asked myself first, who made me believe/assume these things?
The answer became "my family of origin and my husband." The way they treated me, the way they approached me, the things they complained about, the way they neglected me, told me that these were the things that were all wrong about me. Yes, that was my list above of assumptions about myself.
I then sat down and put my beliefs on a witness stand and, like a lawyer, I disproved the points with examples that they weren't true.
1. I worked hard to upkeep a house and keep my son on a regimen, caring for the health of my family and the cleanliness of my home, as well as my own self. I had my son in several play groups, was going back to school to get my degree in my field of study. I constantly took on new projects and ran a self-help group, wrote articles, gave lectures and workshops... Okay, okay. That was not a true or valid assumption!
On and on I went disputing these self assumptions with the truth. I had to revise them in the end. They went something like this...
1. I'm industrious and willing to work hard for what I want.
2. I take on my adult responsibilities unquestioningly.
3. I can be counted on to be in charge of my child, my home, my career, my health.
4. I'm a multitasker and I can get a lot done in a short period of time.
5. I'm highly intelligent. In my major, I had a 3.9 GPA.
6. I'm childlike and fun, but also very responsible.
7. I'm a writer, artist, craftswoman and creative.
8. I'm easy on the eyes.
9. I'm interesting and complex with lots of hobbies and knowledge.
10. I'm graceful; I dance, I modeled, I was a gymnast/diver/freestyle skater/skateboarder. That takes grace.
Give this exercise a test some time. It's crazy once you realize that things you assume have no substance. It's like introducing yourself to someone you never knew was in there.