Damaged Goods?

Many people suffer from the false belief that, “These bad things happened in my childhood, and they ruined me.” It’s like saying, “I’m damaged goods.” Actually, no such thing is true — or could be true. The damage from the past comes from the way the past experiences trained you to think. For example, a bad childhood could lead to a false belief that nobody is trustworthy. In fact, some people are trustworthy and some are not. If you go through life thinking that nobody is trustworthy because of a bad childhood, you’re free to challenge and correct this thinking. How? Each time you think the false belief, tell yourself it’s false — and resolve not to act on the false belief. This is how reprogramming works. You don’t have to be hostage to the way that you used to think.

Although it’s not always easy to change your false beliefs, it’s eminently possible as long as you’re (1) conscious and (2) willing to put reason above the emotion and pain of past experience. Psychology and self-help as we know them have done more harm than good, in this respect. These fields, in the mainstream, have completely ignored or undercut what I just told you. In the process, the typical person who went through a bad childhood ends up with two problems: One, the impact of a bad childhood; two, the false belief that he’s forever damaged goods because of that childhood. It’s not true, and don’t believe any “expert” who claims or implies otherwise.