How to break generational cycles

 When we consider characteristics passed down through our family tree, we may think of beautiful blue eyes or natural talent. Unfortunately, it’s not only positive and influential habits or characteristics that can be handed down from generation to generation. The good news is they don’t have to be. Even if you’ve experienced or exhibited destructive habits or perspectives, you don’t have to continue the generational cycle of passing them on to your children.

WHAT IS A GENERATIONAL CYCLE?

Generational Cycle

 A generational cycle is a thought, perspective and/or belief that is emotionally or culturally passed down from our families. It’s the lens through which we see the world that is shaped by our parents, grandparents and can also be influenced by culture, ethnicity, and events. We pass along through words, actions and attitudes – consciously or not – what we know, or what we believe to be true, even if it’s not. Unfortunately, a generational cycle is a gift that keeps on giving, unless we can raise our self-awareness.

 

In so many words, clients often tell me that they don’t want to be like their parents. They don’t want to drink as much. They don’t want to constantly worry about money. They don’t want to speak to their children the way they were spoken to. Once we dig a little deeper into what they don’t like about how their parents treated them, we often find that they are in fact navigating the world in the same way, but are completely blind to it.

A family affair

As the mother of two kids, often see parts of myself in my kid’s behavior and I recognize that they have picked that up completely unintentionally. Especially when it comes to impostor syndrome, more specifically being superhuman doing everything yourself, or perfectionist.  My mother and to some level my grandmother also suffered from impostor syndrome, so I see limiting beliefs that run in my family. Many people see that they had thoughts, concerns and fears that were passed down from generation to generation and feel powerless to change them.  

Having the same thought patterns as my mother was raised with, and if I continue down that path of the same thoughts, my kids will no doubt end up with impostor syndrome. After all, thoughts create moods and our mood drives our behaviors. Perhaps if we are able to recognize the generational cycle, we also have the power to change it.

 

So it is up to me to break the generational cycle by systematically changing my own thoughts. The impact is exponential. Changing my core thoughts will lead to changes in my mood states (including those that do everything by themselves or seek perfection), my behavior,  the results of my actions, and finally my relationship with my kids. Once I achieve the self-awareness to make that change, I am able to recognize when my kids begin to exhibit those same thoughts and moods and can guide them to upgrade their thoughts. I can help my kind to re-frame those fears and worries and guide them to think differently, therefore breaking the chain of impostor syndrome in my family.

My own
transformation

4 generations
Four generations of strength

I can speak to breaking a generational c because I’ve lived it. At a very young age, my parents have been good role models on impostor syndrome. My

mother always looked perfect – great make-up, always dressed up for success, and my father always encouraged me and my brothers to do our best in everything, and do it perfectly. Without even recognizing it I was entered into the never-ending race of perfectionism. 

I struggled but I wasn’t able to recognize where the problem was. 

 

Starting to see the same pattern in my kids was alarming for me, I realized I didn’t want them to grow up to struggle like me. In today’s world, there is so much information and it seems like the moment you start looking into something you realize that it is everywhere around you. Impostor syndrome was introduced to me by a friend and I recognized myself in it on so many levels. The good news was that I was not alone, there are so many people struggling with it that almost is normal, but it is not. The next step was to fix it and be the one that stops this generational cycle. It is easier said than done, many people can’t bother but I was on a mission – I want my kids to live without this burden on them. 

 

Most people feel that they are simply the product of their environment, their history and their successes and failures, and their childhood; that they are tethered to generational cycles and family dysfunctionality. But all of that can be overcome if you realize the problem and work to change it. It is possible to curate a new future and powerfully transform your life by re-framing your thoughts and retraining your brain. You had no control over how your parents treated you, but you do have power over whether you repeat the cycle – or not. It is very sad that today we spend a lot upgrading our phones, cars, clothes, houses, but we ignore upgrading our thoughts, our brain. 

The link between parenting and child behavior

Children are like sponges. They can easily pick up on good and bad behaviors and mimic what they learn at home. If a child is brought up in an environment full of tension and hostility, it’s likely that their future households will exhibit the same conflicts later in life.

A research study on the correlation between parenting and child behaviors found that children who grew up with parents who were involved and authoritative repeated their parents’ positive behaviors in their lives. Conversely, children with overly authoritarian or permissive parents expressed more negative behavior.

Shatter the cycle

Most people aren’t even aware they are navigating the world through the lens of their generational legacy. But this unconscious bias hurts you, and until you become conscious of it, it’s impossible to make any changes. Here are five steps you can take to stop the pattern in your family:

Discovering new possibility

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1. Become self-aware of distractive patterns

You need self-awareness to examine your thoughts and your perspectives. Talk to your parents and your grandparents. Learn about your ancestry. Take a hard look at your family and determine what is the generational cycle that is being passed along and determine where it came from. You may find that facts actually support the kinds of beliefs and perspectives that are passed down at one time.

2. Take ownership of your belief systems

Your belief systems inform how you interpret the world. You’ve been forming these actions, attitudes and emotions your entire life and they continue to be shaped today. While your belief systems are influenced by a number of factors, they also influence the way you approach life.

3. Travel and experience the world

Travel is one of my family’s favorite activities to do and it is also one way that generational cycles are easily broken by exposing yourself to more of the world. People who travel often become more aware of and open to other customs, social norms, and ways of thinking. Go out and see it for yourself, explore the world, don’t continue to live in the same cube.

4. Forgive and move forward

Forgiveness is an important part of breaking the cycle of negative energy that can hold you back from fulfilling careers, relationships and lives. It also allows you to heal and move forward, which is important when considering family relationships. Forgiving isn’t so much an act as it is a process. First, you must understand that by forgiving, you aren’t forgetting. You are not condoning the aggressive, offensive, or abusive behavior you’ve experienced. Rather, you choose to acknowledge and accept what happened and to move on with your life.

5. Become a model to the next generation

Ensure that this distractive generational cycle stops with you, accepting that generational cycles are our responsibility to break. Remember that wherever you have come from and whatever patterns you have learned do not hold the power to define your today or tomorrow. Your generational legacy may have been a prevalent factor for your family in the past, but it’s time to start a new chapter. You have the power to create what you desire to pass down in the lives to follow, whether that is your children’s or others’ lives that you impact in other ways.
 

One approach I use with my clients to overcome generational cycles is Revealed Mind Experience. By combining Rapid Transformational Therapy with life coaching, we will work together to uncover the root of your issue/s and overcome them. Your RTT session is an active conversation between you and me in a deeply relaxed state to best connect with your subconscious mind. After your session, you will receive personalized audio to listen to over the following weeks and for a minimum of 21 days to help lock in your new, empowering beliefs. During those 21 days, we will meet once a week for a coaching session to support you and to make sure you are moving in the right direction and achieving your goals. 

Discovering new possibility

Book Consultation Call to explore how Revealed Mind Experience can help you change your life.