Have you ever thought of yourself as lazy, unintelligent, less capable than others? Have you ever wondered why you’ve underachieved in life, despite having been praised in your early years for being clever and good at certain things? I certainly have.
During my counselling training, I had the opportunity to seek an understanding of why I was so scared to risk progressing in life. From what I had learnt about person-centred counselling theory, children need to know that they are loved and accepted just as they are. However, the reality is that all children are exposed to “conditions of worth” to some degree, and learn that they are only acceptable to significant others if they think, feel or behave in certain ways. The way I made sense of my underachievement was that I only felt acceptable if I achieved. If I failed, I would be judged, therefore it was easier not to try at all. But how did this situation come about?