When we’re children, everything in the world is foreign and new. We rely on our primary caretaker to teach us not only about the world around us, but how to interact with the people in our lives.
Once we gain a better understanding of the world, we begin to focus more inwardly, forming an identity. Our identity is derived from our primary caretakers. In order to gain the love and acceptance of a parent or guardian, we structure our identities based on how we think they want us to be. For instance, if you believe that your parent valued kindness above all else, and when you were kind they praised you, you might have grown into someone with a very nurturing personality.
On the other hand, if you felt neglected by a parent, you might find that when you’re trying to win someone’s affection that you go over the top, or neglect others in turn. Even after this caretaker has passed, this craving for their love is still part of your identity.
We develop a craving for love from this prominent person in our lives, and this craving stays with us well into adulthood. Whose love did you crave most as a child?
By the time we reach adulthood, our identities have had many years to form and set. Curious as to why your identity is the way it is today? You have to take a look back at your childhood to understand why you act the way you do. It all comes down to examining how you were raised, who raised you and the specific ways in which you were raised to crave affection from your primary caretaker.
The good news is that by examining your childhood, you can figure out why you act the way you do. This provides powerful insight into your childhood and how you interact with those around you as an adult. Your identity shapes your entire life. All of your choices and interactions are dictated by your identity, so by closely examining what it is that makes you tick, you can adjust your behavior and work on modifying patterns that may have been with you since childhood.
Craving affection is a normal part of life. By understanding who most shaped your life and identity as a child, you can better understand your story.
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Tony Robbins is a #1 New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. For more than 37 years, millions of people have enjoyed the warmth, humor and dynamic presentation of Mr. Robbins’ corporate and personal development events. As the nation’s #1 life and business strategist, he¹s called upon to consult and coach some of the world¹s finest athletes, entertainers, Fortune 500 CEOs, and even presidents of nations.