Your fate is not sealed. You can choose a different way and set yourself free.

The maxim goes like this: ‘The apple never falls far from the tree.’

Whenever we display similar characteristics to those of our parents (or other members of our close family), someone might utter this comment, believing that our fate is for us to be the same person as them, simply because we might inherit some characteristics. But can we set ourselves free from this fate?

Growing up, I heard many of these statements around me: ‘He is going to be just like his father’ or ‘You’ll see, she’ll turn out just like her mother’, ‘Like father like son’, all uttered with an ironic tone. I remember feeling the negativity of such proclamations. I also remember feeling angry at how people labelled each other in such an unkind way. The truth is that it sounded like a curse.

The proverb carries negative connotations and sounds fatalistic. According to this, our fate is sealed, leaving us with very little control over our personality, and our choices.

As children, we understand life through adults, through their eyes, their comments and their values. We might accept their proclamations as true because we believe they are knowledgeable people and that they are right. Besides, we don’t know any better.

The set of beliefs we grow up with, whether we like them or not, can become our blueprint for life.

If our parents are poor, we are more likely to be poor, as we mirror their beliefs about life and finances. If they struggle with a specific problem, we might adopt it too, or surround ourselves with someone who does. If a parent is prone to violence, a child displaying similar behaviour, mildly or otherwise, might be labelled as possessing the same patterns, and might be expected to ‘be’ this way for ever.

You can choose your own way, and be who You want to Be.

Being exposed to a certain way of life, behaviour and creed can determine part of your blueprint. As children, we tend to copy behaviour, and adopt the same set of opinions and beliefs as that of our parents. We might not even realise it because it is done automatically, in our subconscious.

In my years of teaching, and helping others, I have come across this situation, whether dealing with the topics of money, ideals, social issues, education or health.

I discovered how I viewed some areas of my own life according to past learnt behavioural patterns. I had no idea I was using that blueprint, until I started working on that area. Discovering why I was finding myself in the same situation time and time again, enabled me to make relevant changes. I decided to create a new set of views and opinions, and the results were miraculous.

Allowing yourself to believe that there is nothing you can do because you have inherited some characteristics, or life circumstances, or because of your origins or learnt behaviour, is not only destructive, but it robs you of any power and control you have over your own life, destining you to a future with very little hope.

The truth is that even with inherent traits, you can still make changes to yourself, and your life.

You can re-programme your ‘self’ and begin the process of change. Decide what you are, who you are, and do not allow past beliefs to dictate or rule your life.

You create your own reality and are in control of your beliefs, your thoughts, and your behaviour. Life doesn’t just happen to you.

Do not allow the circumstances under which you were born to dictate and rule who you are. 

I witnessed life changes in some of my childhood friends, wondering why they were lucky enough to have found the right path. Little did I know that luck was not something that just landed on their lap. They refused to allow this ‘destiny’ to take hold of their lives, and they created a new set of life patterns for themselves. They refused to be ruled by the conditions they had experienced in their early years. And most importantly, they never put blame on anybody or anything. They focused on what they wanted, and they went for it.

Understanding how I could make those changes, in my own life, was empowering and enlightening. It might seem so easy now, but I am still saddened when I hear how people resign themselves to a life with which they do not feel happy, simply because they do not know how to make changes.

Your new views and choices do not necessarily say that your parents, or other family members, were wrong or bad. You are not judging them. But their experiences do not have to be your own future.

With time, belief and trust, you can accomplish anything you want and be whoever you want to be. What a wonderful role model to be to others, and how encouraging!

Others’ perception of me is totally their problem, not mine.

Feel proud to be who you are or want to be, and do not listen to labels. I always felt that people labelling me against my will was horrendous, but the truth is that you can’t stop others having opinions, and you can’t stop them thinking what they want to think about you.

What you can control, however, is the importance you give to such comments. I ignore them now; they do not represent me, they are not me. Others’ perception of me is totally their problem, not mine.

Do not take notice, or even care about another’s comments or views. Because if you continue caring, you will never live the life you want for yourself. Only you know what matters in your life. Do not allow any proverb, any comment or perception, to rule your life.

Eva xox