How being a twin has affected my self worth and confidence
Firstly, I want to make it clear that I love my twin sister Helen absolutely and what I share in this blog is to help others understand my perceptions of how I was relating to her and how being a twin affected my self worth and confidence. My sister did not deliberately cause me harm, but it is how I have chosen to react in different situations with her. I also loved my Mum deeply and she loved me, but I also had faulty programming and perceptions about my mother’s love for me.
As a therapist, I attract lots of clients with numerous issues which are linked to anxiety, depression and rejection issues which they are holding on to emotionally. Without advertising the fact that I am a twin, I have attracted lots of clients who turn out to be twins too or they have lost their twin in the womb as they were the only baby born. This issue in itself, has been the root of deep sorrow, grief and loss and has deeply affected my clients’ ability to handle other bereavements which they have experienced later in life. They have also felt like they can’t do things on their own independently as they feel they should always be supported by the other half of them. The other part of them (remember we often have come from one egg) needs to be happy with decisions they make, for them to feel full confidence in themselves. I can relate to this too, as I have always sort approval from my twin sister for what I am doing as if she knows best. This isn’t a healthy way to live though, as I should be confident to make my own decisions and to stand in my power, and follow my intuition about what is best for me.
On reflection, my issues with my twin are deep rooted. I only uncovered a very deep comparison pattern towards my sister six years ago when I learnt how to do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. One of the exercises was about a conversation we had about the prices I charged for my business. As a new therapist at the time, I was charging £40 per hour and my sister’s reaction to my pricing when I discussed it with her was ‘that is more than what a physio is charging.’ which knocked my confidence. Even though I was actually seeing a physio at the time for my ankle who was charging £40 for 30 minutes, I didn’t challenge her as I always found it hard to speak up as in my head she knew best as she was more intelligent and brighter than me as well as older and wiser. (There is only 16 minutes difference in our age!!) I have always classed her as more academic (she is now a GP) and that she was wiser than me. My self worth was very low at the time. My tutor’s had said I should be charging at least £75 per hour at the time, due to the range of my other skills, but my confidence in my skills meant that I charged less. My sister’s feedback reinforced that my pricing was not correct.
My lack of confidence about my own skills linked to the ‘I must compare myself to my twin’ limiting belief, mean that I was driven to get qualification after qualification to feel ‘good enough’. Sad really, as my sister never meant this to happen and it was just how I was reacting. The qualifications have been a blessing too though as they have now added to the wisdom I can share with clients and information from my training and experience are catalogued in my book ‘Are you worth it? A spiritual guide to managing your money mindset.’ Everything happens for a reason and thankfully now, I no longer feel compelled to get more qualifications unless I actually want to do them and feel they are necessary to help my business. I am now charging £450 for a 3 hour session with me, so I’ve moved forward considerably with my confidence and self worth. I know that what I am offering clients is a unique experience and the £40000 I’ve spent on my own personal development as well as the results I get for my clients is reflective in my fees. Interestingly though, my sister still feels I charge more than what I offer is worth, but as a close sibling, she can never experience what I give my clients and what they value. I can’t work on her mind, although she has been on some of my workshops in the past. It is my choice as to whether I decide to be triggered by her or not.
A big issue about how I related to my twin, was also about the fact that she has gone through medical training and I’ve gone through holistic medicine training (although I didn’t realise fully this is what I was learning about when I did it!!) We have opposing views about medicine and what a person can resolve themselves and what needs medical attention. I’ve had to stand up for my beliefs which has been tough, especially as I’m not the sort of person who goes on about scientific research to prove my viewpoint. As the years have progressed though, my sister has done some Neuro Linguistic Programming training (I’m an NLP trainer) and she is now understanding the power of the mind and what can be changed. She also experienced a very stressful period when my Mum died in 2012 and she had a period of depression, so she is more aware of therapeutic interventions and the power of dealing with emotional issues. It’s not that I don’t believe in medicine, however I believe medics would benefit from learning more therapeutic tools such as NLP and Reiki to empower their patients to take more control of their health. We can heal ourselves if we wish. I am living proof.
Another deeper issue was actually our birth, which caused much trauma to myself and almost certainly my twin. I was an unplanned and unexpected twin, born at home with a heart complaint. I also came out feet first!! You can imagine the anxiety surrounding our birth. We were both whisked off to hospital and placed in incubators. I spent 6 weeks in hospital and my sister spent 3 weeks. I set up some very faulty programming around this time. I felt abandoned by being in hospital without my parents and set up a rejection pattern towards my Mum in particular. When my sister went home before me, I didn’t cope with the separation very well either and it left me traumatised. I guess because we were so close together in the womb. I see this a lot with my clients who are no longer able to have the type of closeness with their twin or if they are striving to be independent and are finding it difficult. This presents as mental health issues in later life. The unplanned and unexpected bit caused me a problem too as I took this to mean that I wasn’t loved and wanted which fueled my rejection issues. I had the limiting belief ‘I’m unloved and unwanted.’ I attract clients with this issue too. Often it can be issues in the womb, where they have picked up on conversations/fears of their parents e.g. should an abortion take place? or one parent not being able to cope with the pregnancy going ahead.
In therapy, I’ve had to deal with abandonment issues (I wasn’t really abandoned but this was my interpretation) as well as isolation issues. The anxiety of being separated from my parents and my twin, were part of the root cause to the anxiety and confidence issues I have had in later life. The bizarre thing is, I used to be jealous of friends who had a close relationship with their Mums. I really wanted this but as I was projecting rejection feelings, my Mum found it tough to get close to me.
As I have become me and authentic to what I believe in, my confidence has improved. I’ve learnt how to express my feelings, to speak up and to say what I want to say. I’m certainly no longer the quiet mouse of a girl who used to hide behind my twin. As I have re-connected with myself, and have stepped into my power by believing in myself and my wisdom and experience, my confidence has grown. I’m able to share with others, the ways I overcame anxiety and depression naturally without medication, which is related to my slightly ‘out of the box’ thinking around how to treat anxiety and depression and how my spiritual journey lead me to what I am doing now. If I can change and learn how to believe in myself, so can anyone! It’s all about self belief and positivity!
I’ve also overcome lots of physical health issues too which is why I see a different way forward for how someone can overcome physical health issues. For example, I no longer have the heart complaint I was born with. My twin does! I now realise that I am absolutely unique and whilst rejection did play a big part in my life for a long time (the pattern of rejection played out in my business by people not understanding what I offered and therefore they didn’t buy into my services which lost me money), I’m now at a point that I’m no longer triggered by my twin or anyone else around me. I’m a wonderful and loving person to know who helps lots of people and it is another person’s loss if they choose not to ‘like me’ or ‘judge me’ for what I offer within my business. I’m incredibly thankful for the lessons I’ve learnt through having a twin, feeling ‘rejected’ by my Mum and learning my therapeutic skills which have helped me become very self aware and mindful about how to help others not to feel the same way as I did!
Liz Almond is a multi awarding spiritual teacher, therapist, coach, author and small business mentor. She works mainly with midlife professionals to help them gain mental clarity whilst navigating their mid life journey. She works with them to help them gain clarity, direction and focus whilst uncovering their life purpose in the process. Liz empowers her clients to unlock and release emotional and physical pain which is keeping them stuck in life and is stopping them from having full happiness and health. They may be presenting with issues such as chronic illness, depression, anxiety, poor sleep as well as relationship issues. Liz also offers a range of qualifications including Reiki and Neuro Linguistic Programming as well as offering workshops on both business, health and spiritual subjects. For more information about Liz’s work, go to www.insightfulminds.co.uk or email Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in having a free 20 minute 1-1 consultation, email Liz directly.