Find out whether the name you choose for your baby has a hidden meaning that will affect his or her future.
A lot of thought goes into naming a baby - will the name suit him or her, does it work with your surname and the names of the rest of the family, can it be abbreviated, is there any potential for teasing and so on. However, naming your baby takes on a whole new dimension if you consider that the name you choose might actually affect your baby's future.
The belief that your name plays a significant role in determining your destiny is one that has been held for many, many years throughout the different cultures of the world. However in Western society the focus of naming has tended towards choosing names that sound nice (and possibly their superficial meaning), rather than in any deep rooted belief that names could actually affect the way our children's lives turn out. So, the question is do the names we choose for our children have more of an impact than we think?
Numerology dates from ancient times and focuses on the interpretation of specific numbers and their relationship with physical objects and human life. This practice is one of the many that believes that names play a significant role in the development of our personality and our success in life.
Numerologists practice with the numbers 1 through to 9 and work using numerology charts that assign special meanings to each number. Each alphabetical letter is assigned to one of these numbers and is then used to configure the 'cosmic vibration' of a person's life. By reducing the letters that make up a name down to a single, one digit, number a numerologist can predict the basic characteristics that a baby will display. By combining this name information with numbers derived from your baby's date of birth, a numerologist may be able to build up a complete picture of your baby's future personality, their direction in life and what they may accomplish.
Numerologists believe that the interplay of vibrations relating to your name and your date of birth have a significant impact on personality and success. By carefully choosing a baby name that is in balance with both parental and birth date influences, the cosmic vibrations from different aspects of a child's life should be in line with one another promoting healthy development and progress.
Kabbalah holds its roots in Jewish religion and revolves around a deeply rooted belief system based on the tree of life and the numerical interpretation of Hebrew writings in ancient Jewish texts. Those that practice Kabbalah believe in the influential nature of names and teach that by knowing the true meaning of your name you are empowered to take charge of your life and make the most of the characteristics you hold innately.
Kabbalahism teaches that the name that you choose for your baby is the single biggest influence on their life (so not too much pressure then!) and that by choosing a name that is 'balanced' you are providing an outlet for your child to grow and develop fully. Understandably those that practice this faith take naming very seriously and usually seek guidance as to what their baby should be called so as to maximise their chances of success in life.
Although many may be sceptical about the 'hidden influence of names only revealed by numbers' as the above practices preach, scientific findings do seem to support the basic concept that your name impacts your life. However, this appears to be through social mechanisms rather than mystical ones. The main mechanism through which this appears to work is by influencing self concept - the network of beliefs that an individual holds about themselves.
Psychological research has shown that people view some names as more desirable than others, associating some with success and others with a tendency for failure. It is thought that people transmit these character expectations via subtle verbal and non verbal communication which then affects the way we perceive ourselves and consequently the way we act. Those that like their first names tend to have a good self concept and go on to lead fulfilling lives, whereas those who aren't so keen tend to have a poorer self image and lead less 'successful' lives.
Based on the above 'evidence' it does seem that the name you choose for your baby could affect their future. However, all of the above approaches seem to take the characteristics and life outcomes they predict as innate tendencies that can either be nurtured or lost, rather than as an inevitability.
So, rather than dwelling on whether you have picked the 'perfect' name for your child, its probably best to simply go with a name that you like the sound of and then focus on providing your child with a supportive environment for them to learn and grow.
Do you believe that your name has had an impact on the way you've turned out, is this something you have considered when looking at names for your baby? Share your thoughts with us on the AskBaby Forums