Learn How To Trust Yourself Instead
I was recently having a conversation with a GF of mine who is going through a really tough breakup. Of course she wants to get through the healing process as quickly as possible, and like most people she really has no idea where to start.
She knows that she has a pattern when it comes to relationships and she wants to break it. At the same time her pattern is so much a part of who she is and how she lives from day to day, that most of the time she can’t even see the pattern in action.
Here’s what I’ve come to learn about healing and breaking patterns… It requires that we step outside of our comfort zones. It requires that we do things we’ve never done before and take actions that we’ve been afraid to take.
Why Do I Do That?
- When we won’t step out of a comfort zone, we can’t change the patterns that don’t serve us.
- When we can’t change our patterns, we can’t effectively heal – because we keep doing the same thing over and over to ourselves
- By doing that we create more proof and evidence that we can’t trust ourselves.
That doesn’t bode well for most us, since most of us have self-defeating patterns that get in the way of living life on our terms…
Let’s look at my GF and her story as an example of what to do to start this journey of stepping out of your comfort zone, start healing, and learning to trust yourself.
And don’t worry; I got her permission to share this before I started writing!!
What Do I Do About It?
My GF is a people pleaser. Ever heard of that before? LOL 🙂 Most people in the world these days use people pleasing as a way of surviving relationships, so I have no doubt you have some level of familiarity with this pattern of behaviour.
For people pleasers, my GF included, their pattern starts young. Over time they’ve done so many things to get approval from others that they lose sight of their own needs, wants, feelings, and boundaries. They start to lose the connection to their authentic self and gradually it gets hazier and hazier, so hazy it’s virtually impossible to recognize.
As I said, this starts young. It starts with this mini-people-pleaser looking for approval from their opposite gender parent and then same gender parent. This is totally normal behaviour and depending on the parental reaction can be a powerful tool towards building self-esteem and self-confidence. However if the parent reacts with something that leaves this little person feeling less than validated and awesome, then the seeking-approval behaviour starts and poof! a mini-people-pleaser is born.
Check out these articles for a more detailed explanation about the origin of the people pleasing pattern:
This approval-seeking pattern of behaviour will continue to develop with other relevant authority figures, caregivers, friends, teachers, partners, co-workers, bosses, etc. Over time this mini-people-pleaser grows up to be so disconnected from themselves and their worth that they compromise what they want and need (because most of the time they don’t even know what they’re wanting or needing) in an effort to have someone else tell them “I pick you! You’re worth it! I see value in you!”
That’s the case with my GF. It’s a really tough place to land and the hard reality is this cycle will continue to repeat itself until the work gets done to establish a positive sense of self and effective boundaries.
Doing that work feels risky… It feels risky because so far you’ve given up everything to get people to like you and you haven’t had any long-term success. It feels totally counterintuitive to think that drawing boundaries and standing up for yourself would be the thing that actually created long-term relationship success.
NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES.
If you really want to heal this, the place to look is at the work you need to do so you can start really (like for real in a way you can’t imagine right now) trusting yourself. Believe me, you trusting yourself is missing in your character make-up.
So how do I do that??
It’s a tough thing to wrap your head around for sure. The first place I recommend you look is at all of the places where (in hindsight) you can see that you compromised your truth.
If I take my own life as an example, I can see now looking back, that in a number of relationships right from the very beginning, I would compromise my truth – and therefore my ability to rely on myself to do the things that were in my AUTHENTIC best interest.
Every now and again I can see that I would actually make a move and try to draw a boundary or pull something into alignment – basically stand up for myself. Of course whatever step I took would only temporarily make a difference and as a result I never felt safe or truly accepted for me as I was – because in essence I wasn’t accepting me for me.
I used to do this because rather than trusting myself it was easier to listen to some other voice…. The voice in my head seeking approval; the gremlins concerned about standards and ideals, fitting in, and what society dictated… Sometimes I’d even gone so far as to focus solely on the voice telling me how I wanted things to be and ignoring the voice (my voice) telling me the truth – my truth.
Learning to trust myself through facing all the places I was selling myself out was not an easy process. As I started seeing all the ways I had compromised myself as well as the beliefs and thought patterns that led me to do that (on top of feeling sad for the girl I used to treat like that) I started to see all of the places that needed to get healed…. That included seeing all of the choices I needed to make in my best interest that I had been avoiding up until that point.
Once all of that truth was laid out on the table, the healing could really start. That was scary and a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions that needed to be faced and dealt with. It was, to say the least, uncomfortable – and – the best thing I ever did for myself.
It’s scary because essentially you are stepping into completely new territory. I had always seen myself as reliable and living in integrity and responsible…. Which looking back I can see was SO not the truth about who I was for myself. The truth was I was putting everyone else’s thoughts and opinions ahead of my own well being – not the actions of someone who is reliable, responsible, and living in integrity. Acknowledging that I was essentially a fraud in that regard was a tough pill to swallow.
I had to forgive myself and that was challenging too… Of course I still have days where I’m off or questioning myself. But I feel better now than I have in I’m not even sure how long. But as they say the truth – and I mean the real truth, not a kinda sorta almost truth, the one you’ve been trying to hide from yourself – will set you free!
I know!! It’s a confounding place to stand in… Especially alone.
But you know what? You know your truth. It’s that teeny tiny piece of you that right now feels lighter, almost a sense of hope.
Can you feel that?
That’s your truth.
It’s right there…
Just waiting for you to give it life, give it a voice.
How’re You Doing?
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