Having poor Boundaries is a behavior that Co-Dependents can portray. One way this behavior can manifest is as communication issues. I want to explore how being clear about yourself and coming from a place of integrity can make all the difference when forming clear boundaries.
The definition of Integrity is doing what you believe to be right no matter what others think or say, or if others will ever see or witness it. When I think of Integrity, I think of being true to yourself, and knowing what you Value. To discover what you truly value based on Integrity explore all areas of your life, including your relationships with family, in your career and community, and spiritual self.
Creating a boundary when you are unclear about what you value in your life can show up as making demands or stating ultimatums. Finding yourself holding different expectations for individuals in your life can wreak havoc on all your relationships, including the one with yourself.
One example of holding a value for yourself is being open to interacting with people that see things differently than you, without expecting them to be like you. Having this value, you might listen when you don’t agree, ask questions, and remain curious while being open to seeing it a different way. You stay in the room, engage in the conversation and maybe you don’t agree, but you appreciate them sharing their perspective. There are no boundary violations as you are showing up with Integrity; integrity for holding your boundary and integrity for respecting their opinion. If you find yourself reacting in spiteful ways as you are wanting to persuade or prove your point, you might need to reword this value and find what resonates with you.
Deciding not to engage with those who see things differently as you because you know yourself well creates a clear boundary based on what you value. This could mean you value your time and only engage in conversation with relationships that matter to you. If someone you disagree with enters a room and they engage in conversation you don’t agree with, you can excuse yourself. That is a clear boundary and you are coming from a place of self-integrity.
If you are open to engaging with one person and not others based on a judgment, you might be engaging in making exceptions; return to what you value. This is something I explore when coaching clients. Just be aware that doing this can blur your boundaries causing you to pull back and feel as though a boundary was violated. Understand that values can change as you grow in your own self-awareness.
Baby steps are key to your personal growth. Start with values that resonate with you. Do not force a value thinking it is what you should believe based on others’ perceptions. Forcing a value is not coming from a place of Integrity; it might be based on socially acceptable norms. That will not create Leading Lady Behaviors; a Leading Lady leads, even if it’s on her own path. As your coach, I can help you find clarity in your values as it comes from a place of Integrity. Ready to grow in Integrity? Reach out, and let’s get your Coaching session scheduled.
Obsession is not a bad word. Actually, obsession can be a good thing. Let’s discuss an unhealthy aspect of obsession first: as co-dependents, we can easily obsess about someone or something. Any time we are obsessing about someone or something we are using it as a way to keep all eyes off of ourselves. This is a behavior that I described as one that a co-dependent sees in others but does not in themselves.
A co-dependent does not want to have their shortcomings magnified but can be obsessed with magnifying others’. As we dive into co-dependent behaviors, ask yourself, “Am I using the focus of others or something else to ignore my own short-comings?” and “What would I need in order to believe that being exposed to my short-comings will not harm, but help me?”
A hurdle to look for and overcome as you choose to grow from a co-dependent into a leading lady is to embrace yourself and recognize when you divert your attention to other people, places, or things. By becoming aware of how the brain loves to justify and excuse itself out of everything, you’ll learn to self-identify common phrases like “It’s their fault, not mine” your brain may generate when it needs an excuse.
The behavior I like to think is a good replacement for Obsession is Passion. Passion can stimulate emotions of purpose, direction, and clarity on what you value. Growing in passion can be a result of accepting yourself—faults and all—and knowing you are valuable, not because of what you do or any label you hold, but because you are uniquely you. When you reach for passion instead of focusing on obsession you are no longer excusing or justifying anything. You are now strategizing and finding reasons to keep growing.
I see passion being your true self, after coming to an understanding that you display co-dependent behaviors. Nothing is or has gone wrong because you portray co-dependent behaviors. Choosing a habit that became a behavior was most likely manifested based on your fears at the time the habit was created. For example, it could have happened as a child seeing it as a way to survive, or as an adolescent wanting to be accepted by your peers. Whether conscious or unconscious, you might have chosen behaviors that provided the desirable outcome at the time.
I want to offer that the kind of person who is a co-dependent is loving, caring, full of compassion, and an all-around wonderful person. A habit of obsession that has now become behavior does not have to stay.
Living your passion is an inside job and when you are around someone who is living their passion with purpose, you know it. They will encourage you to find yours by asking about you and speak less about themselves, because they are clear on their place and path in this world and they want to see others find their passion, too. Finding your passion is not a competition or a race; you don’t have to hurry up and get there or it’s gone. Passion, in its raw form, is self-discovery over time, searching inside on a daily basis.
As you start moving towards your passion, things will become clearer. Keeping your focus on yourself and your heart’s desire will bless all your loved ones around you. You might experience resistance at first, from loved ones, and even yourself, but as you keep on your path in living your passion, obsession will begin to seem like a distant memory. Are you ready to create passion? Let’s get on a call and do a free coaching consult. As your coach, I will help you find clarity and recognize passion versus obsession.
We all have good and bad qualities and behaviors that directly stem from “Ego.” It is creating that 50/50 balance between them that makes up many parts of our life’s journey.
To have Ego is to be Human; our ego can keep us alive, help us survive, see ways to strive then possibly thrive. Ego can be attached to comparison and judgment, stimulating a need to stay alive and survive. It is also attached to self-awareness (striving) and discipline in mind-management (thriving; next level shit).
The connection of the mind to the body is the relationship between limbic and prefrontal (mind) then parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems (body). These combinations forming what we might refer to as the Ego is our driving force behind the actions we choose to take. Being human means, we can view our humanness, or separate ourselves from thinking and emotions, by observing our thoughts and feelings almost like we are viewing them through a window. This takes discipline in mind-management. But, how do we do this?
Sometimes we need to be just scared, especially if you are in a dangerous situation and need to get out of harm’s way quickly and without thought. That is why—and for good reason—we compare and judge from past experiences using Ego as our default so we can stay alive and survive.
Other times we want to experience no worries; we want to be “okay” with everything and not have reactions as it is possible to become paralyzed from over-analysis. This is what I call “Low-Grade Awareness.” Many people stay in this area because it is comfortable and familiar. Staying here would give you a sense of striving. These two feelings are part of the “Surviving and Striving side of Ego” that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zones.
Instead of just striving, I want to offer that instead of running from emotions such as fear and stress, you can lean into them and see what can happen on the other side of that window. Pull yourself back from the surviving Ego and discipline your mind to view your emotions and thoughts from a distance. This will allow you to see what you are doing and thinking and choose actions that will drive you toward what you want to become and thrive.
Stop, breathe, and question all sides. You are no longer avoiding anything but allowing yourself to fully feel the moment and learn as you lean into it. It’s messy, it’s unpredictable, but as you allow all emotions having awareness of your body and engage in acts of realization with curiosity you will begin to create solutions you never knew that you were capable of before. Homeostasis, a balance in our body, can happen when we become self-aware of the different stages of our Ego and connect them so that they are in-sync. I see it as being a spiritual being, created from a higher Power (for me that is God) learning to traverse the human experience of finding balance with Ego in order to not only survive, but to also Thrive
Have you experienced moments in a relationship when you wish it was just easier, finding yourself fighting to feel better? The Motivational Triad has three components to it: seek pleasure, avoid pain, and conserve energy. I want to offer what this looks like and how being aware of this process could aid you as you work towards transforming co-dependent behaviors into Leading Lady behaviors.
Let’s explore the first corner of the triad and look at the Motivational need to avoid pain. Our limbic and sympathetic nervous systems have a negative bias that can if we allow it, dictate our every move. It was designed to keep us alive; designed to keep us safe by wiring us to avoid all pain, whether it be physical or mental. By utilizing our Parasympathetic nervous system and prefrontal cortex we can decide what is a life-threatening danger and what might be our fears that are stopping us.
The next corner of the tripod is seeking pleasure. When you reach for the remote control, scroll through social media, grab that glass of wine or box of cookies we might be engaging in this. This is a way that one can use a “socially acceptable action” to avoid pain and conserve energy at the same time. We justify our actions by telling ourselves everyone else does it, too. This concept is one that can keep us from many experiences since the initial reaction to change from our routine can generate emotions of fear and anxiety, which leads us to avoiding pain.
Taking an evening walk, reading a book, studying a new language, or working a side hustle to earn some extra income are all examples of activities that expend energy instead of conserving it. When we avoid pain by seeking pleasure, such as sitting down to watch Netflix because our brain tells us we deserve to relax, we are conserving energy, but not getting anything done. This conservation of energy was historically essential to the human race, but now we must battle the Motivational triad on a daily basis.
For example, your loved one wants to watch a Netflix show, but you offer to go for a walk because you are trying to hold healthier habits. They say no, and they might even offer in return to have you sit and watch TV with them. You know they are wanting to sit because you understand the Motivational Triad. There is nothing you did or didn’t do; it is their limbic system doing its job. If you wanted to go for a walk and made it a goal to do that, when you use their actions as being your reason to not walk, you are engaging in a co-dependent behavior. You can choose to go for a walk, and they can watch tv. It doesn’t have to mean that someone is mad, doesn’t love you, or any such thing. It all depends on how you want to see it; allowing your loved one to see it their way and giving yourself permission to accomplish your goal of walking.
When we realize that the reward of an accomplishment would not generate such an uplifting emotion if we didn’t know what struggle felt like, we find ways to let go then rise up. It is only through knowing the struggle that we truly appreciate the reward. With this awareness, we are taking the steps to become a Leading Lady.
When we perform an action, we are doing it to meet an emotional need whether conscious or unconscious. Have you ever asked yourself how the action became a behavior? Repeated action becomes a habit, habit becomes the behavior.
The habit will stick based on how well that need was met from taking that action. Thus, forming a behavior. Meeting our emotional needs is what we are wired to do; if the action didn’t meet the need, we will try a different route. I want to explore how creating awareness around our needs could be the way to transform a Co-Dependent Behavior into a Leading Lady behavior.
First, to identify the need, ask yourself these questions, “What is the Emotional need I am trying to meet?” and “Is it short term, instant gratification relief I want, or do I want to see long term gain toward Leading Lady behavior?”
Short term is thinking that something outside of us, some external “person, place, or thing,” is going to meet our emotional needs. For short term emotional needs; think instant gratification. Some short-term needs could be wanting to feel acceptance from others through justification, proving our points, criticizing others, or validation. Co-Dependent behaviors are ways we show up to meet the short-term emotional need.
There are also long-term emotional needs. Actions we take to meet these needs may seem counterproductive, at first, but do provide the most gain in the long-term. These needs relate more to finding your purpose, learning self-appreciation, and feeling valuable and complete.
It is through taking the actions that meet the emotional need that we receive “rewards” which soothe (or bolster) our ego. Co-Dependent behavior, such as justifying our actions to others, exposing someone’s faults, and the need to prove we are right is a product of the short-term actions we take to meet the need.
Becoming aware of these needs will help you to create stronger and more vibrant relationships. Showing up and meeting your own needs for the long term with nothing to prove to anyone versus wanting the person, place, or thing to meet your needs can provide a long-lasting inner peace.
A great place to explore how you are doing in meeting your emotional needs is becoming aware of when something “triggers you.” Feeling triggered can be a perfect awareness tool by providing an opportunity for you to say, “I feel triggered, so what emotional need am I wanting to be met?”
Here is a “sneaky” thought we can encounter when transforming from Co-dependent to Leading Lady: we might feel triggered and because we want the ego boost and to feel better, we quickly change our thinking and create new thoughts to generate a more desirable feeling. We want to change the thought because we don’t like how it makes us feel. This is where I want to offer that you receive the original thought—all the ugliness of it—hold it, and digest what this trigger is trying to tell you. Then release it when you have accepted it. This step is important and part of the process to find your authentic self.
Have patience with yourself and realize that as a human we are perfectly imperfect. Living above the line by choosing the long-term gain versus the short-term gratification is forming Leading Lady behaviors, generating peace within and comfort when in stormy waters.