Swinging from one side all the way to the opposite side of an emotional pendulum can be exhausting. One moment you are completely happy and the next you are angry and feel threatened. Having patterns like this, it is easy to see why someone struggling with Co-Dependency thinks they are broken.
Having Tender Emotions can seem like a no-solution problem, but as you begin to connect the dots of your thoughts to your emotions you can make sense of them. Viewing your emotions as a warning signal instead of being at the mercy to them might help you to decrease the pendulum swing.
In order to view emotions as signals, you will need to take on Courage. Gaining courage is a Leading lady behavior and one that will serve you well. Transforming the Co-dependent behavior of tender emotions, you can look at the signals your body is giving you and view it as informational data. Detaching from it will take courage as it will require you to look at your part in any equation as you step away from a victim, hero, or villain role, and step into courage. To learn more about the emotional triad of Hero, Villain, and Victim check out my blog on it here.
Just like everything else, learning new behaviors is a one-step-at-a-time process. A tool I use when coaching clients and to help them see their thinking is “The Model.” The Model is a formula used to view your current thinking and help you create new thinking that might be more useful.
Using The Model formula, I want to share the first three steps as they pertain to this blog:
“C” is for Circumstance: What are the facts? Write down only the facts about the situation you are in.
“T” is for Thought: What are the thoughts you have about the circumstance & what are your reactions to it?
“F” is for Feelings: What are the feelings you are experiencing from the thoughts you are having?
This very basic beginning to the model is what will help you most as you learn to gain courage. Separating out the Circumstance from your Feelings as you notice your Thinking can help you see you don’t have to be at the mercy of your emotions. It is easy to see how we attach feelings we experience to what someone said or did. Beginning to see that we have a choice and that there can be many different responses to any given scenario, can show you that you are not broken. In fact, you are far from broken.
What a beautiful gift courage is, as it can open you up to endless possibilities as it begins to show you that you are not stronger than you think, but you can think yourself stronger than you are. Gaining this insight also means being willing to see our part in any given circumstance.
As we open up to the possibilities, you might see that there was some truth in what they said about you. Seeing the truth in what someone said or did does not mean that you are not standing up for yourself. In fact, it can show quite the opposite. I would say that seeing your part is portraying humility with courage as you don’t see yourself as a victim, but as the victor for showing you are open to growth.
If this information resonated with you, schedule your free discovery coach call here. With me, coaching one-on-one will show you how to apply all I discuss to your life, taking the relationships you’re struggling with from a liability to an asset.
When it comes to putting other people first Co-Dependents are truly masters. I can recall doing things for others that I would have never done for myself. In my mind I saw these acts as being selfless, yet the fall out of my behavior after the fact was what showed me that I was not being as selfless as I thought.
Caring for others that are unable to care for themselves is a beautiful act of love. We care for our children and are rewarded for it in their smiles, hugs, and visible joy of just being with us. The problem can arrive as they get older and we begin to hold expectations of them because of the acts we perform for them. This is where placing guilt on them, and/or portraying a victim-like mentality can unfold as you are grasping to keep hold of your loved one.
There are other relationships where this can unfold such as older parents, siblings, co-workers, friends, and spouses, to name a few. Like I mentioned above, being a Caretaker is a beautiful thing, yet holding resentment and hurt feelings due to your expectations of being rewarded, or even acknowledged might not be useful behavior to grab hold of.
When our focus is on the doing and keeping up a certain facade, we can burn out our batteries long before recharge. The Co-Dependent behavior of being a Caretaker is exhausting, but we can exchange it for the Leading Lady behavior of Responsibility. This behavior exchange can be a challenging one depending on how long the caretaking has been going on. Those you have been caretaking for could feel abandoned and possibly try to manipulate you.
Even though there might be obstacles, I want to show it will be a blessing to you—and them—as you follow through in creating this new behavior. The old maxims of “You can’t give to others what you don’t have” or “How do you fill up someone’s cup when yours is empty?” are great reminders of why you might want to meet your needs first. Figuring out what you are responsible for could be painful as you think you are neglecting others. This is an opportunity for you to look within and ask yourself, “Is doing _____ going to make myself feel good now and later, regardless of their response and actions?”
Here are a few more questions you can ask yourself as you engage in the behavior of taking responsibility for your actions and not for others:
Can they do it themselves?
What support would they need to do it themselves?
How is this my problem, or is it theirs to figure out?
If I help them will I see it as me doing it for them, being the hero, or see it as me assisting them, being a supporter?
The clearer you can be with yourself, and form awareness around what is yours to handle, the more opportunity you are giving the other person to improve their self-esteem and awareness…and, over time, appreciation for their situation in life.
Helping other people is a blessing that you give yourself and others. There are times in life where things are out of your control. However, the way you respond as you contemplate and decide the best action to take can give you peace of mind. Most times the chaos from caretaking appears not at the beginning but as you live a life of quick decisions, instant gratification, and trying to control others.
Schedule your free discovery call here and let’s explore this together.
If you’ve ever played hide and seek you can relate to the feeling of hiding and being afraid of discovery. You experienced it as you crouched in a closet trying to hide from the one seeking you. Your heart was racing as you sat, waiting, terrified of being found. It is this fear that kept us quiet and hiding. When we Comply in relationships, it is a form of hiding who we are. Focusing on someone else and their ideas could make it easier for us to never be at fault. By focusing on others and complying all the time we might be avoiding Unconfutable feelings around our thoughts about our shortcomings we see as faults.
Fear is a huge motivator for hiding and building the habit of complying. But, what is it we fear? We fear looking stupid, not being liked, being ridiculed, and we fear failing. This generates high anxiety and we unconsciously choose to focus the blame on others to continue hiding. Even knowing all this, we are not motivated to change because it would be too uncomfortable. I would like to suggest it is the hiding that we should be afraid of, not our faults.
By being present and acknowledging why we are choosing unconsciously to be “other focused” instead of hiding and complying, we can learn to be Decisive. Instead of being the child that is hiding, we can take on the role of the Seeker and be decisive. Like a child seeking the person hiding as they determinedly search looking in every closet under every bed and not afraid but actually excited. You too can look forward to the end goal of finding decisiveness and enjoy the steps you will need to take to generate decisiveness as a behavior that you experience on a regular.
One step you can take as you begin to be decisive is identifying when you are complying and ask yourself, “What do I really want to say and why am I not saying it?” Another question you could ask is, “What is the worst that could happen?”
Becoming clear on your motives is a key component when it comes to showing up decisively. Being decisive is not permission to be bossy or bitchy; when we choose such behaviors, it is because we think we have to prove, justify, or explain. Allow yourself to feel new emotions, get things wrong, and be misunderstood. Deciding to believe that your unique input is as important as anyone else’s and expressing it in a respectful and dignified manner will generate emotions of self-confidence and provide the encouragement you need to keep growing.
Working towards the awareness of wanting to be more decisive is an attempt that is not only healthy for you emotionally, but physically as well. Cultivating a Leading Lady behavior like Decisiveness can bring your soul peace, however, maintaining the balance can be tricky. Holding space for my clients as they walk this tightrope is what I do. Ready to grow and change your relationships? Let’s get on a discovery call today and show you some clarity.
Having moments of low self-esteem is a thought I would assume most people have experienced at one time or another in their life. Growing one’s self-esteem usually begins in childhood. As you attempt to perform tasks you have never done before, such as learning your alphabet, your numbers, and how to read, all these attempts in such tasks can help you gain self-esteem in your abilities. Then how do we exchange having low self-esteem in your abilities for having confidence in your self-worth?
I think the idea of having low self-esteem became associated with our ability to perform a task such as, “I can’t read therefore I am dumb”. Whether you can or cannot read doesn’t make you more worthy as a person; the skills you obtain through trial and error will not increase your worthiness. Being able to read is an ability you gained to increase your personal value, and a person with value is not the same as a person of self-worth.
Low self-esteem is a co-dependent behavior that can wreak havoc on your relationships, the emphasis being that self-esteem is developed through doing and adding value. When we exchange it for self-confidence and learn to see ourselves as being 100% worthy without adding anything, we are choosing to grow from a place of abundance as we are not trying to add what we think is missing. Self- confidence isn’t the acquiring of knowledge, it is the gaining of self-realization.
There are many quotes that might be giving us ladies even more confusion when it comes to worthiness vs value. They are two sides of the same coin. One side of the coin is embracing who you are and being confident in your self-worth. The other side is growing into what you want to become through improvement and adding value. There is no need to argue that one is more important than the other when they are both important from different perspectives. In other words, they are not competing factors but complementary.
One of the best definitions of self-confidence I learned in my certified training to be a Life Coach was that it doesn’t come from anything external; it is being present and experiencing all the emotions with the understanding that you can handle them. This means, you can’t fix yourself by improving a skill, the fact is you don’t need to be fixed, this is you being present with your self-worth.
You don’t have to change if you love where you are, but you can love where you are and choose to change. When I am working with a client and they really begin to embrace this concept it’s as if they found the key to unlocking a door they have always had access to.
Embracing the opportunity to experience all emotions one must be willing to put yourself out into the world with all its perceptions. Being able to see all sides and view things from a point of not needing to change yourself but fully accepting you can when you want to change your value knowing you are already 100% worthy.
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.