We hope you had the chance to try out the exercise on “Feeling Your Feelings” in Part 1.
What was it like to actually feel the sensations in your body for a moment or a few moments– perhaps pulsating or swirling or pounding?
Now that (like an emotional personal trainer), you have taken a pulse of your current emotional fitness, let’s return to the questions in our last post.
Take a moment to honestly ask yourself:
Do you find it hard to stand up for yourself?
Do you find it hard to say “no” when you mean “no”?
Do you find it hard to end a relationship or leave a job that is no longer serving?
If you answered “Yes” to any (or all) of these questions, let’s consider what might be behind this.
According to a number of therapists and modalities—every action we take (or don’t take) comes from love. Sometimes, though, to be connected to people we love, we take on their painful qualities or traits.
For example, to feel connected and loved by a perfectionist, always-dieting mother, you might have “taken on” being a perfectionist yourself, and very body conscious.
Or, to feel approved by a domineering teacher, you may have “taken on” become a soft-spoken adult who doesn’t feel you have the right to challenge authority.
So, the fact that you struggle to stand up for yourself does not mean anything is wrong with you.
It simply means that somewhere during your life, you learned you could get love and safety best by not standing up for yourself, or by saying “yes” even when you really wanted to say “no”.
The fact that as an adult these patterns are now programmed in you makes sense. Our brain strengthens its well-worn pathways every time we repeat an action.
So if you have practiced saying “yes” when you mean “no” for ten or twenty years, you may feel like you want to do things differently, but consciously or unconsciously you may not actually believe you can change.
We’re here to tell you that you can! It just takes commitment (which you already have, since you’re reading this.) And a lot of kindness and practice.
Does this resonate? Can you think of an authority figure (parent, teacher, etc.) whom you silenced yourself for? To earn their respect or love?
What would it be like to do things differently as an adult?
Can you imagine...
Asking your boss for that raise you’ve been waiting for.
Leaving a job or relationship that is not healthy for you anymore.
Applying for that job and initiate that relationship that excites and inspires you.
Being clear and honest about how much time you have to help others.
We would love to hear your thoughts, or know how we can help you break through the "fear of saying no."