The last three behaviors are ones that have everything to do with how you see yourself. As a Co-dependent we spend a lot of our time focused on others leaving us very little to no time focusing on ourselves. These three behaviors are Low Self Esteem, Problem with Intimacy, and Painful Emotions. As we begin to understand that life balance is the awareness of the imbalance, we see it as a dance rather than a destination. There is a season for everything, and the seasons should always include time for you to sit, be still, and love who you are becoming.
The interesting thing about Low Self Esteem is we all experience it. Even those who are extremely confident struggle with “feeling worthy.” In order to exchange a low self for a confident self, you will have to decide to be open to feeling discomfort. We gain Confidence through growth as no one has it or doesn’t have it; it just develops as we experience life. What we decide to make of those experiences makes the difference in how we feel about the outcome of them. Remember, we don’t choose our circumstances, but we can choose what we think about them. Next time you have a disagreement with a loved one ask yourself how you wish to perceive this and what would I need to think to make it so.
You might have a Problem with Intimacy if a loved one touches you and you find yourself cringing with thoughts like, “What do they want?”? By having such questions, you are building a wall, brick by brick, that is hurting you and could be hurting others. Having a love hate relationship with intimacy is a very internal and personal thing. That is why I want to offer you to replace this behavior with Vulnerability. Being vulnerable with yourself can improve your intimate moments. Whether it’s a hug from a friend or family member, questioning yourself and being open to yourself can help you explore what’s going on for you. Receiving a hug and kiss when you feel worthy and open to it is a beautiful thing and one that everyone could choose to experience.
This next behavior is one that parallels the previous one, however, it does deserve its own space as one of the Twelve. Painful Emotions can feel real as our mind doesn’t distinguish between real or fake. One thing I have personally experienced in my growth as one with co-dependent behaviors is that as I developed vulnerability, painful emotions came to the surface and I was in a place where I could open up to the possibility of moving through them.
Painful emotions are common to a co-dependent. The emphasis they put on themselves to be happy all the time can bury emotions that don’t leave. Taking on the behavior of courage can open your mind to process these emotions instead of ignoring them.
Growing through the process of viewing situations in life as impossible to possible and even inevitable is absolutely amazing. As you tackle each behavior and exchange it for another, believing it is possible, you unlock the door to transformative relationships. Exchanging Low Self-Esteem to Self-Confidence, Problem with Intimacy to Vulnerability, and Painful Emotions to taking on Courage, the thoughts and emotions you choose to have about yourself will blossom.
You will experience a range of many emotions and I want you to know that as your coach, I will walk beside you through these processes. Many obstacles will arise as you begin to replace one behavior with another. By building on thoughts that will produce useful behaviors and habits, you can open yourself up to new paths with unlimited possibilities. Remember once you have that awakening the thought of returning to old behaviors becomes a distant memory as your new habits create more thriving relationships with yourself and others.
These next three Co-dependent behaviors carry the belief that making everyone happy will not only improve their own life but others’ lives, as well. A thought like I just want everyone to be okay is full of good intentions but can backfire if not addressed. Co-dependents wear the behaviors of people-pleasing, dependency, and caretakinglike a badge of honor. Let’s dive into these three behaviors and see how one could trade them for more of a Leading Lady’s behavior.
People Pleasing is a slippery slope that can be developed as a child and become crippling as an adult. Do you find yourself saying things like, “Yes, I can do that, or I am so sorry, to I totally agree?” Have you found yourself saying these words even when you didn’t agree, didn’t need to apologize, and would have rather said no? The behavior I want to offer as a replacement is becoming a Peace Maker. As a Peace Maker, you are not in search of anyone’s approval and you have let go of controlling the decisions of others. A peacemaker is solid in their views and understands the difference between loving the person but not agreeing with their action. Even if others want to say you must not love me, you don’t need to clarify but you do show up with compassion. You are not responsible for a loved one’s response; being a peacemaker is letting them say what they want and showing up with no intention of changing their mind.
Dependency might seem like an obvious behavior for a co-dependent to have. Having the belief that if I repeatedly show love to someone, they will be more confident, and I will be important to them creates dependency. Becoming Interdependentin our relationships will make a huge impact on how we show up for others. As you understand the role that is needed for your growth you can and will want to let go of ideas that “they need you” and replace it with “I learn from others.” Seeing others as an equal and learning from them will nourish both of your interdependent qualities.
When you do for others what they are capable of doing for themselves, you are missing out on growth for the both of you. Caretaking, as a woman, can be a behavior that seems hard wired in us; you want to nurture your loved ones and it comes to you so naturally. However, it can become unhelpful when used as a tool for control.
Caretaking, when replaced with Personal Responsibility, will be something worth viewing from different angles. Understand that Personal Responsibility isn’t doing for others but rather doing for yourself as you become the example of what is possible. Giving to our loved ones is a beautiful thing, and it is important that the giving always comes from love without any expectations. Personal Responsibility is key when exploring decisions made based on caretaking.
As you exchange your behaviors of People Pleaser for Peace Maker, Dependency to Interdependent, and Caretaker to Personal Responsibility take a look at the emotion that is driving your actions. Can you find actions that bring you a sense of abundance? Can you show up with no thought of changing your loved ones, and have faith in yourself? It would be my honor to walk beside you as I teach you skills that will cultivate new thoughts and stimulating helpful emotions that allow you to create positive action in your life. We will begin by processing one behavior at a time as you go from impossible to possible, then jump into inevitable
The next three behaviors I will discuss have a lot to do with the way you choose to hold space with others. When I speak of holding space: boundaries, comply, and reactive are ways we interconnect. By recognizing these behaviors, you can exchange them for their healthier counterparts, and grow new habits that offer deeper relationships with others and with yourself.
Boundaries is a word that is thrown around in our world with very little direction of what a boundary is and how to form them. Healthy boundaries might seem rigid for a codependent, because we oscillate from being strict to having no rules, to demanding boundaries and having none, and build up resentment because of the whole process.
I want to offer instead of making a list of your boundaries that you begin by developing the character trait of Integrity. What thought do you find yourself having when you hear the word integrity? How do you see yourself showing up in the world when you use integrity as your compass? When you come from integrity you are making decisions based on your principles and values rather than comparing yourself to others. Integrity is doing what you view as right regardless of what others might think, say, or do.
As a society, it is important that we communicate. We are communicating who we are through our actions even sometimes without saying a word. That is why for a codependent I want to use the word Comply as the description for our communication skills. Since we don’t know what we really want we just comply, even if later we feel resentment for not speaking up. I want to offer that instead of complying you can choose to decide. What thoughts come to your mind when you think of making a decision? I know growing from comply to decisiveness is a big jump so I want to offer that you can say things like “I am becoming decisive in my responses” or “It is possible that I can make a decision that benefits me.” When you choose to make decisions, you are cultivating your power that can help you become a more confident communicator.
When we are not clear on our boundaries and we choose to comply, then act in a reactive manner instead of listening to our loved ones. We respond with jabs and poor word choice and get into a defensive mind trap. Being reactive means we are not listening to the other person, or we are projecting our thoughts onto others. Choosing instead to show up with self-discipline will enhance your communications. you will begin to be less reactive and show up in ways that you are not trying to “prove” or “explain” anything. Being self-disciplined, you will have little need to raise your voice to get your point across, instead, you are open and receptive. Self- discipline allows you to take care of yourself as you allow others to show up any way they see fit.
As you work on replacing boundaries for Integrity, complying to decision making, and reactive to self-discipline your relationships will start to have more meaning to them. Try finding actions that you could see yourself taking when you are displaying these new behaviors. Communication is important and the clearer you become, the more you will be open to let relationships play out as they will. Developing Integrity, decision making, and self-discipline as character traits, and integrating them into who you are will slowly change the way you see relationships.
Learning to believe that the impossible is possible is just the beginning. As your coach, I can help you transform these traits into the inevitable you, and as you struggle in your growth, I will be right beside you. If you are ready to enhance your relationships, then let’s schedule your coaching consult today.
The beginning can be the hardest part of any process. Facing such behaviors as Obsession, Control and Denial can seem almost daunting. These three are the first behaviors needing to be unraveled because they are behaviors Co-Dependents often see in others but not in themselves. We don’t get rid of a behavior, we change it. Let’s explore possible ideas to replace these behaviors with new ones that will make the impossible seem possible and provide you a new viewpoint…if you are open to it.
Do you worry about things that have not happened and find yourself creating scenarios of “what ifs?” Focusing on others is a co-dependent’s Obsession. Ask yourself the question “What do I want?” If Your reply includes other people, or certain situations, needing to change so you can have what you want, or using someone outside of you as the excuse (“I can’t because of them”) then that is a sign you are portraying obsession.
Let me offer a thought, what if you try on Passion instead? Having Passion will increase your ability to see the good in others and help you focus on what you are creating in your life. What are you passionate about? How can this passion fuel your zest for life? Could it be possible that as you grow your passion you become open to allowing your loved ones to explore life as you explore yours?
Control is a sneaky one for us co-dependents as we “only want the best” for others and are trying to make it “all okay,” so we don’t see it as control. In fact, most of the time we see our loved ones as controlling us. My question here is direct and simple: why do you want to be in charge to make everyone feel okay and what power do you hold that you believe you can make people feel anything? Self-Awareness is a beautiful behavior to engage in as you explore the link between control to how you are showing up to your loved ones. Understanding that self-awareness is not a judgment on yourself but rather curiosity on how you might do things now that you are seeing it through new eyes. Asking yourself questions like, “Was I trying to be right? What would happen if I just listened?” will help cultivate more self-awareness.
Denial goes hand in hand with the other two, we will excuse the heck out of everything we do to prove to ourselves we are doing the right thing. This trait will and can stay hidden until you are ready to go after what you want and let go of others. We can become so good at giving our viewpoint and playing the victim. But, showing up and taking down the wall of denial can be life changing. Honesty with yourself is the best way to combat denial. Honesty is best when looking at a scenario from the viewpoint of an outsider and taking out emotions, body language, and words exchanged. Instead, try to focus on the topic—why the disagreement started and how you might see your loved one’s point of view; honesty, without emotions, so you just see the facts.
As you work on trading Obsession for Passion, Control for Self-Awareness, and Denial to Honesty, you may encounter some obstacles. Adopting new ways of thinking as you replace old habits is a process. For some, it’s an awakening and for others, it will take more time to see the change. The point of the journey is to break old patterns as you look for new behaviors that help serve you in finding your voice.
These thoughts and perspectives that I share as you trade one behavior for another are just the tip of the iceberg. Becoming open to the possibility that change, in you can happen, will help you begin to believe you can learn new behaviors. As your coach, I will help you find your way. Your sessions with me will bear fruit long after they are over. Let’s get your free consultation scheduled today so you can see how I help clients view their own thinking as they decide to change.