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.
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.
Do you find it hard to make decisions? What evidence or information do you think is lacking that keeps you from making a decision? When making decisions, the brain likes to point out the reasons why something is a good or bad idea; we may need more information, or we need to wait for someone else or something else to happen so we can decide. Yet, even when that something happens, our brain could still find reasons to not make a choice.
You have already made many decisions in your lifetime. If you are reading this blog you made the decision to read it. When you are done reading it you will get to decide what you think of it. Some decisions like what spice to use in a recipe, or what road to turn down give you rapid results so you can determine the significance of your choice. Other decisions, such as who you choose to marry and if you want kids could take more time to provide the information needed to determine if your choice was a good one or not and whether you would do it again. We all go through changes in life as we evolve, so our views most likely change as life progresses. Keep in mind that you get to offer thoughts about the change and apply meaning to those changes.
But, what if every decision you make going forward was one that you could look back on and say, “Wow, I learned a lot from that decision.” Making a decision is defined as a conclusion or resolution made after consideration. Below are two different scenarios on buying a new car. Which scenario is more reflective of you?
You did your homework, and this is the car you wanted. You bought it for a good price, and you feel confident about the person and dealership that you bought it from. You swear that more people are driving this car since you bought it. You even start seeing the color of your new car on other cars and in unpredicted items that you never saw before. This was the right car for you!
You are apprehensive if it was a good purchase. You made a decision, unsure about the dealership and salesman, you start to hear rumors that they are not an honest dealership. You see the same car and model on the side of the street, broken down. Others that are on the road have dents in them. You begin to question if it was a good idea and start to think maybe you need to trade it in for a different car. This car must be a lemon!
When we make a decision believing it was a good one, our brain will begin to work to show us why the choice was such a good idea. On the flip side of that, our brain will also offer evidence of why something is a bad idea when we are unsure and find evidence to prove why you shouldn’t have made that choice. Making an informed decision builds self-confidence and allows you the opportunity to learn while giving your brain a chance to find solutions. When we get stuck in indecision, we find more problems and feel unsure, often spinning with unresolved thoughts.
There is the option to give our brain the chance to make a decision and allow that decision to unravel naturally as we manage our responses instead of reacting. Seeing every decision-making opportunity as an occasion to learn something about life could give your brain the chance to open up and allow trust in yourself to make more confident decisions.
We practice so many things in our life; practice writing, practice medicine, practice piano, but do we ever arrive? The idea of arriving shouldn’t be a “deadline” to a result when practicing patience. It is an ongoing endeavor that takes time. Time is similar to patience, and I see the two concepts work hand in hand. Time can be scheduled, taken, captured, and enjoyed but time is always moving just as patience is never arriving.
When we say “practice patience” it truly is just that; you contemplate what is urgent and what you are willing to endure through the practice of being patient. I want to explore patience and time as it relates to relationships. How long will it take? How much time do I need to commit too? How many times do I have to say this to you? Our efficient brain wants to know the time it will take as if knowing the deadline on something will guarantee the result we desire.
You can make the decision that you want something else or decide that what you have is actually what you want. When it comes to the day-to-day relationship communications you commit to, you decide how to show up. You don’t get to determine their reactions or responses, but you do decide how you get to respond with patience.
Practicing patience is more about making a commitment to yourself than it is about committing to someone else. As soon as expectations are attached to practicing patience, whether it be time or action related, it is no longer patience but a tool for control to manipulate the situation, person, and outcome you want. I think about wedding vows we might make, “I, ____, take you, ____, to be my wife (or husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.”
Everything mentioned in this vow is all about what you are committing to, not what you are asking of your spouse. You each make the vow to each other and when your other half doesn’t live up to our expectations, we use it as ammunition to find fault. How long do you practice patience? According to the vow, until death do you part, or how I like to see it, all the days of our lives.
Where are you trying to arrive in your relationship? What do you think will be different when you get there? How much time are you willing to give it until you arrive? These questions again reflect back to patience and time. When you have decided to practice patience and allow others to be who they are, then your life choices have more measure behind them, and they may not be as difficult to make. When it is based on the happiness you have decided to create in your life, your relationships and interactions have very little to do with others and more to do with you.
There is much wisdom in those who have endured many of life’s challenges. Most would say it is communication, listening, and love—with a hefty dash of hope and faith in yourself. What I have observed when I look closely at their experiences is that they found happiness in appreciating the simplicity of life and all it offers. They are happy with themselves, so they never feel the need to look over the fence for a greener pasture.
Do you talk to yourself? Whether it is an internal or an external dialogue, we all talk to ourselves on some level. It is common and healthy to talk to yourself and can be really helpful when trying to problem solve in our day to day living.
My next question is how do you talk to yourself? Do you ever find yourself saying, “Oh, I always do that,” or say things like, “That’s just me being me?” We can easily think that these words are just simple and mean little to nothing. However, to your brain, these words mean exactly what you are saying and have merit. Affirming that your behavior now is proof of your past behavior and you are reinforcing a habit and allowing the past behaviors, whether conscious or not, to dictate your present and potential future thinking.
How many times have you told yourself you are going to change and then the next moment declare to yourself and others that “It’s just the way I am?” We can tell ourselves we are going to change but it might be challenging to accomplish when we reaffirm “that’s just who I am.” Deciding how you talk to yourself is deciding how you want to show up in the world. Creating inward confidence will only come when we allow ourselves to see the world as ever changing and give ourselves permission to change, too. Understanding you are going to fall back into old behavior until you consciously create new one.
I gave a few examples so far of little things we might say to ourselves. Might I suggest that you find just one saying that you catch yourself repeating and work on changing it by following these steps:
Write down the saying that you are wanting to change.
After you write it down examine the scenarios that you are in when this thought comes into your thinking.
Once conscious of the thought and what you are doing when thinking this thought, write down beside it something you believe, or are trying to believe, and say it instead.
Here are a few examples of replacing a current thought with a new thought:
Instead of saying that’s just the way I am you could say, I am evolving each day, so change is inevitable.
Instead of saying I always do this, you could say, it is possible that I can do this in a different way.
Instead of saying I’m such an idiot, you could say, sometimes I do silly things, but I learn from all things.
Envision the future you want and decide how your thoughts will help you create it. Our memory of the past is just that; a memory. It will take up as much space as we allow it to, just like our future thinking will create the energy that we need to manifest the results we want. Creating a habit of how we talk to ourselves gives us an opportunity to play a part in our own evolution.