The Story You Tell Yourself
Ever heard a story like this one?
“I am that person who is seeing a lovely guy. He is funny caring and we have good times together. But my mind keeps saying he is too good for me and I am just waiting for him to drop me.
I tell myself that he could do so much better than me but I know it’s really my ex I am hearing. When I am with this guy I am so “me” and don’t think about anything then. But when I am not, I obsess about how it’s going to be when he leaves me. I don’t know how to get past it.”
Everyone has that “inside voice” talking to them saying, “You really don’t measure up, you know. What will they do when they discover that you are an imposter and not at all the person they seem to like – or respect – or love?”
How many dates are refused or relationships dissolved based on this very thing?
“I am not enough. And, when you get to know me and see all my flaws and imperfections, you will not love me. Instead, you will run from me.”
As The Pages Turn…
How many of us have a theme like this running underneath all the past chapters of our lives? All of the women I’ve coached back to believing in themselves have. I know I did, too. Does this sound at all familiar?
It could have been because of criticism when you didn’t live up to someone’s expectations.
Or disappointment in your mom or dad’s eyes because you let them down.
Your friends at school performed a “shunning” of you because you weren’t one of the cool kids.
Our Back Room is littered with times when standards were set for us that we couldn’t keep because they weren’t ours. They were someone else’s – and we were rejected because we were measured and judged according to what they thought we should be.
The conclusion our brains came to – because our greatest drive is to be loved – is that we’re not enough. So we shouldn’t be loved. We won’t be loved.
So every time a relationship falls apart, even if you were with someone who had his own stuff and wasn’t able to love you, you quietly (or very loudly) blame yourself.
Do the chapters that came before have to affect the chapter we are in now and those yet to be written?
They always will because our life today is woven like a beautiful tapestry with all kinds of threads running through it.
Each incident where we experienced rejection and loss, most of the time only 3 or so, are like a colored thread running through that tapestry.
The key is the “meaning” you give to those red threads, blue threads, yellow and turquoise threads.
Bottom line: Did you end up here and now believing you’re not enough and so afraid you’re unlovable?
When you’re afraid a good man is going to run the other way once he gets to know you, the question that’s truly on the table is: Will you give in to the “I am not good enough syndrome” or will you not?
Re-writing Future Chapters
How do women come to that amazing place that believes, “Yes, I am enough and any man would be so lucky to have me loving him”?
What are the secrets that take you to that level of confidence?
Here are 7 that will literally relax you into allowing you to simply become “you” and refuse to listen to the “voices” from your Back Story anymore.
Secret #1: The people you compare yourself to compare themselves to other people too.
Realizing that this is a human condition and you are not alone in it, will impact you in enormous ways.
Your boss, the neighbor across the street, your best friend – you ex. And the man you are dating or thinking about dating. All of them feel this.
So, if the next man you go out with is worried about whether or not he is enough for you and you are worried about whether you are enough for him, wouldn’t it be easier if you were just to take a deep breath and focus on making him more comfortable?
You are both in the same place no matter how he seems. We all want to be loved. We all want to be good enough and are afraid we’re not.
So, accept that. And focus on getting to know him and enjoying the great qualities you can tell him that you see in him.
It will take the pressure off of you trying to read what he wants and becoming that person.
Secret #2: Your mind can be a very convincing liar.
The story you tell yourself can be so real, so vivid in your own mind. It’s as if it’s showing on this huge movie screen and everyone around you will see it if you’re not careful.
Now, think about this. How much thought do you actually give to others around you?
I’ve been here, done this, still wrestle with it from time to time. I hear myself saying, “They must think I’m so stupid!” or “I’m sure they’re talking about me and how fat I look in these jeans.”
If we’re all in the same inner thought boat, then this is NOT happening.
Mmost of the people around us are worrying about themselves and about what someone else thinks about them – just like you are – including the man in your life. So let him be who he is and forget the lies that tell you he’s constantly evaluating you. He just wants to be in a safe place like you do.
Secret #3: There is more right with you than wrong with you.
Ever noticed how, when you look at the past, you remember the few moments when something went wrong rather than the millions of things that went right?
Again, it’s the way human beings are wired. We live in a world where it’s easier to see the dark than to notice the light.
So, instead of going with the flow of most people and focusing on what is wrong with you, begin to focus on what is great about you.
If “great” is a stretch to begin with because it means flexing muscles you haven’t used for a while – if ever – then start with “positive”. Think about whether or not you are awesome at making your bed every morning or whether you can cook up a mean breakfast.
From there, start to make a list that goes from, “Yeah, that’s a good thing” to “That’s what I like about being me” to “Now that’s awesome!” I promise you the list on the up side will be way longer than the down side.
When I made the switch in comparing myself to others and coming up short was when I began to say, “That’s OK. I have strengths in other areas.”
Secret #4: You need love the most when you feel you deserve it the least.
So you have problems even looking in a mirror? Or going for a job interview? Not to mention, going on a date with someone new?
Can you stop for a moment and just breathe. Just breathe.
Now what if a good friend or your little girt told you that she couldn’t do anything right; that she was the biggest loser, the worst screw-up there was.
What would your words be to her?
Love sees beneath her actions, her behaviors or her words. You are seeing what’s inside.You are seeing her heart. The core of who she is. The real person.
From the deep breathing place you are in, step back and give yourself some slack.
You have a heart, too. One that you wish someone else would see. So step in and see it. It’s a pretty amazing place, actually, filled with all kind of kindness, perspective, opinions and gifts that are unlike anyone else in the world. That’s how you were made.
Start here. Be nice to you.
Secret #5: Fully accept and make peace with the “now” and you will set yourself up to feel satisfied with the “later.”
For every earthquake, every upset, every incident that shook you up a lot or a little, you made decisions about how you were going to respond.
Closing down and resigning yourself to being trapped here, unable to do anything about it, results in anger, sadness and depression. These are emotions that are like the lid on the pot hiding what’s really going on. Women who keep the lid tightly on the pot, will be the same 10 years from now.
Women who take the lid off and look inside – at the fear of being unlovable, the worry of being alone for the rest of their lives, the rejection, the shame, the humiliation – have the ability to learn.
Instead of closing down, they will allow their hearts to face what hurts and to deepen, become wiser, as they let the pain become another thread in the overall beautiful tapestry of their lives.
Pain transforms to compassion.
Mistakes morph into wisdom.
When you think of a man observing a woman like this, being in her presence, he will sense that she is on a path that will continue to warm her and anyone around her.
Men are attracted to a woman who already knows how to make herself happy because it gives him the feeling that he’s going to be able to add to that, not have to start from scratch.
Secret #6: Focus on progress rather than perfection
When a woman is confident in who she is and on how far she has come rather than on how far she has left to go, she has a sense of peace around her.
Inside, she gives herself permission to make mistakes because she’s human. And there’s no alternative in this life. You will never be anything BUT human. Mistakes are not mistakes that are flaws – mistakes are opportunities to improve.
Trying to please someone, such as a man you like alot, is exhausting.
But seeing happiness as “progress”, as learning, gives a completely different perspective.
Your friendship progresses into knowing each other better. Knowing each other progresses into appreciating the good and understanding the “opportunities” to grow together.
Opportunties progress into a close relationship where you know how to back each other up, take turns relying on each other, encourage each other to dream and follow your hearts.
Perfection is a slave. Progress is freedom.
Secret #7: Know that you can’t hate your way into loving yourself
This last secret wraps all of these others up.
Hate produces more hate. Love produces love.
If you focus on your flaws and spend all your time trying to hide them, you will only draw attention to them. Your mind will be filled up with a powerful energy that is resentful toward yourself because you are NOT all the things you want to be.
However, IF YOU FOCUS on even one or two characteristics of yours that you like about yourself, you will fill your mind up with a powerful energy that allows growth and acceptance.
Are you caring about others?
Are you a good listener?
Can you sort order out of chaos?
Do you love with your whole heart?
These are the things you “are”, not the things you “do” or how you look. It’s not about impressing others, it’s about being.
Love who you are and you will attract a man who loves who you are because he feels free to be himself around you.
Relax. Be you.
We can’t change who we are. We can only improve on the best parts of ourselves and that needs to be where we concentrate. The flaws magically improve, too, in many ways, as we grow into being more of what’s great about us.
That has to become our process for relationship.
Invite a man to walk a few miles with you. Enjoy his company. Discover how you fit together.
Relax into being yourself and letting him be who he is. You will be surprised when you discover the one who will never want to leave that warm, comfortable glow that radiates from you.