Hey everyone, welcome back to the show. Earlier this week, I was chatting with a colleague of mine who had watched one of my group coaching calls over at Strong Mom where I do a lot of group coaching. She asked me how I am able to coach women I don’t know about various topics with such ease. I thought about this and the answer that came up for me was “well, it’s all the same stuff. It all just comes from them allowing fear to run their life.”
Many of these women were asking for relationship coaching and it got me thinking. How much of relationship issues come from fear. Like at the root, underneath all the different dynamics and flavors of disconnect, lies some kind of fear. So, I thought it would be a great topic to further dissect and work through.
One of my coaching philosophies is to go beneath the symptoms, beneath the dynamic you can see and really dig into the root. And at the root, I believe is fear.
So, let’s talk about the most common ones I see. Most likely, you will be able to relate to one of them.
The biggest fear I see is the fear of rejection. That’s the root. The way it shows up or manifests, if you will, is lack of communication. Sometimes people pleasing. Part of human wiring is the need to be accepted, especially by those we love.
So often, I am working with a woman who not speaking up about how she is feeling. She keeps it in because she is afraid that if she does share with her partner, that he will not validate or agree, which feels like rejection. So what happens is she stuffs it down, rejecting herself. She doesn’t give her partner the chance to know this side of her because she feels the need to protect it from being rejected.
Inevitably, what happens is at some point she can’t take the self-stifling anymore and she lashes out. Sometimes this looks like yelling, a temper tantrum, crying uncontrollably, often followed by shutting down.
What I do with a woman who is struggling within this dynamic is we hit it from both ends. We work through different ways of communicating which may feel safer to her WHILE coaching more deeply on her fear of rejection. Working on thoughts simultaneously with behavior is what I find to be most impactful.
The second biggest fear I see in relationships is fear of conflict. I go deep into this topic in ep 68 titled How to Stop Hiding from Your Relationship. So, if you’re someone who acts on fear of conflict, you’ve got a whole episode on that which I will link in the show notes.
Again, the best remedy for this is to workshop different ways of communicating that feel safer for you while also coaching deeply on your fear of conflict.
And the third biggest fear I see in relationships is fear of being seen. I know this one sounds confusing – everyone wants to be seen right? But not when we don’t like what’s coming up for us. In next week’s episode I am going to talk about your thoughts and feelings about your thoughts and feelings. I recently presented on this topic live and it’s just so relevant to relationships.
When you feel like your feelings may not be valid, or you should be stronger, or basically you make your thoughts and feelings means something derogatory about you, you will not want others to see it, including your partner. So, you don’t show that part of yourself to your partner which of course leads to disconnect and miscommunication.
This is why I focus so intensely in my program on radical self-acceptance. A large part of human suffering is the judgment we put on ourselves for our own inner experience. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look for the “shoulds.”
Anytime you say something like “I know I shouldn’t feel this way but….” Or “I know it’s horrible to think but…” This is self-abandonment. I have a very direct message or you. Are you listening? If it’s true for you, it is ok.
Many of my clients think they are the only one who thinks or feels the way they do. But because I coach many women each week, I have the privilege of hearing a lot of inner thoughts and feelings and I promise you, everyone is experiencing the same thing.
Other fears I coach on are the fear of being misunderstood, the fear of being let down, the fear of learning the truth, the fear of being left, and the fear of being the bad guy. What all these have in common is that they keep you from showing up in alignment with yourself.
Everyone is experiencing fear. Which leads to inner conflict. Which leads to misalignment. Which leads to anxiety, depression, people pleasing, or general discontent.
So, here’s what I want to say to you about fear. It’s always going to be here. Fear is a part of human wiring. It goes back to caveman days when we needed fear to keep us safe. And we still need a healthy dose of fear to keep us safe but not on a daily basis like we used to.
Accept that fear is part of the package. Then ask yourself some questions. “What would be different if I didn’t act on my fear? Who would I be if I accepted that I am fearful and decided to be true to myself anyway? What fears are at the root of my relationship troubles? Which of my thoughts and feelings do I judge myself for having?”
These are just some of the questions that I use when I coach, there are many others. But if you choose one or two of those and journal on them, you will begin to get some clarity and awareness over the root of your relationship issues – which is definitely the first step.
And I guarantee you whatever fear is holding you hostage in your marriage is holding you hostage elsewhere too. Because our flavor of fear is usually linked to our childhood.
I often see a fear of conflict come from clients whose parents either fought all the time or never fought. Both give the kids issues with conflict. And when I coach someone who has a fear of being rejected, they often felt not good enough growing up and am very sensitive to anything that feels like rejection.
This is why I chose to get certified in Causal Coaching. If we don’t’ address the deeper cause of the unhealthy communication dynamic, then we are essentially slapping a band aid on a deep, bleeding wound.
So if you’re ready to heal the wound and forfeit the band aids, then my coaching program is for you. You get a combination of self-paced education and private coaching with me. Perfect for the busy mom. My vision for you is to stop sweeping things under the rug and to start doing the work that will lead you to the relationship you’ve dreamed of having. Reach out to me through email at Elana@nullpartnershipaligned.com
If you’re not quite ready to reach out but would like to soak up more of my content, follow me on IG where I post relationship help daily.