So it seems the theme of this month is self esteem. This is both relevant and important to our overall goal of finding pleasure in our lives. If we are caught in the ‘not good enough’ feeling I talked about in another post, or in the fear of ‘displeasing’ someone else, we cannot be in the feeling of noticing or enjoying our own pleasure.
One thing I have noticed particularly, that bears talking about, is the fact that as we become more aware of our values and confident in our opinions, we will inevitably come up against other peoples values and opinions. We will not always be in agreement with other’s ideas, and so confrontation is likely to occur at some point. What we do about this confrontation with different views is the important point.
So how do we deal with this in a confident and wise manner?
There are some less than ideal but very common ways. Often people will try to ‘please’ those around them, by agreeing or going along with everything, even if they don’t agree or enjoy what’s being offered. This pattern of enduring, or people pleasing is not an empowering choice.
Some people become angry and confrontational, arguing with everything, and throwing a tantrum if they are made to compromise or ‘give in’ to the other side, even a little. This is also not a great way to ensure lasting relationship success.
So, how can we create a win win situation here?
I noticed recently that someone attacked my work and opinions possibly because I was finding increased success, and they felt their own ‘lack of success’ sitting uncomfortably in their body. Instead of addressing their own desire for success by going out and creating their own, they tried to address the feeling by tearing me down. This has the effect in their mind, of rebalancing the power dynamic between their own feeling of lack and the gap between them and their success, that was eating away at them.
Fortunately, I was able to recognize this pattern, and work through my own reactions to this with my own tools!
So, what tools you ask? *hint* it has something to do with the body.
Monitoring your physiology, what’s going on in your body, gives you clues about what is going on as you move about your day, and have interactions.
If your breathing rate increases, or your heart races, something is triggering you (or you’re just running for the bus). If your shoulders suddenly feel tight, or you get a headache, something is bothering you, or a new unwanted stress has been placed on you. If your hands and feet suddenly go icy cold, you have probably been overtaken by a fear.
So if our body’s responses give us clues to what is going on, then it stands to reason, if we change our physiology, we can change the responses to some degree.
So, taking a deep breath calms us down. Rubbing our hands together makes us feel more present. Dropping our shoulders, helps us feel less burdened.
It really is that easy!
Once you have created a calmer physiological state, then your mind will follow, and you can think more clearly about what needs to be done.
In the sense of owning our values and opinions and sticking to them in relationships, it is important to use these tools so that we are not in a constant state of reaction. Working through differences of opinions can then be handled in a calmer and more efficient manner, without having the negative effects on our body and psyche of either ‘giving in’ or ‘fighting’.
So next time you hear, ‘take a deep breath’, do it! Breathe in who you are becoming, your confidence and values, your success and your future self.
Let me know how that goes!