Do you feel you are not thin enough? Not wealthy enough? Not liked enough? Not popular enough? ………..this list could go on and on.
I’m sure you get the idea if like so many people, you have this fear of being not ‘something’ enough.
It is this fear that keeps you from being yourself as you probably don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable. For example, maybe you don’t ask for help for fear of being seen as weak. Or maybe, you don’t tell people what you need for fear of being thought of as needy. Perhaps you are not honest about your struggle for fear of being rejected.
But not allowing yourself to be vulnerable in this way means that all the things you crave such as love, joy and belonging are not available to you because of your fears.
Instead, you have probably built a suit of armour around yourself for protection which often presents as defensiveness, anger and frustration.
As each heartbreak happens, you subconsciously decide to adapt your behaviour even further to ensure that it never happens to you again. Making you more fearful and in turn, the armour gets heavier and heavier.
Eventually, adapting your behaviour in response to every disappointment or trauma becomes too much. And you realise, that having this barrier between you and the world is no longer working for you.
Brene Brown believes that this point is a ‘developmental milestone of midlife’ and in my practice, this certainly seems to be the case.
Understanding that this behaviour is no longer protecting you, rather it is keeping you from being the partner, parent, professional that you want to be, is usually the pivotal point at which change becomes the only option.
Change can only happen when you begin to talk about the heartbreaks, hurts and traumas which led to you deciding that the armour was needed. Then you can begin to unravel the feelings behind the behaviour.
Sadly, it’s not unusual for your armour building to have started while you were still a young child. And at this point, you began living by other people’s rules and decided that being vulnerable was risky. The most common fear at this stage is rejection and so, you adapted to ensure you were accepted and therefore, protected.
Often self-confidence is one of the first casualties of this process. I’ve written before about how we are all born with confidence in abundance but lose it very early on. Confidence is the belief you have in your own ability to face every challenge as you meet it, feeling secure in the knowledge that you will succeed.
However, being fearful and not being confident keeps you from being seen, being known and showing the real you. By hiding in this way, you are protected. But that is the problem, it is stopping you from being you because the real you, is inside the armour and not visible.
If any of this is resonating with you and you are wondering where on earth to start, this article might help you to begin.
If I can help you with any of this, get in touch 💛