I see it time and time again, very successful people – career, finance, health, family & friends – delaying the possibility of being happy in Love by fear of losing it all.
Of course they’ll never admit it. Since they’re so smart, why can they not figure out relationships?
“Once the business is running”, “after this project is finished”, “I’m focusing on my health right now”… there is always something more important than meeting someone.
But will there ever be a right time for it?
Could work, wealth building, other obligations be the best excuse to not look into romance (no one can blame you for paying the bills or looking after yourself after all!)?
Are you just scared and hiding from feeling emotions?
Higher than the corporate ladder
My client Caitlin is an absolute catch!
She’s worked hard for her career and earned the respect of her peers in a male dominated industry. She owns a 2 bedroom apartment in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, a gorgeous Mercedes, eats in luxurious restaurants and loves her overseas holidays. She’d been single for 8 years when we met, always busy with other things until she woke up to the idea she’d like to have a family of her own.
Until then, the idea of having a partner in her life felt like hard work, having no spare time and energy for dating, and scared it would only take her focus away from climbing the corporate ladder.
When she started dating again, she would very quickly discard the guys she met, putting them in boxes with nice labels and good reasons why it couldn’t work out. Her brain was indeed looking for safety and protecting her from any potential pain or disappointment. No one was ever good enough!
We did a few exercises acknowledging the fear to start with, and identifying what it was about, learning to tame those big feelings rather than avoiding and giving them power.
Her life took a brand new dimension, as if colorising an old black and white movie into bright and vibrant one. Where she used to see challenges, she started seeing opportunities, new places, new people, and eventually… her special guy too!
Why emotions are your biggest ally for growth
Just like chocolate, TV, alcohol, shopping… work and success can be a buffer mechanism to not address certain emotions.
Maybe your experience has taught you that relationships are scary or dangerous. They require to get in touch with your emotions, and one can feel vulnerable, even fragile, when they do.
Whether you witnessed it in your formative years or it is the product of your own experience, you learnt that avoiding feeling, bypassing emotions, keeps you safe and in control. There is indeed a sense of control and certainty, a tangible process to creating professional results and money, whereas relationships can feel out of your hands.
But by avoiding negative emotions, you are also robbing yourself of reaching your full potential and greater happiness. By putting all your focus and energy on managing risk, you are feeding the fear, the anxiety that something wrong might happen. Of course it never really happens… only in your own mind.
Imagine the amount of energy that could be freed, and all incredible experiences you could live and outcomes you could create, if you directed your attention to the bigger picture and allowed yourself to embrace pure happiness. Your personal life would definitely benefit, but the ripple effects would be even greater on your entire life, your career, your health, your wealth, your family too!
How to handle emotions
As there are not too many tiger running wildl in our cities these days, the biggest risk we are taking is to feel a negative emotion.
Negative emotions can be uncomfortable for sure, but they aren’t going to kill you!
Fear comes from a lack of knowing or understanding. What if we became curious and made friends with our emotions!?
Here’s a process for you to learn how to fully embrace the full range of emotions, whether you want to listen to the recording or keep reading below…
- Find a quiet space, where you won’t be disturbed. Make yourself comfy, whether seated or lying down, you might grab a blanky or some cushion… you need to be relaxed!!!
You want to create the safest possible environment for yourself to explore, be curious and engage with this process.
- Now close your eyes. Breath in… and out… Notice any tension, any sort of discomfort in your body. Inhale, and when you exhale let go of any sensation, thought, feeling that you don’t need in this moment. Relaaaaaxxx…
- Let’s start and get in touch with our friendly emotions. Think of some pleasant memory. As you bring up this thought, notice any sensation in your body. Is it in your heart, in your belly, maybe even in your hand or your forehead?! Is it hot, cold, maybe it’s ticklish or hitchy, or just peaceful, a deep sense of calm… just notice. If you could give it a name, what is the emotion?
Make a note, in your mind, in your body, this is how this particular emotion feels like. It is now in your repertoire, you can access it anytime you want.
- If you want to take it up a notch, you might want to bring up a situation you’re currently dealing with. Nothing big, but slightly uncomfortable. As you bring up the thought, notice all the sensations in your body. Don’t resist them, don’t try to push them away… it would only feed them, give them more power. Just observe, be curious. And by looking at it from a neutral place, you might realise they’re just a signal, an alert, a request for you to pay attention… this discomfort is your friend, giving you awareness about the situation, and a reminder you have the power to choose what you want to do with it.
- The quickest way out is through. Don’t try to change it (it’s another way to avoid). Accept and be grateful for what it had to teach you. With this new awareness, you now get to decide better thoughts, that will bring up better emotions. Maybe one of these friendly emotions in your repertoire.
- Make it a daily practice to feel your emotions, make friends with them. So that when really big ones arise – good or bad – you’ll know how to embrace them and not be swayed as much.
Getting in touch with your emotions is without the shadow of a doubt the most powerful tool to achieve success in any area of your life. When you start embracing your emotions, the time and energy you used to waste in resisting and wanting to control those uncomfortable feelings (bye bye procrastination!), becomes available to do bigger and better things, including welcoming a deep, authentic, passionate relationships.
If you’ve been out of practice for a while, haven’t felt much positive or negative emotions in a while, let’s have a chat and figure out what are these emotions holding you back from achieving more!