I’ve got this totally awesome friend. She is self-confident, vibrant, beautiful, educated, got a great job, friends and family. You can’t have a boring moment when you spend time with her, she is just so cool! She always goes the extra mile to make you feel special; helping whenever she can, buying food and drinks and just been super generous with everyone. She does really seem to have it all under control.
But as you might know, appearances are not the real deal…
We were chatting the other day and she started talking a little bit more about her bad spending habits… Like, she can spend an outrageous amount of money to have fun, to spoil others, to be generous and make others and herself feel happy and spoiled in the moment; but the following days have a bitter sweet taste when she looks at her bank account…
She knows why she does that. She just loves hanging out with people and going out and can’t help it but by rounds of drinks for everyone. It started getting more clear to her that something had to change as she found her self, on a Tuesday night, after too many drinks, a cigarette in the mouth at midnight on Courtney Place, wondering how on earth it had got so out of control again.
It’s interesting to observe that there are always two sides in everything, the good and the bad, the dark and the light, the high vibes and the low vibes.
What I find is so cool about my new friend (this wild, generous, vibrant and spontaneous spirit), is exactly what is backfiring at her. Now, she really wonders how she can get that under control and if she should at all; when that personality trait is what makes her feel so good at times and so special to others.
It’s amazing to just be able to bring people together like that, even on a Tuesday night, to be the life of the party, to always have great ideas to entertain others and to meet new people with so much ease. How many people would like to be this social, this easy-going around others, this charismatic? But yet, it’s not that great to watch your time, money and health go out the window doing exactly those things…
An other example, about myself this time: I very easily feel love… I feel it within me, for my children, my family, my friends and the guys I date. I am very generous too, I keep giving time and money even though I don’t have much to give; I can’t help it, it’s just who I am. When I do that for a guy I am seeing, I don’t think twice, I give love, affection, pay for stuff and spend as much time as possible with him. But then the relationship doesn’t work and I am left wondering why I always have to give so much… could I just not hold back a little and be more careful?
Nope… I don’t want to… That is just not who I am…
If you are more of an introvert, your quality might be that you can recharge more easily being on your own, that you can contemplate life unfolding from a distance, that you can go deep in your thoughts and in your self. You might have some pretty accurate and deep observations about the world around you.
When you become so withdrawn that you start struggling to socialise, that you start cutting yourself from the outside world because you find it difficult to communicate to others, you feel out of place, you lack confidence to engage in conversations… then, it starts backfiring at you. Your qualities of self-introspection, of empathy, of independence then become a burden and you might start feeling miserable and sad…
So, it’s like running in circles isn’t it? Your best qualities can start haunting you…
How can my friend stay this cool but not make the mistakes she makes then and will regret later? How can you enjoy the company of others while still feeling present and in tune with your self?
What to do then? Are we supposed to change who we are, what makes us happy in the first place because we can’t control how deep we go?
These examples all have one thing in common: healthy boundaries are non-existent.
In the first scenarios, the boundaries are porous: there is no restriction at all for the behaviour in place. Things are out of control. In the second scenario of extreme introversion, rigid boundaries are in place; there are too many things that make the person not want to go out, too many ‘self-protection’ against society and others, too much padding to keep the energy up.
As I said, I do not want to change who I am when I am a generous, loving person. I want to stay this way because it feels right to me. Instead, I have learnt to put some boundaries into places so I can still feel loving and generous but not depleted of my energy and used by an other person. I take more time to get to know people, start in small doses and learn to restrain myself when a feeling of uneasiness is present.
This is a very difficult exercise but extremely necessary if we want to keep cultivating what we love about our self, what makes us who we are, but not allowing that aspect of our personality to backlash against us.
Remember that this is an aspect of your personality, but it doesn’t define you, that aspect is not the boss of you… There are many other aspects of who you are, those might seem less dominant because they are not controlling you as much, right now, and you already have some conscious or unconscious boundaries in place.
When something gets out of control and triggers the mind so much, it shows there is imbalance. In this case, those personality traits have taken over and think they have a life of their own, that they are the boss of who you are, that they control all your actions.
Think about a little you as a child acting out like that, in an intense, self-destructive way… What would the parent say?
The parent would try to put some boundaries so the child doesn’t go to extremes and hurt herself in the process, so the child can feel confident to go on the playground and enjoy it even if it’s scary to start with because it’s full of noisy kids. The parent doesn’t try to change the child, she tries to help her control whatever is happening within so the child learns to deal with it, and keep on living feeling happy, joyful and full of confidence about herself.
You can imagine each aspects of your personality as a child and see what you, the now grown up adult, would say to that child in question.
That child, those personality traits…They are not the boss of you – Because YOU, the grown-up, the adult, – and the whole of you are – are the boss. So you’ve got to do what is necessary to reclaim your power and control that. Controlling doesn’t mean killing an aspect of you; controlling doesn’t mean dimming the light of your awesomeness; controlling doesn’t mean losing freedom. Controlling means growing your power so you can reclaim who you truly are and own it without destructing yourself, it means to boost up your self-esteem and feel on top of the world. Control is positive if it means feeling better and happier, right?
When you observe what side of you is not helping you, practice this exercise:
>>>>>> Imagine a little you showing that side 100% full on… Observe the body language, the words that the little you would use, the sensations in the physical body… Take notes of that, get to know your little you acting this way. Then, ask her how she feels when she is like that. Listen… What are your feelings deep within when you’re acting to such extreme? Ask your little you if she is afraid of something and if yes, what is-it? Ask her if she holds any negative beliefs around that behaviour. What are they? Go as deep as you possibly can. This exercise is to get as much information from your subconscious as possible. <<<<<<<<<
Your subconscious holds your fears and negative believes and, believe me, that subconscious of yours full of fears and negative beliefs control most of the time the way you act in this world – so basically, your actions are directed by some stuff you are not even conscious about!!! Scary right??? But that’s for an other story…
Let’s go back to this practice. Once you’ve understood why your little you acts this way in this situation, you bring the pattern into your conscious mind and then, change is possible.
>>>>>>>> Now, talk to the little person and have a chat about some ways to help her; yes, literally as the grown-up you, talking with love, understanding and support to the little child inside of you. Once you have come up with some solutions, say this:
“I’ve got your back now …………… (your name). Sorry if I haven’t been much present to help you with this issue, but I promise that I will do all that I can to have your back on this from now on. I will do this because you deserve it, because you’re totally awesome and because I love you, I have always loved you and always will, no matter what”.
Repeat those words out loud over and over again until you feel some buzzing in your physical body, some physical sensations of relief, comfort, warmth and love… It means that Tadaaaaa you have healed this part of you. Now, your job is to keep your promises to yourself and do what needs to be done to feel happy and proud of who you are, having put some healthy boundaries into places. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<
So back to my friend and her crazy spending habits. Only her can do the work on finding out what she needs to keep doing that. Maybe as a child she felts she always had to bring candies to school and give them away to other kids so they would play with her, because otherwise, who would have wanted to play with her? I’ve got no idea really… We haven’t talked again about that because it hasn’t come up and I am her friend and not her coach. Maybe if she reads this article, she can find some tips to dig within. Maybe it will help bring her mojo up knowing how much I admire her and respect her struggle.
Because remember: We are all going through stuffs… it comes and goes, the intensity varies, but this is ok. It’s ok because we do have what it takes to overcome whatever comes our way. We always have the power to rise above. If only we could all believe in our self and trust life, then life could be pretty god damn sweet – with no bitter after taste – right?!
If you’re interested to work more deeply on healthy boundaries and with your inner child, Check out my new 1:1 Coaching program, the “Soul Freedom System” by clicking on the image below: