For many years of my life I had extremely low self-esteem without any awareness around it.
If someone had asked me at the time, I would probably have said that I have high self-esteem.
The truth is that I had poor boundaries, was afraid to say no, gave too much of myself too soon, accepted crumbs, and made what others said about me a fact.
As women, we have a tendency to internalize what others say about us. We are often taught growing up to just go along, don’t make a fuss, and put our feelings aside.
This then negatively impacts our ability to maintain our personal boundaries and to say no to what we don’t want.
We are often taught early on that we can’t say no because it will hurt someone’s feelings. We start to learn we should put others’ feelings ahead of our own.
As I was on my own healing journey I started to become painfully aware of this in my own life. I had a relationship pattern with my partner that showed me very clearly that I was not a woman with high self-esteem.
My thoughts would go to what he may feel, trumping any reflection on how I was feeling and needing. I was overly concerned with others’ emotional state.
If someone was in a bad mood, I made it my fault or something about me. If someone seemed irritable or short with me, I unconsciously made myself bad or wrong. I often labeled myself and my behaviors as annoying, unlovable, overbearing, and unworthy. Since this is what I was telling myself on a subconscious level, it played out in many areas of my life.
I didn’t know that if I learned how to value and respect myself, others would better see my value too.
I thought for many years it was the other way around: once others valued and respected me, I would too.
I didn’t understand that, by putting my feelings first, others would better respect my boundaries.
I didn’t understand that it wasn’t my responsibility to own the emotions others may experience as a result of enforcing my boundaries. I didn’t know that what I felt mattered, let alone that this would free me from the dependency I had on what others did or didn’t do to make themselves feel okay.
The thoughts we choose to think matter.
We are energy, and if our energy is negative and not in alignment with our authentic self, we are going to feel heavy, negative, and at a low vibrational level. I am not an advocate for forcing positive thinking in a way where we are telling ourselves everything is just great while feeling anything but great on the inside!
This is about starting to bring awareness to what we say about ourselves and how much we allow others to determine our self-worth.
This is about allowing emotions to come to the surface so that they can heal. This is about learning to tap into how we feel and to work through our own fears and discomfort around saying no. Lastly, this is about taking accountability for our own happiness.
All of those items were challenging for me. I used to have so much fear come up around setting boundaries and saying no, especially with men. If a man I cared about asked something of me, I felt like I had to say yes because if I said no, they would go away or start to feel like I wasn’t worth being with.
This was my inner story. I didn’t know that it actually works the exact opposite. I never connected that the men I wasn’t interested in did not give up easily. They worked really hard to win me over and get my attention! Because I couldn’t see my own value, I felt like I had to always be in a position of agreement so as to not rock the boat or I would lose the love and intimacy I wanted. I didn’t realize that this was making me a doormat and my partner saw that they had a hold over me that killed the attraction.
There was this unspoken energy of fear they would leave, and this energy was palpable. This fear of course would eventually lead to them leaving or pulling away.
When we put that sense of obligation on our partner or potential partner, they suddenly have a lot less to give.
I have learned that a high quality man does not want a woman who can’t say no.
“As a Certified Relationship Coach with a Masters in Social Work, my passion is helping my clients figure out what’s not working in their relationship and their lives and getting them back on track. I have techniques, scripts and personal experience that you can learn from and use to turn your love life around to find and keep the man of your dreams.”
Jen Michelle’s powerful program, “When He Walks Through The Door” applies to any stage of love, whether you’re dating, in a new relationship, or want to attract a man back! Check it out here! <===