How To Have The Hard ConversationsFebruary 3, 2012
“Your playing small does not serve the world…”March 2, 2012
Everyone knows that “the truth will set you free.” If only more people would remember it can keep you together also…
As a Relationship Coach who gets called in when there’s a real problem, I can tell you I see the damaging results of inauthentic behavior and decisions nearly every day. Some days I wonder if anyone just speaks the truth any more. While I realize that there may be a huge distinction between an outright lie and simply not speaking up about how you feel, at the end of the day, both are inauthentic and come with inherent risks. Please understand that I’m definitely not judging what’s “right” and “wrong” here on a basis of morality, my goal is to point out that couples who can’t simply be honest with one another are at a huge and practically insurmountable disadvantage from the start.
We’ve all seen it…or maybe even done it…
There’s probably not a single person reading this who doesn’t know someone who’s out of integrity with their so-called “intimate” partner. In some cases, people clam up about really important issues like health or wanting children rather than risk “scaring someone away.” Maybe you know someone who’s emotionally checked out years ago yet refuses to address the issues or move forward. You probably even know people who are meeting their intimate needs through an affair rather than handling their issues with their partner. No matter what age or stage a relationship goes through, inauthenticity is a major challenge.
Why do people choose to stay stuck?
While everyone has their own “unique” reasons for staying stuck, the recipe to get there isn’t all that complex. Although human beings have a need to experience both certainty and uncertainty, most people prefer the comfort and predictability of what they already know rather than risk the pain of the unknown. Plus, we all tend to distort and exaggerate our fear of potential pain until it’s far, far worse than the actual event would be in reality. Then when you add in the fact that people also have a tendency to do more to prevent pain than move toward pleasure, it’s easy to see how some can get trapped in a prison of their own making. Plus, a lot of good people don’t want to hurt other people so they keep quiet rather than address a lingering issue.
What could it cost you?
Those who live with the elevated stress levels that come from inauthenticity are at greater risk for a whole range of emotional and physical side effects. They tend to have more stress-relieving and self-medicating vices like cigarettes, coffee, alcohol, prescription and recreational drugs…all of which can have negative health consequences. They tend to sleep less, eat more, spend more impulsively and suffer a host of symptoms like anxiety, depression and more. In extreme cases, it can even lead to suicide or violence against another so the stakes can indeed be quite high.
What’s the real reason?
When you boil it all down, the simple truth…is that too many people are afraid of the simple truth. Of course, no one likes to be rejected…but what if you couldn’t be?
The problem is that EVERY ONE of the situations I described are self-inflicted because these good people settled for far less than they deserved. Rather than speak their truth from compassion, love and power, their silence locked them in a prison of their own making. Unfortunately, they didn’t even realize they already held the key
At the root of all these situations often lies invisible issues of self-worth that limit what is possible. The fact is, you will probably never enjoy or create more love than you believe you deserve so it becomes nearly impossible to win the game if you don’t have a healthy sense of self-worth. For those who are willing to do the work, it is possible to create more love than you ever dreamed while still remaining humble and blessed. The secret is to do your own personal development work whether it’s on your own or with a coach who can support you and streamline the trial and error of undirected growth.
The path to long-lasting and legendary love is in the courage to live with Real Authenticity where both parties speak the truth from a place of love, connection and compassion for one another. It requires a fundamental acknowledgment that both parties truly deserve to have their needs met and it’s built on a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to keep the relationship fresh, fun and ever growing forward. If you’re new at this, that could be a pretty tall order…but if you have a Coach who can guide you both to a win/win resolution…it may just be the very best investment in you that you’ll ever make. After all, if the quality of your life is directly related to the quality of your relationships…the question is…how great do you want your life to be?