Can life coaching with Optimal Thinking help you? Many people did not receive the love and acceptance they needed as children. They feel inadequate, unimportant, unlovable, powerless, empty, lonely, bad, and even worthless. Instead of facing their painful feelings and healing their wounds, they focus their attention on their relationships. Do you please others in order to gain their approval? Do you become deeply emotionally attached to others before they have earned your trust and respect? Do you have other relationship problems?
Many people hand over the role of affirming their value and lovability to other people and then feel wounded and rejected when others fail to make them feel valuable and lovable. When they don’t receive the approval they need, they blame others for their feelings of jealousy, resentment, hurt, loneliness, or disappointment. By allowing others to define you, you give away your power to them and then are dependent on their choices. Relationship problems arise because the foundation is rocky.
During Optimal Thinking life coaching, we have met numerous people who were brought up to believe that their role in life is to support others and that their personal goals and desires are secondary. These people feel selfish when they consider themselves first. Do you believe that you can only be happy when you are in a loving relationship? When your sense of wholeness depends upon being in a loving relationship, you are in a victim state. Making your happiness dependent upon others gives them the power to make or break you.
Harry, a business owner I coached, was miserable when he wasn’t in a committed relationship. By centering his thoughts and activities on his girlfriend, he avoided facing his pain and healing himself. Harry focused on his girlfriend’s feelings but ignored his own. He made her responsible for affirming his value and lovability, and for making his life meaningful. However, when he didn’t get the attention and approval he needed, he felt cheated and angry. He blamed his girlfriend for abandoning him, even though he was actually abandoning himself. When the relationship ended, he compulsively repeated the cycle with another woman.
During life coaching, Harry realized that whenever he attributed his pain to an external source, he was choosing to be irresponsible. Sadly, many of us choose the victim role by believing that life happens to us. If it hadn’t been for this, that, or the other, we would be doing very well now. Blame is the name of the victim’s game. We blame others for our pain because we don’t want to take responsibility for the source of our distress: our own thoughts, feelings, and actions. By volunteering for the victim role, we avoid personal responsibility for our choices and their consequences. As long as we believe we are victims, we don’t have to take responsibility for healing our pain. Until we accept the truth that our wounded feelings come from our choices and that we are responsible for the thoughts, beliefs, and actions that create our feelings, we will continue to feel powerless. It is not others’ behavior that is the source of our anguish, but our interpretation of their behavior and our responses.
You can give up your need for approval from others. Start by observing your victimizing thoughts and emotions without judging them, and consider how to best deal with them. Avoid the temptation of having others define you by asking yourself such questions as, “What do I want from others that I am not giving to myself?” Whenever you are angry with someone, ask yourself, “What am I doing to myself that I am blaming others for doing to me?” As soon as you realize what you’re doing to hurt yourself, you can take the best corrective actions. Here are some additional questions:
• Am I willing to take full responsibility for optimizing my thoughts, feelings, actions, and life?
• Is my greatest desire to learn how to take care of myself or do I want someone or something to do this for me?
• What do I need from an external source that I am not giving myself?
• What is the wisest way of dealing with this?
By taking full responsibility for defining yourself, you will claim your personal power. You can optimize trust, communications and mutual commitment in your relationships.You can also participate in confidential life coaching at our Los Angeles office or by telephone.