Do you ever find yourself struggling to share your unique perspective and views?
It takes a lot of courage to stand in alignment with yourself and speak your truth, especially when it goes against a main narrative. Brené Brown calls this concept, braving the wilderness- she also has a wonderful book dedicated to the topic too. Over the years, I have battled with this issue a lot. It took a sense of curiosity and honesty to sort through and learn what’s actually happening internally whenever I’d make an attempt to self-express and find myself too scared to do so. But now that I know what is happening in my brain and body, it’s much easier to take action from a place greater than I think and feel.
So I want to share with you what I’ve learned. It all boils down to your attachment style, there are four different types that I will discuss in more detail below. Whenever your survival is threatened by the perceived loss of connection, your mind is going to bring up a subconscious thought (your belief system around love and connection) and then your body is going to produce a physical feeling to match the emotion of the thought, which will then be the place that you take action from. Depending on your attachment style, the reaction will likely be out of a fight, flight, freeze or fawn response (and sometimes even a mix of more than one)! This explains why some people have no problem putting themselves out there while others do. Sharing yourself with the world doesn’t automatically mean it’s coming from an authentic place.
Our need for belonging and acceptance is so very deeply rooted in our humanness. Unless you have a secure attachment style (which is less than 50% of the population), what usually happens when we go to share a thought, idea or question, some sort of physical sensation arises in our bodies and we shift our attention to tend to it by either pushing it down or projecting it out. Sadly then, we never end up authentically giving what we want to, passing up the opportunity for true connection and belonging, and we go on living with the feelings of being unseen and unheard.
What a messy cocktail these emotions can be! Even just having the courage to acknowledge this confusion is hard work. This firing and wiring of your brain and body is the survival pattern you will continue to loop on for as long as you let it. And which by let it, I mean ignoring the reality that you are experiencing that is trying to get your attention so that you can begin to see it and address the root beliefs!
If you’re open to it, I’d like to tell you about what’s happening in your brain and body when you’re triggered by fear. Depending on your attachment style below, you will have an associated thought and emotion when it comes to connecting with others and the world. Now, these are subconscious thoughts so you have to remember that even if you consciously don’t believe it as true, with a little honestly, see if you can dig a little deeper into how you attached to your caregivers from ages 0-2, this will open up your awareness to higher place of seeing.
In my opinion, what a gift it is to be able to see a subconscious thought come to fruition in your reality when you go to self-express! Because now that you are aware of it, you can own it and re-program it in your brain and body, ultimately moving towards a more secure attachment style. Without this awareness you will keep repeating the loop and experiencing the same reality.
- Secure Attachment
- Beliefs: I am worthy of love. I am capable of getting the love and support I need. Others are willing and able to support me.
- Emotions: peace, love, joy.
- Anxious Attachment
- Beliefs: I am not worthy of love. I am not capable of getting the love I need without being angry and clingy. Others are capable of meeting my needs but might not do so because of my flaws.
- Emotions: fear, anger and shame.
- Avoidant Attachment
- Beliefs: I am worthy of love. I am capable of getting the love and support I need. Others are either unwilling or incapable of loving me and meeting my needs.
- Emotions: guilt and anger.
- Disorganized Attachment
- Beliefs: I am not worth of love. I am not capable of getting the love I need without being clingy and angry. Others are unable to meet my needs.
- Emotions: fear, anger and shame.
Now that you’ve just opened yourself up to a deeper place of seeing, you’ve given yourself the permission to take action from a higher place of thinking and feeling when you sense these survival emotions start to fire in your body. The goal is to take aligned action from the secure belief that you are worthy of love and capable of getting your needs met! Imagine what you could say and create if you did so from this place. Your work is to give yourself the gift of pausing next time you feel these things in your body and your brain starts racing. You have to allow the feeling and thoughts to be there in order to process them.
In the process of re-programing my belief system, I’ve found it helpful to cultivate a sense of my own self-love through finding presence with my own heart through both silent and guided meditations (Sarah Blondin has a great book and guided meditations on this). Also, granting myself the extra time to pause throughout the day and check in with with myself has helped broaden my awareness too. Ultimately, these practices help me stay grounded in my own center so that I can recognize, pause and process when survival thoughts and emotions pop-up. I don’t expect them ever to go away but I do appreciate being empowered to see them as gifts to take action from to help align with my greater self and shape my future reality.
The more available I become for myself, the more secure I become. And that foundation makes me know that I can always count on my own love and meet my own needs. From that place, of fully seeing myself (including those not so pleasant emotions), I then feel empowered to share my uniqueness with the world from an authentic place.
These cocktail of survival emotions are a completely normal part of being a human. I hope this helps bring a little more freedom to your life to just be you! Because the world needs all of the light it can get. Lastly, the book Attached is incredible if you’re looking for more information on the four attachment styles too.