My old “me” would have tried to keep this a secret

I’m learning to share with you a part of me that is still afraid to share and to be “found out about”…

The part of me that makes me too human – just like you.

Life is tough. Life is the ultimate teacher.

And I am a student of life – again… just like you.

As my teacher and mentor Peter Crone says “Life will present you with people and circumstances to reveal to you where you are still not free”.

Yesterday, I was coached (as a client) on a particular way I have of reacting when I feel someone is trying to make me wrong.

On an intellectual level, I know perfectly well that there’s no such thing as someone else making me wrong.

But reacting doesn’t come from the intellect. It comes from older parts of the brain that are tasked with survival.

These parts of the brain are much quicker to kick in than the rational intellectual brain.

(Now you know why when you are triggered you react before you can think about it. I’m the same).

So here is the whole story:

When I was a little boy my father didn’t know how to love me and how to provide safety and security for me.

(I love my father. He loves me immensely too. But back then he did the best he could acting from the conditioning he received from his father.)

My father would completely ignore me in favor of my sister. And, in the rare moments when I existed for him, he would expect me to do everything perfectly – and from the first time.

And if I didn’t, he would, in all kinds of different ways, let me know that I’m destined to be a loser and a failure in life.

Naturally, I became a perfectionist as a survival adaptation.

Back to my coaching call yesterday…

I knew that from previous coaching and self-coaching. It wasn’t new to me.

But here’s what I didn’t know…

Being “perfect” and doing things perfectly all the time became equated to “I am lovable/I am worthy of being loved”. This survival script was created in the hope of my father accepting me, keeping me safe (from him), and eventually loving me.

Conversely, if I’m not perfect all the time that meant I became unlovable/undeserving of love, and I am unsafe… because others can now find out the real truth about me, which is…

I am fundamentally unlovable.

In other words, being perfect was my “hack” to becoming lovable and being safe.

So here’s where it all ties together (which is what the coach and I were unpacking during our call)…

When my wife “makes me wrong” (she doesn’t… I make it mean she does) I “become” unlovable, unsafe, and exposed.

When that happens, it starts that old program that’s tasked with my safety and survival.

My reaction – my strategies for getting out of this – is (was) to shut down or to physically leave (flight), or – which was more likely – attack verbally and emotionally (fight).

And here’s the irony…

As a coach, I know that my safety can come only from me – not from anybody else.

The reason I didn’t feel safe when someone would make me wrong (which didn’t allow me to be perfect and I can be found out about) isn’t my childhood programming – that’s where the compensation started.

It is because I didn’t provide true safety, nurturing, and unconditional love to the part of me that’s scared and is trying to survive all the time by being perfect.

Now I know one of my biggest blind spots (this is why I believe so much in coaching and it’s why I am a coach – it shrinks the time it takes for one to stop being limited and to start truly living).

So what now for me?

Relentlessly practicing this new awareness, while at the same time – providing the safety, love, and true emotional intimacy for myself that I previously sought from others.

As you can see I’m far from perfect (besides it looks like “perfect” keeps me stuck and it makes the lives of others less optimal). I, too, get to deal with my own crap…

…just like you and everyone else.

If you read that far – thank you very much for allowing me to share vulnerably, to expose myself, and trust that you can hold that safe space for me.

I’m curious, did any part of what I shared strike a cord in you?

Much love –