You’ve probably heard the quote and the book by the same name by Susan Jeffers…
“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”
When you want to open up about your feelings but don’t feel like you can…
It can be an insurmountable mountain to climb and you clam up instead of climbing it.
But what if you’re holding back something that really needs to be said–and the saying of it might open up a discussion and an opportunity for healing?
Take Sally for instance…
She had been feeling unimportant to her husband Paul of 30 years for quite awhile but she’d held back her complaints in the hope that it would get better…
But it didn’t.
She kept making excuses that he was busy with work and tired when he came home or that they were older and she shouldn’t expect their relationship to be like it used to be…
But the thought kept nagging at her that he had lost interest in her and didn’t care any longer.
She was hurt, angry and had tried to talk with him several times but every time, she froze and the words didn’t come out.
She knew she was making herself sick and that she needed to do something.
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Sally also knew that sooner or later her anger would erupt and her words would come out in ways that would be harmful to her as well as to Paul so she contacted us for help.
Here are 3 ways that helped her and can help you open up about your feelings when you feel anxious about it…
1. Recognize the truth and not your stories
When something important comes up and we have highly charged feelings around it, those feelings have been generated by the stories we’ve created around it.
When you get to what’s really true underneath all the stories, you can speak in a clearer way without all the defenses and drama.
As we talked, Sally saw that underneath her anger and hurt was the truth that she and Paul didn’t have the close connection they used to have.
Without all the stories as to “why,” she saw that she missed that connection with him and would like to re-connect.
That simple “truth” without all the stories brought her some peace.
2. Invite a discussion not a grilling
It’s quite a different way of looking at opening up about your feelings when it’s an invitation to a discussion and not just “spilling your guts”!
When Sally saw that she could invite Paul to a discussion instead of simply airing her complaints, she saw the possibilities.
She knew he might not want to talk about it but if she stayed open to him, he might.
She saw that in predicting in her mind a terrible outcome to saying what she felt, she was actually pre-paving for it to happen and closing down in the process.
But in staying open herself, there was a greater chance that he would open as well.
3. Be open to listening with a loving heart
When you are open to listening with love, you’re allowing the other person to speak their truth without fear of judgment or criticism.
What is said may not jell with your pre-conceived ideas but it may open the way to deeper understanding and the next right steps.
When we next talked with Sally, she told us that at first Paul denied there was a problem but with some difficulty, she was able to just stay open and not get defensive.
When she told him that she loved him and would like to feel connected like she used to feel with him…
He broke down and told her that he hadn’t been feeling like his old self for quite awhile and didn’t know what the problem was.
He said he still loved her but something was “off” inside him.
As they talked, he told her that maybe it was time to make an appointment with their doctor for a physical checkup and start there.
Sally felt more connected with Paul during that discussion than she had felt in a long time and was hopeful for their future together.
How about you?
Is there something important you’ve been holding back that you need to open up about your feelings?
Don’t let your health or your relationships suffer any longer.
Take action today but take it in a conscious, loving way.