I have a friend (for lack of better word) who was really mean to me back in college. She talked behind my back, stole some of my things and never really apologized. I still see her at weddings, reunions and sometimes just around town. I'm normally a confident person, but as soon as I spot her my heart drops down into my stomach and I shrivel into myself. Last time I anticipated seeing her, I got so nervous I could hardly eat. Why does she have this strange power over me, and how can I get past it?
She only has power over you because you are letting her have it.
Your subconscious mind thinks you are unsafe around this person. It sees her as a threat, the same way it might react to a grizzly bear. You literally feel threatened and in danger around her.
You can take back your power by just changing the way you see yourself. When you learn to see yourself accurately, you will feel safe in any situation.
Right now, you see her as a threat because you (inaccurately) believe that you can be hurt or diminished. Your subconscious mind thinks her opinion of you means something (that if they think something negative, it might be true).
All of these assumptions are false.
Other people can think you are a horrible, stupid, terrible, ugly person, and it won’t change who you actually are. You are the same you no matter what anyone thinks. There is no reason to feel threatened by anyone, because in reality they can’t hurt you.
What they think of you should not influence or change the way you feel about yourself. When you know (deep down) that you are amazing, whole, bulletproof and good enough, right now, the fear you experience around this person will disappear.
You need to understand how bulletproof, amazing and safe you really are.
Your value is never on the line. Your life is a classroom, and you are an irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind soul on a journey of learning and growth. Your value is not in question. Your value is infinite and absolute.
This means that nothing anyone says or does can change your value. Nothing you do (or don’t do) can take away from it. Are you getting this?
You are exactly who you are meant to be right now. You are right where you are supposed to be on your unique journey of growth. You are literally un-diminishable and no one can hurt you.
That is, no one can hurt you or make you feel small without your permission.
If they are “making you feel" less than good, it is because you are afraid you are less than good. You are the one seeing yourself that way. If you weren’t afraid of them, their opinions wouldn’t have the power to hurt you.
You must choose to see yourself as strong, valuable and good enough. You must know this as truth so firmly that no person or situation can take that knowledge away from you.
No matter what they do, say or think about you, you are still the same you.
There are three things you can practice that will change how you feel in these situations:
1. Practice knowing the truth about who you are and see yourself accurately. Choose to see yourself as bulletproof, infinitely and absolutely valuable. Choose to feel safe in this moment (and every moment) because no one can really hurt you.
2. Practice seeing the other person accurately. Choose to see this person as a scared, struggling human being in process, just like you. Understand that most people’s bad behavior is driven by a fear that they aren’t good enough. This means that their bad behavior is about their fear about themselves — it isn’t about you.
When someone behaves badly toward you, step back from it and choose to see the fear that is driving their behavior. They will often make you out as the bad guy so they can feel better about themselves. Don’t take this personally. Just because they think it’s true doesn’t make it true.
When you choose to see this person accurately, you will have more compassion and wisdom. You will see that their bad behavior is really a request for love — all bad behavior is.
Decide to love her instead of fearing her.
3. Practice forgiving, by choosing love. Forgiving is really about seeing the situation accurately so it doesn’t hurt you anymore. Forgiving is about choosing love over fear.
If you feel threatened, intimidated or less than someone else, you can change the way you feel, in an instant, by choosing to love that person instead. When you choose to focus on brotherly love and compassion for this person and even give them love and validation (even though they don't seem to need it) all your fear will disappear.
This is a universal principle of truth: You cannot experience love and fear at the same time.
Choose to focus on love and, I promise, you will not only eliminate your fear, you will also feel powerful, strong and fantastic about who you are.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing self esteem and restoring hope.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.