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Don’t Stop Believin’

by | Apr 17, 2018

If you’re currently channeling the Journey’s hit circa 1981 then you’re totally in my tribe. Sky-high hair pouf and all.

But my point here is that after a divorce or bad breakup, this mantra can feel so far from the truth and for good reason.

We’re wired to believe that our past determines our future.

Not because it actually DOES, but because our mind puts up the defense that if something happened before, it WILL happen again! Good, bad or ugly.

Case in point, like many people, I’ve dealt with someone leaving the relationship, specifically my marriage. The feelings of disbelief, being blindsided (or just not really keeping my eyes open to the warning signs) and then a sensation of the magic rug I was riding being pulled out from underneath me and consequently free falling to the earth with a massive thud.

As this similar occurrence found me more than one time, it shaped my brain for future relationships to trigger my now natural response.
“Heck No! I’m not going to get that close again! I’m going to keep my distance, show the other person that I don’t really care that much and ensure that I don’t get hurt again.”

Yup, that’s was my strategy and I was definitely sticking to it. The truth is that I was missing out on so much more than just a great relationship because of that fear.

I was giving FEAR the power when I’m the one that should OWN my power!

Our thoughts and beliefs bring forward emotions and feelings (sometimes even a physical manifestation – breaking out in tears, sweating, shaking knees) and then ultimately this dictates our response or behavior. I call it the thoughts-feelings-actions train. It’s all interconnected!

Remember that time you had to verbally say to out loud yourself: Stop crying, unlock the bathroom door and go back to the party. Oh wait, that was me during a bad dinner date a few years ago….

But it takes AWARENESS (and guts or a glass of wine) of how you’re responding based on what you believe to be true.

So how do you handle it differently?

Step 1: Recognize the fear.

Sometimes our biggest fear is fear itself. (I think that’s already a quote or something). But it makes sense. We’re afraid of the things we already know will scare us. Um….do relationships fall into this category? Yup! Why? Vulnerability, fear of being hurt, not wanting to deal with that over and over.

Talk about it with yourself (awesome opportunity for some journaling here).

What am I afraid of?

Step 2: Remove the power behind the fear.

It’s clear that the fear is now getting in your way (or keeping you locked in the bathroom to prevent confronting it). Address the beliefs behind it.

What happened before that’s causing me to feel this way?

Step 3: CHOOSE.

Yes, this is the most important step. YOU get to choose if you run away or face it with courage. Choice not chance.

Do I want to get of my own way? Yes or No.

Perhaps it’s a maybe and that’s ok. But I typically slide those maybes into the yes lane, there’s a glimmer of hope there!

Step 4: Remind Yourself of Your Courage

Truth: the scenario that scared you the most will likely come back once again and you will find yourself responding with the same initial thoughts, feelings and re-action.

Remind yourself of the last time you handled it differently (and likely with better results) and draw on that courage to set the stage for a new pattern of behavior.

Sure, it does take time and practice and diligence. And yes you will fail. And yes you’ll grab a glass of wine to have a quick pity party for yourself when you play the rewind button on how that fear kicked you in the butt and you reverted back to your “old” ways.

But the difference is you KNOW it and that’s when you can go back and repeat Step 3: CHOOSE!

It’s not a linear process and like I tell my clients, you will have a map of spaghetti drawings as you begin to explore your way to your “true” you. I personally love spaghetti and I’m half Italian so why not throw it on the wall to see what sticks!

So back to our Journey song.

Fun Fact: The title of the song came the faith of a father in his son (keyboardist Jonathan Cain’s) as he struggled to make it in the music industry. He would tell him “Don’t stop believing or you’re done, dude.”

Picture me as your unconditionally faithful and supportive coach on the sideline of your life with a glass of wine cheering you on step by step:

“Don’t stop believing or you’re done, Girl!”

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