Jan 5, 2015

5 Things I Had To Overcome To Find My Dream Woman

I set out to make 2014 the year that I worked through the deepest roots of my emotional turmoil.

Due to a combination of childhood bullying and depression, and a rather emotionally devastating break up in my early twenties, I feared letting people get close to me in intimate relationships for the past six years.

When my fear started to impact my love life and my career, I knew that I had to start digging into my emotional patterns and fix the issue at the root.

It has been a phenomenal year of growth for me and I couldn’t be more grateful for all of the progress that I have recently made.

Today I’m going to pull back the curtain on these lessons and tell you all about the growth that I have experienced. And believe me, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through… but I’m so glad that I leaned into it as intentionally as I did.

Here are the five biggest things that I had to overcome in order to find my dream woman.

1. Fear of being seen

In my six years of being emotionally closed I learned to construct a highly convincing mask that most people couldn’t see through. I became funny, charming, charismatic, and was always ‘on’ when I was around people.

I avoided people who had the intuitive power to really see me and the suffering that I was experiencing internally. For me, allowing others to see me as a struggling, vulnerable person was a huge challenge.

One of the greatest things that I did to overcome this roadblock was to start posting articles with more of myself in them (more of my stories and experiences as opposed to simply ‘tips and tricks’ articles) and spending more time with close friends who saw and expected me to be my authentic self around them. To draw an analogy, if I was an iceberg that had previously only shown 3% of its mass above the water line, I moved the water line down so that closer to 20% of me was showing above the water. I don’t believe that 100% of the iceberg ever has to be shown above the water line because, as researcher Brene Brown has shown, not everyone that you cross paths with in your life will be deserving of knowing your fully authentic self. Only certain people deserve to know the real you while others can see and understand a more surface version.

2. Inability to receive love 

It is much easier (in my opinion) to give love than it is to receive it. This is because there is more certainty in giving than there is in receiving.

Receiving love brings up all of our issues surrounding worthiness, vulnerability, guilt, and shame that may have been layered on to us in our early childhood or through past traumatic relationship experiences.

It’s much easier (and less anxiety-producing) to give love than to receive it because when we start to allow ourselves to receive love we may start to fear that the love we are receiving could be pulled away from us at any time. Which would then feel like a rejection. Which could then trigger our feelings of “See… I knew I wasn’t worthy enough of love to begin with. Why did I even bother trying?”

To overcome my inability to receive love I did weekly sessions with a self-love coach. While you think that I might have been able to work through this on my own (being a relationship coach myself) I am a person just like you and, just like you, I can’t see my own blind spots. This was a necessary step in my emotional process. Having someone externally be able to point out the flawed logic in my emotional thinking was absolutely critical towards my growth. If you think that you might be spinning your wheels in the mud as well, I can’t recommend reaching out enough.

I’m always here to chat if you need an outsider’s perspective.

3. Fear of rejection

I dated women that were safe for the vast majority of the six years I was emotionally closed. What does that mean exactly? It means that I dated women that rarely challenged me or stood up to me. They didn’t have solid personal boundaries.

I dated women that were safe because it meant that I would be able to stay closed off and keep my romantic partners at an emotional arms distance.

In order to find my dream woman, I had to let go of this habit that I knew wasn’t serving me.

4. Playing small

Not only was I playing small in my love life (by dating women that were safe) but I was also playing small throughout my entire life.

I stayed inside of my comfort zone in all matters. I didn’t go to the gym too frequently because I didn’t want to become one of those guys that was overly strong. I didn’t push my comfort zone in my business because I didn’t want to hear what the critics would have to say about me. I didn’t want to leave my hometown for extended periods of time because of other fear-based rationalizations.

In short, my ego would flare up and I would let it win.

Then one day (near the beginning of the calendar year) I decided that enough was enough. I decided to face all of my emotional demons, get the help that I knew I needed, and start playing bigger throughout my entire life.

And before long, I met the woman that I knew I could spend forever with.

5. Fear of big feelings

One of the overarching things that I was avoiding was the fear of big feelings.

What do I mean by big feelings? Well, in my previous years of emotional closure, I convinced myself that I needed to live within a smaller range of emotions. Because the pain from my old break up was so overwhelmingly huge I wanted to numb out the big, scary emotions like those. But we can’t selectively numb emotions. If you numb the lows you also numb the highs. And that’s exactly what happened.

When I first met my significant other and true love was offered to me, everything that was unlike love inside of me was brought to the surface. I went through a hellacious month of emotional processing. There were days where I felt like I was possessed. It was as if all of the grief, shame, and sadness were ripped out of my body.

When this happened, I had two options on how to deal with it. I could have said “Uh-oh… incoming BIG emotions! I should dodge these by numbing myself!”… or I could face the emotions head on and feel the shit out of them. I decided on the second option. So, while it was the furthest thing from being easy, it was an absolutely necessary step in my process towards finding my love.

So which of these five things resonate with you?

Do you need help in navigating any emotional road blocks?

If so, let’s chat.

Blog

Related

See All
How To Recharge Your Relationship From The Inside Out
Nov 4, 2015
Jordan Gray
How To Recharge Your Relationship From The Inside Out
Without intentional effort, relationships get stale. And while communication, date nights, romantic gestures, and great sex will definitely add a boost to your love life, sometimes what we really need to do is improve our relationship by improving our relationship with ourselves. In my opinion,...
Continue Reading
How I Learned To Trust People Again (& How You Can Too)
Apr 21, 2018
Jordan Gray
How I Learned To Trust People Again (& How You Can Too)
Do you find it hard to trust people? Have you been hurt in the past and you’re now afraid to let other people get close to you? I get it. Because I’ve been there. In fact, I spent the better part of my life not trusting other people. Regardless of whether I was spending time with friends, family members,...
Continue Reading
Do This One Thing To Make Any Relationship Thrive
Feb 21, 2016
Jordan Gray
Do This One Thing To Make Any Relationship Thrive
When you were born, you had a unique way about you. You spoke in a certain way. You admired others in a certain way. You picked up your food in a certain way. No matter how much your parents, friends, culture, society, and peers tried to shape you into something other than what you were, your unique...
Continue Reading
The Surest Way To Become A Better Person
Oct 6, 2017
Jordan Gray
The Surest Way To Become A Better Person
Want to become a bigger, better person in the world? Take on more responsibility. As human beings, we all crave a deep sense of meaning. And our sense of meaning often comes down to the amount of responsibility we have taken on in our lives. So if you want to grow as a person, find...
Continue Reading
The 4 Biggest Things I Wish I Had Been Taught In School
Jan 15, 2017
Jordan Gray
The 4 Biggest Things I Wish I Had Been Taught In School
In high school, I was a piss poor student. Upon entering high school I could immediately tell that this was not the game that I was going to win in life. Some kids got straight A’s... and I could tell that I wasn’t going to be one of those kids. I invested as little energy as I could into my school...
Continue Reading
In Praise Of Praise
Nov 26, 2013
Jordan Gray
In Praise Of Praise
I met a recently engaged couple while living in Thailand earlier this year. I asked Phil to share his favourite thing about his fiancee, Emily, and he was quick to answer. “Emily is really nurturing and patient with me. She’s very sweet to me when I need it the most.” Emily was completely taken aback....
Continue Reading