One of my greatest fears, which I have been working consistently on and have recently conquered, was allowing myself to be vulnerable and be my authentic self in relationships. The unspoken elements that are essential in any relationship personal, professional or otherwise are trust and communication. There can be no lasting relationship without them.
With that being said, there are two other elements that I will touch on that I believe are also necessary for women to feel safe enough in the relationships in their lives to be physically, emotionally, and mentally vulnerable. Those elements are security and consistency. When I talk about security I mean in every sense; physical, emotional, financial.
When a woman’s sense of trust, communication, security and consistency have been breached; it opens the door to fear – fear of trusting, fear of communicating, fear that the sense of security breached will never be restored, fear that a sense of stability/consistency will be not re-established. Due to those fears, walls are erected as a form of protection. Doing this will stifle the essence of who you are as a person – your personality, your creativity, your spontaneity, your joy, your peace – all of these things will be affected.
Unless those fears are addressed, you will find yourself forever running from situations that seem similar to the original situation that caused you to erect the walls. You will find yourself subconsciously sabotaging relationships, because in your mind you want to be the one in control causing the damage rather than risk being on the receiving end again.
You may find that your perspective or outlook on life is skewed. Where once you walked in confidence, you may now suffer bouts of doubt, continually second guessing your every decision.
Signs of a breakdown
How often do you feel that there are things going unsaid in your relationships? How often do you feel that you aren’t able to share your opinions or thoughts, fearing it will cause contention or that your thoughts/opinions won’t be validated or acknowledged? How often do you assume you know the response will be negative?
Are you able to rely on the fact that what you share or confide will remain between you and the individual you shared your thoughts or information with? Do the actions of the individuals you interact with align with their words/promises?
Do you feel you are free to show the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of yourself without fearing it will end the relationship? Do you feel you are able to make mistakes or fail without fear of being rejected or abandoned?
Do you feel that you aren’t able to rely on an individual to follow through when you need their input or assistance? Have you become discouraged or ambivalent due to broken promises or sporadic follow-thru with commitments?
These are signs that things need to be addressed. You cannot change what you won’t confront or address. Are you prepared to handle the outcome when you do; whether the outcome is favorable or unfavorable for you? You are the only one that can determine when you are ready to move forward. Are you ready to face your fears?