You don’t get what you want in life and relationships; you get what you accept. And you will only accept what you truly believe you deserve. If you feel you are stuck, settling or suffering in your relationships, or have established a history of successive unsustainable and unfulfilling relationships, unaddressed feelings of unworthiness are a likely contributing factor.
Unfortunately, many people, especially those who are leading otherwise successful lives, are loath to admit that they have beliefs and feelings of unworthiness, even to themselves. Indeed, the most difficult part of our work is guiding our clients who are high-achieving professionals or respected entrepreneurs past the resistance and denial to confront these underlying beliefs.
However, sabotaging beliefs are a cancer. Ignoring them, or medicating yourself against the pain and other symptoms of the problem (with work, sex, substance abuse and other distractions), does not prevent them from growing and doing greater damage over time. If you do nothing to confront, change and challenge these beliefs and feelings of worthiness, you will continue to make painful and costly relationship choices.
For example, you may repeatedly (and inexplicably) choose relationship partners who hurt, neglect and disrespect you, while bypassing or sabotaging promising relationships with those who treat you lovingly and respectfully. Or you may forgo true intimacy altogether, settling for either meaningless sex or no dating or sex at all. Or you may over-invest both emotionally and financially in your relationships, driven by the belief that since you don’t deserve loving treatment, you must constantly to do something to earn it.
Each of these scenarios lead to relationships that are damaging in the short-run and unsustainable in the long run. Worse, the suffering and failure of these relationships end up reinforcing the sabotaging belief that produced them: See, here’s more proof that I don’t deserve to be loved.
To explore, challenge and, if necessary, uproot false beliefs that are at the root of feelings of unworthiness requires a commitment to a program of relationship education. Changing your life may not change your thinking, but you absolutely must change your thinking in order to change your life, including your relationship outcomes. Until you do, you will never have the capacity to establish the healthy, loving relationships of honor, esteem and respect you both desire and truly deserve.
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