Empaths and sensitives often have trouble identifying, going after, and achieving our dreams and goals – be they personal, relationship, or business. Discovering the recipe for what will truly fulfill us requires self-awareness.
Most of our beliefs and behaviors are set by age 6 or 7. This includes how we handle stress, how resilient we are when we fail, how we motivate ourselves, as well as what we believe we are allowed to have, desire, and go after. Including our careers, types of relationships, level of wealth, and so on.
We learn these beliefs and behaviors from our parents, our friends/siblings, and from our community. Some may be authentic to our nature but some may simply be demonstrated for us enough that we take it on as our identity. A learned behavior rather than an authentic trait.
Discerning, achieving, striving for, and creating the life we want requires us to become aware of boundaries, emotions, and needs. Unmet needs, crossed boundaries, and the surfacing of buried emotions activate our unconscious programming. Those behaviors that are reactive, destructive, and usually result in self-sabotage.
Some behaviors will be easy to change and some will require us to do some healing and inner work to shift the emotions/wound/belief the behavior is defending, concealing, or protecting.
Self-Awareness is the Journey
Becoming conscious or self-aware is the cornerstone of a spiritual journey. A path that leads to the development of our authentic self–our true nature. The one who exists under all of our armor and self-protections. Or as Maslow explains, Self-Actualized.
Discovering Your Expression
Be curious about your moods and emotions. Start by talking to other empaths and keeping a journal of your emotional experiences throughout the day. Discover when you seem to be more susceptible to overwhelming emotion, what is happening at the moment? Where are you? Who are you with?
Begin by paying attention to the environment you are in and the people/ animals/ objects near you when you begin to feel bad.
- What is happening?
- Are you alone with your thoughts or out in public?
- Who is near you and how are they behaving?
Attempt to describe what is happening inside you. List your feelings, whatever they are, in whatever language you have for them at this moment. If you are someone who was not encouraged to feel or discuss emotions, this will be a difficult exercise at first, but don’t give up. Keep digging for your truth.
Uncovering Your Driving Need
- What is most important to you?
- Is it safety?
Probe this question deeply. Your initial answers may be reflecting societal norms and not your deepest truth. Usually, we have one or two driving needs that we pursue throughout our lives. And often this is a need we didn’t have met as children.
Your inability to get this need met as a child can cause us to seek it out from other people using methods like manipulation, people-pleasing behaviors, or other forms of damaging behavior.
Your driving need can be a powerful motivator for achievement or satisfaction in our lives, but it can also be an invisible agent for chaos when we try to meet our need through behaviors that ultimately cause harm to us and those people we love most.
Let that pain of discovering our deepest wound allow us to seek healing, knowing that we can heal and begin to learn how to get your needs met in healthy ways. This in turn allows your deepest wound to transform into a powerful catalyst for your life.
It is going to be challenging sometimes AND it is completely possible to achieve a life of fulfillment and authenticity. Find comfort in your own skin and know your strengths and your energetic limits. Be an empath and thrive in your relationships, your work, and your own body.
If you are at a point on your journey where you would benefit from a witness, a cheerleader, a healer, and/or an interpreter, check out my Mentoring customized for empaths looking for better relationships, a more satisfying career, and to feel comfortable in their own skin. Schedule a 30-minute consultation to get your questions answered and discuss working together.