The Broken to Brave Podcast

Transforming Fear into Freedom with Honest Dialogue

March 26, 2024 Dr. Stephanie Lopez Episode 44
Transforming Fear into Freedom with Honest Dialogue
The Broken to Brave Podcast
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The Broken to Brave Podcast
Transforming Fear into Freedom with Honest Dialogue
Mar 26, 2024 Episode 44
Dr. Stephanie Lopez

Ever struggled with the suffocating silence of an unresolved conflict or the sting of an unaddressed slight? Join me as we traverse the terrain of direct and honest communication. By embracing the art of tough conversations, we unlock personal liberation and a newfound empowerment. This episode isn't just about weathering the storm of confrontation; it's about steering the ship of dialogue to honor your truth, no matter how others might respond.

Today, we dissect the 'how' but the 'why' behind expressing your needs with precision and purpose. From decoding the silent treatment to addressing an eye roll, I guide you through strategies to approach these behaviors with curiosity, stripping away the judgment that muddles our connections. We confront the fears that shackle us—fear of vulnerability, fear of hurting others—and reshape them into stepping stones toward stronger, more fulfilling relationships.

In this episode, you'll learn the following:
1. Take ownership of your emotions, needs, and responses.
2. Acknowledging and addressing protective mechanisms.
3. Recognizing and challenging recurring patterns in thought and behavior.

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever struggled with the suffocating silence of an unresolved conflict or the sting of an unaddressed slight? Join me as we traverse the terrain of direct and honest communication. By embracing the art of tough conversations, we unlock personal liberation and a newfound empowerment. This episode isn't just about weathering the storm of confrontation; it's about steering the ship of dialogue to honor your truth, no matter how others might respond.

Today, we dissect the 'how' but the 'why' behind expressing your needs with precision and purpose. From decoding the silent treatment to addressing an eye roll, I guide you through strategies to approach these behaviors with curiosity, stripping away the judgment that muddles our connections. We confront the fears that shackle us—fear of vulnerability, fear of hurting others—and reshape them into stepping stones toward stronger, more fulfilling relationships.

In this episode, you'll learn the following:
1. Take ownership of your emotions, needs, and responses.
2. Acknowledging and addressing protective mechanisms.
3. Recognizing and challenging recurring patterns in thought and behavior.

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Dr Steph and I'm here to guide you on your journey to healing from a difficult relationship with your mother, whether she was narcissistic, emotionally immature or just plain toxic. I want you to know that you are in fact not broken and you do not have to suffer from anxiety or explosive emotional reactions like lashing out. You can break the cycle. You are a strong, capable woman who can handle any challenge that comes your way, and I'm going to show you how to have the ultimate control over your reactions so that you are unstoppable. Welcome to the Broken to Brave podcast. I am so honored for you to tune back in week after week, and I appreciate you so much. This is a fun time of year for me because both of my daughters have birthdays. They are turning four and six and while they're still so little, I can't believe how quickly time is flying and how big they feel. They love going to the Peppa Pig Theme Park that's in central Florida. So this year we're doing a Peppa Pig theme for their birthday and they're super excited, especially my younger one, sophie, who's turning four. So here's what we're going to do Today. I want to dive into the most common question that I have been asked over the last decade honestly, maybe longer and if you're anything like me and you're anything like my clients, then I think you're going to be interested as well. And before I dive in, I want to share a quick win that one of you shared with me.

Speaker 1:

On February 27th, I released a podcast episode titled Harnessing Curiosity for Emotional Resilience, and during that episode I responded to a question that I had received. So just a quick recap in case you missed it, or in case you don't have it memorized, because why would you? So? That question was what is the best way to break cycles of stressful and negative thoughts that are taking over and on repeat, despite efforts to manage them and change the subject? In my head, someone in my daily life doesn't like me or seems not to, and could potentially ruin an incredibly important part of my life. It's sort of like an adult mean girl situation, and I just can't avoid her. There's daily contact and all of my middle school and high school insecurities are on high alert. Now, if you listen to that podcast episode, what you will remember is that I actually didn't answer the question that she was asking. She wanted to know how do I break the cycle of stressful and negative thoughts, and so most people. If you would ask them that question, they give you some mindset shift to make, and I actually said hmm, how about you have a conversation with her? So I that's. My job, though, is to be able to recognize is the question you're asking the one that actually needs to be answered, or is there a different direction? That would do you a lot better. Now I'll just recap a little bit more. I gave her three overarching you know recommendations, and, of course, one of those was to have the direct conversation.

Speaker 1:

Now, if you are anything like this listener and, honestly, if you're anything like most people in the world, you have had a conversation that you are avoiding, or you might currently be avoiding a conversation, and why, probably? You give yourself a variety of reasons, and they feel legit, and they are legit. You might find yourself saying well, it's not going to do any good. Anyways, I can't change her. You know, I've already tried to talk to the person about it. They're not going to respond. Well, I don't want to hurt their feelings, they just don't care about how they're impacting me, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and you might be right. However, you might be wrong. And if I had a penny for and I'm just saying a penny, just one penny for the number of times my clients got it wrong, where whatever they thought was going to happen didn't actually happen in the conversation. I wouldn't need to work right now Like so. I want you to take from that that like your mind, because you're human for no other reason gets it wrong so often. And another important piece of this is like what if having this conversation is more about honoring yourself rather than trying to make the other person behave, act or feel a certain way? So when you have the conversation, if it doesn't go according to plan, that doesn't matter why, because you honored yourself. And if you identify as conflict avoidant, a people pleaser or a perfectionist, odds are that you have ignored your internal desires at least somewhat, and probably a ton where it's a full self betrayal, and so if you make that your goal, things can shift for you so well.

Speaker 1:

After listening to that podcast episode, that particular listener gathered up the courage and used my conversation framework, which I share inside of Brave Academy, to have the hard conversation with the person that she was writing about, and she followed up with me weeks later and told me this the conversation went very well and I feel like I have bricks that have fallen off my back. That conversation made a lasting impact in my day to day and my inner thoughts have shifted to a more positive place. So here's the thing she was terrified to have that conversation. She actually also told me she had been feeling insecure and inadequate daily in the presence of this person for 11 months 11 months. So do you think she would have avoided a conversation for 11 months if she thought it was going to go well? No, but it's proof to show you that this conversation framework that I share with my clients is very helpful and it's very different than anything else that I'm aware of. And not only that. Having those tools, but having the courage to have the conversation and also doing it to honor yourself, makes a huge difference. One conversation shifted how she was feeling for 11 months, and here's the truth Openness is the grand simplifier.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Openness is the grand simplifier. The issue is that basically, no one learns how to be open and have these hard conversations. And if you're like, what are you talking about? Like I know what being open is, I know how to be open, I just ask you, just take my word for it. We don't learn how to be open. We don't learn how to have these conversations. Now, might there be some people who did. Maybe they had a therapist as a mom, or coach as a mom or dad. Then yes, but the vast majority of people do not, and that creates a lot of unnecessary struggle for people.

Speaker 1:

I just want you to pause and think about, like does this resonate with you? Where in your life have you felt insecure in the presence of someone for months, if not years? One huge mistake that I see people make is avoiding things and people that trigger them. If that resonates, I want you to know this. If you avoid things that trigger you, you will continue to struggle. Why? Because you will never be able to control everything. Never, despite all your efforts, you'll never be able to control everything unless you, like don't interact with humans and like never leave your house. But I mean, come on, you're living the human experience you're going to. So, unexpectedly, things will come into your life that will trigger you, the same part of you that you haven't healed, and you won't be any better at handling it. You won't be any better at coping with it, will you? No, because you are essentially placing the power outside of you. It is a much more fruitful effort to recognize your triggers are actually inside of you and you have the power to heal and to make the changes to yourself that you want, so that you're no longer triggered by them.

Speaker 1:

And it might be useful for you to listen to what I just said a second time, like in, really like soak that in and consider what am I avoiding in my life? Because even what I said earlier, that question that I got, she's like I can't avoid her, which I would never recommend that you do avoid her. I mean maybe not never If somebody was physically violent or something like that. You know, I think you know where I'm going, okay, so now let's circle back to openness, into hard conversations. It is and I said this, but I'm just going to say it again very, very common for people to struggle when it comes to being direct and when it comes to having hard conversations. And being direct doesn't even have to be a hard conversation.

Speaker 1:

We, many of us, were raised to think that if I am going to respect someone, then I should sugarcoat things, I should use tact, I should, you know, tell white lies, things like that. But what if I told you that you can be clear, kind, respectful and direct, and it's actually more simple than you think, and when I say simple, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy, but it doesn't have to feel hard. Now, I honestly could spend hours talking about this and if you were in the room with me and we were going through examples, we could sit all day working through this. But in this episode, what I want to do is I want to give you three recommendations for you to take away and to start implementing. The first one is going meta, and I'm going to talk to you about briefly what it is and how to do it. The second is sharing what you want. Spoiler alert here People tend not to ask for what they want, at least not very often. And then the third is what is really actually going on? When you say that you are afraid to hurt someone's feelings, let's go ahead and dive in. The first one is going meta, and that phrase, going meta, in case you're not familiar with it, is used in, like Broadway shows and things like this, where you basically zoom up to the next level and talk about what's going on. So we often don't talk about what matters. We want to address, like the situation, the problem, et cetera, without talking about the real stuff.

Speaker 1:

In any conversation, whether it is one-on-one or group, you can make an observation about what is happening and say that out loud. Very often we will make an observation about what's happening and say nothing, and then, after the conversation, bring it up to somebody else, triangulate with that other person and be like, oh my gosh, that was so weird. You know, when she said this, everybody went silent and she didn't even address it. How about we just talk about what's happening? So, rather than glossing over it, bring it up.

Speaker 1:

I'm gonna give you a couple of examples. One might be I noticed that you went silent when I brought up going on a vacation with them what's going on? And notice that I have curiosity when asking that question as well. I'm not like coming from a judgmental tone, which is very important Genuine, not faked, curiosity. Another might be I noticed that you've rolled your eyes after I mentioned that family would be coming down this weekend. Can you say more about what's happening for you? And then another example might be after I asked, what do you wanna focus on this quarter? So that's like a work example. Everyone got quiet. Am I missing something, and so you're making an observation about what happened in the room or in the conversation and then opening the floor to actually talk about it. And if you're sitting here listening to me right now and you're like that sounds terrifying, it might that might sound vulnerable to do that.

Speaker 1:

And if you want your life to be different than it is right now, and if you want it to be far better, you will have to get uncomfortable and do things that you wouldn't have done in the past. Let me tell you this Every single time I teach my communication framework which I'm not teaching it right now, I'm just giving you a few components, but I'm not walking you through the whole thing. But every time that I walk people through the whole thing here, like I have literally never heard anyone say, oh my gosh, this is so comfortable. No, every single time they're like I don't talk, like this stuff, like I don't know. That feels like something I wouldn't do, and I always add, yet Like you wouldn't have done it yet. But if you want different results than you're getting right now, then you're going to have to take some different steps. Right, okay, and obviously, like you, just having pieces of this is not understanding the whole picture is not going to be as simple as if you understood every piece of how the conversation works, but I want you to have these concrete next steps so you can start implementing something. Okay, the second piece of this is sharing what you want.

Speaker 1:

Conversations can oftentimes be like a complaint session how, like you want the situation to be different, how someone should have done something differently, et cetera and we very, very often don't actually say what we want. This is especially true if there is perceived tension, or if there's actual tension, or if there has been an impact on trust. We expect others to infer what we want. Oh, they should just know. And I hear this a lot, even with couples that maybe the wife will be like and actually I'm going to be fully transparent, I've said this in the past okay, so this is human, human and I just want to own what I have done as well, where, like well, he should know, like how could you not know? And if you catch yourself saying, like they should know what I want, they should be able to do this, they should treat me better or differently, or this or that, you are avoiding Vulnerably asking for what you want and you get to choose differently.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so let's go through a couple examples. Rather than complaining, for instance, about having to wake my husband up, I can say hey, babe, in the mornings, can you set an alarm? It takes weight off of my shoulders when I know that you're not relying on me to get to work on time. This is an actual conversation I had with my husband, because he would always just Expect me to wake him up and, in addition to you know, getting the girls ready and stuff, it felt like more than I wanted. I wanted him to take that ownership, so I asked for what I wanted. Another example and this could be at work is like rather than saying over and over again oh, you know, my roles and responsibilities are unclear, what you could try is say hey, susan, I would like to discuss my roles and responsibilities. Can you clarify if it's my responsibility or Joe's responsibility to set expectations for the program managers? I just worked with a client yesterday and she. I met with her and she Was saying that she was unclear about part of her role if she was able to say no when asked to Work on the weekend or not, and so we framed up how she was going to talk to her director about that so that she could get clarification.

Speaker 1:

So Pause and start witnessing yourself over the next week, over the next several weeks, and if you have an internal desire about something that you want, I want you to ask for it Now. This doesn't mean that you're going to get it right. We cannot control other people. So I could have asked my husband to set his alarm and then he didn't. Or maybe he did for a day or two and then he stopped. I can always circle back and talk to him again. So just keep in mind and I know you know this, but I'm just Just repeating it we can't control other people, but your goal is to honor yourself and ask for what you want.

Speaker 1:

Let's move into the final piece for today, and this is to. I want to shine some light on what's actually going on. Whenever you have said well, I don't want to have the conversation because I don't want to hurt their feelings even though that may be what you say, and I believe you that you don't want to hurt their feelings what more often what it's actually about is it's more about you and less about the other person. Okay, this is Armor to protect us from feeling vulnerable and so similar to what I was just saying in the previous example is People tend not to ask for what they want. Why? Because it feels vulnerable. So the armor goes up in this situation too. Well, I don't. I don't want to have the conversation because I don't want to hurt their feelings. Actually, what if I'm just trying to protect myself? This armor or defense mechanism is in place to keep us safe, to keep you from feeling negative feelings about yourself. But what if you just allow yourself to feel whatever you're going to feel?

Speaker 1:

Here's a couple examples. I don't want to tell my co-worker that my clients are not happy with them because I'm afraid that she won't like me if I provide that feedback. Would you ever say that? Probably not, you're like. Oh well, I don't want to hurt her feelings with the feedback that they said. No, it's more about you Like is she gonna like me if I give that feedback, or Is she going to be upset and then? And then if you're not comfortable with someone being upset in your presence, you may stray away from that. So I want you to kind of see how this could apply to you. Another example could be like I don't want to tell my mother-in-law that it hurt my feelings that she never asked about me anymore because I'm afraid that you know she doesn't think I'm important now that I have children. That's an example.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I'm so curious how this is landing for you. I Wish I could hear. You know, sometimes I'm like dang, I wish this podcast was two-way, so good to get your feedback and your questions. That's what I want you to think about. So let's recap really quick, okay.

Speaker 1:

First one is go meta. Talk about what matters. Talk about what's going on in the room or in the conversation. Make that observation. The second is ask for what you want. You are far less likely to get what you want if you don't ask for it. And then the third is what if?

Speaker 1:

When you say I don't want to have the conversation because I don't want to hurt their feelings, what if it's about you dig into? What am I trying to protect myself from? And what if I can actually cope with that and handle that? Alright, that's all I have for today. If this has been helpful for you or any of the episodes have been helpful for you, please take time and rate and review the podcast. The more Podcast reviews that we receive that I receive, the more that the platform will push it out to more people, so if you could take the time to do that, I would appreciate you greatly. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week. Thank you for listening today. If you're ready to heal so that triggering situations no longer control you and so that you can feel empowered, brave and thrive in any situation, dm me the word brave on Instagram and I'll send you a training where you will learn three of the most common mistakes Driven women are making that are keeping them stuck in negative emotions, and what you can do instead.

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