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Inner Bonding Will Remove His Fear Of Failure

inner boding

Fear of failure

Inner Bonding Will Remove His Fear Of Failure

Inner bonding will enable Matthew to get rid of his irrational fear of failure

Matthew called me three months before his wedding and told me the following story: “I’ve been with my fiancé for two years, and until last month I was madly in love with her. I couldn’t wait to see her at the end of every day, I loved getting phone calls from her, I didn’t care what we did as long as I was with her; in short, I was in bliss. I never felt that way about anyone. I knew early on that I wanted to marry her and that feeling never wavered… until about a month ago.”

“What happened a month ago?” I asked.

“I don’t know. All of a sudden I developed this pit in my stomach and it hasn’t gone away. Now I dread seeing her. I feel like I don’t love her anymore. Sometimes I’m not even attracted to her. Is it possible that I’ve fallen out of love?”

I told him that it was highly unlikely that he would suddenly fall out of love. After learning more about his relationship with his partner, it was clear that she hadn’t changed a bit and there were no serious red-flag issues, but that he had become overtaken with a pernicious fear that grew each day inside his mind. Instead of becoming curious about the fear, he tried to avoid it by staying busy, ignoring it, rationalizing it, and talking to his father several times a day about it. While he did gain some insights through the conversations with his father, the avoidance tactics didn’t touch the core of the fear. “I just want it to go away,” he moaned to me. Like most of the clients who come to me for pre-wedding counseling, he had formed the false – yet understandable – belief that since he was feeling this way around his fiancé it must be because he wasn’t supposed to marry her. I reassured him that, as far as I could tell, the feelings were trying to communicate something vastly different.

I decided it was time to introduce him to Inner Bonding. A highly left-brained, achievement-oriented person, he told me in the first session that he was generally “out of touch with my feelings.” As is often the case with people who perpetually ignore their emotional life, the feelings became somatitized in the body in the form of  physical symptoms. For Matthew it assumed the form of “the pit.” I asked him to close his eyes, find a comfortable position (at his office desk chair, of course), and breathe directly into the pit. After a few minutes, I asked him to speak from the pit. “What does the pit want to tell you?”

“I don’t know. I really don’t know.”
“Is the pit scared?”
Without a moment’s hesitation he said, “Yes.”
“What are you scared of?”
“Of not being good enough.”
“And what would happen if you’re not good enough?”
“I’ll fail.”
“And what would happen if you failed?”
“Failure would be a disaster.”
“A disaster to who?”
“Everyone. My fiancé, my parents.”
“How old are you right now?
“About ten.”

I’m always amazed at how readily the wounded self makes itself known. With the slightest loving attention, Matthew’s ten year old child spoke up and offered us a kernel of wisdom about one of the causes of the pit. Of course this voice had been making itself known through Matthew’s feelings, but it took actively asking him about himself for him to reveal the false belief that Matthew is carrying around. Like an actual child, when we surround our wounded self with love and approach it with a true intention to learn and explore, truths unfold like flowers in spring.

We took some time to talk about the expectations of his parents growing up, how he had always complied to their unspoken expectation of him being good and succeeding, how there really wasn’t room for failure. He said he always got good grades and when he didn’t his parents would talk to him about why and how he could do better next time. “What was considered a bad grade?” I asked. “Anything less than an A,” he replied.

Matthew’s conditioning “not to fail” was so deeply ingrained that he could barely see it as an unhealthy and unloving belief. It was only when I helped him contact an older, wiser male figure (he doesn’t believe in God) that he started to bring in the truth about this belief system. Even so, the faint tendrils of a belief system rooted in truth were tenuous, at best; as we started to end the session, he said that while he felt good during the session, he wasn’t sure he could do this on his own. I told him that Inner Bonding, like all processes and types of spiritual work, is a practice. If he commits to spending time each day, as many times a day as he can with his Inner Child, Loving Adult, and Wise Man, the process will become more and more fluid, the pit will transform into pearls of wisdom, and he will start to experience more joy and excitement about his upcoming wedding. On the other hand, if he ignores his feelings and continues in the same vein as he’s done his whole life, he will continue to approach his wedding day – and, more importantly, his marriage – with dread.

With his wedding four weeks away, the clock is ticking. Will he commit to Inner Bonding or will he allow his fear to run the show? Stay tuned for which way he goes!

[Sheryl Paul]

As the daughter of two psychotherapists,Sheryl grew up with the language and theories of psychology running through her blood. As a young girl, she vacillated between dreaming about one day being either a writer, a therapist, or a midwife. Having found the confluence of these three arts through writing about and spiritually midwifing people through life’s transitions, including the transition of transforming anxiety, self-doubt, and depression to serenity, self-trust, and joy, Sheryl feels deeply blessed to be living in the heart of her calling. While her writing and counseling work have primarily focused on the specific transitions of getting married and becoming a mother, in recent years she has felt called to broaden her practice to include the lifelong transition of life in all its beauty and complexity. For whether on the verge of leaping into marriage, getting a divorce, suffering through anxiety or depression, struggling with an addiction, or birthing a new identity as a mother, Sheryl believes we find the same issues of self-trust and control appearing again and again. The story line may change, but the spiritual seeker quickly finds that the areas that need attention reappear at deeper layers of the spiral on life’s journey. Sheryl utilizes an effective, 6-step process called Inner Bonding® cradled within the spiritual context of transitions to create a powerful framework through which she can assist clients in finding their own voice, exploring the stories and beliefs that interfere with hearing this voice, confronting their need to control and the perpetual practice of learning to surrender, and guiding them as they make their way through life’s challenges and joys. Her decade of working with clients in transition combined with years of a loving marriage (not without continual consciousness and hard work!) and the privilege/challenge of being a mother have solidified her firm belief that, while guides are often necessary to help us find our way through the labyrinths, no one outside of ourselves and a spiritual source has the answers. In fact, SheryI believes that, whether we’re talking about parenting, marriage, or anxiety, there are no definite answers; there’s only the process of discovering what’s right for you. In 1997, Sheryl graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute, a depth psychology program founded upon the teachings of Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, James Hillman, and the study of dreams, archetypes, myths, and the myriad ways that the unconscious manifests in daily and nightly life. As a writer, poet, and epic dreamer, she encourages her clients to explore their own creative outlets as pathways for connecting to Spirit and finding their own truths. In 1999, she launched her unique business, Conscious Weddings, and a year later published her first book, The Conscious Bride, which broke the taboo of discussing the underbelly of the wedding transition. In 2003, her second book, The Conscious Bride’s Wedding Planner, was published, and in 2004, she began working with impending and new mothers through Conscious Motherhood. Since 1999, Sheryl has counseled thousands of people worldwide through her private practice, her bestselling books, her Home Study Programs and her website. She has appeared several times on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, as well as on “Good Morning America” and other top media shows and publications around the globe. To sign up for her free 78-page eBook, “Conscious Transitions: The 7 Most Common (and Traumatic) Life Changes“, visit her Home page. Sheryl looks forward to hearing from you.

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