Why you're so anxious in your relationship - and how to change it.
Recently I received an email from a follower about her struggle with anxiety in her relationship. And I’m so glad she reached out to me about this, because my ex-boyfriend used to cop so many meltdowns and tears over things I knew were so silly but felt like I couldn't help but freak out about! If you’ve ever felt the same anxiety in a relationship, then you’re in the right place to put an end to it - once and for all!
Days after the email this girl shared that they’ve since broken up, and she now feels so much better. She says ‘the anxiety is completely gone’, and that ‘he must have been making me feel some way if now it’s just gone and I feel stronger than ever.’ Now this sounds all logical and like a good thing, right? And it does seem that way upon the surface, that she’s feeling better only because she’s been able to eliminate the ‘cause’ of her anxiety from her life.
In fact, I asked her what she thought her boyfriend was doing that was causing the anxiety, and she replied “I don’t know, it must have been the relationship and not me. I feel really strong and happy”.
Now the only rule in my coaching is you’re not allowed to say, “I don’t know” - so I encouraged her to take a guess.
She replied, "I got anxious if something felt out of character that maybe he’d want to leave or something.. It felt like I wouldn’t be okay if he left me, so the idea of that terrified me.”
This answer is everything. And something I need to dissect in this video to truly help you see that the reason she’s no longer anxious is not because she’s not in the relationship anymore - and why getting clear on the real reason is crucial if you don’t want to fall into the same anxiety cycle in your next relationship.
The main thing we need to get clear on is recognising our anxiety is not caused by our boyfriend, but the thoughts we have about our boyfriend and ourselves.
Let me demonstrate it clearly in the Model below:
Circumstance: Your boyfriend
Thought: "I will not be okay without you"
Action: Withdraw, act suspicious, short tempered, cause fights, be clingy
Result: Fight with boyfriend, distance between boyfriend, feel more insecure/self-loathing --> more evidence for the belief that 'I won't be okay without you'
It’s your thoughts that cause your anxiety, not your boyfriend.
I want you to own that because I want you to stay in your power.
I want you to know you don’t have to change the world to change how you feel; because in some circumstances (like when I lost my sister) it’s not always possible and if you rely on the world then you set yourself up to suffer with the things you can’t change.
But if you are willing to step up and own the truth that your feelings are being caused your own thoughts then you are never left helpless because thoughts are thigns you can always change. Yes it’s a process that takes effort and practice because our brain has default patterns of thinking that we have to retrain, but it’s always possible. And when you approach your relationships from this place of ownership over your emotional life, you feel so much more empowered.
Don't get me wrong, it’s awesome that you now feel better about yourself now your boyfriend is no longer in your life, but I want you to own it was your own thoughts making you anxious and not give away your power to your boyfriend - otherwise then you feel like you have to control him and that’s what turns us into crazy girlfriends because it’s simply impossible.
Now if boys were perfect at giving us what we want and doing exactly what we want, then I’d say give him credit for your feelings all day! But other people often suck at doing exactly what we want, right? So we set ourselves up to for so much unnecessary frustration and anxiety. But the good news is while we can’t control our boyfriends, we can control our thoughts.
If you want to feel more confident in your relationship you don’t need your boyfriend to do anything to ‘make you feel that way’, you simply need to learn how to better manage own mind.
Don't judge yourself for not being great at that now - it is something we are not taught at high school, but exactly what my coaching specialises in. Right now is an amazing opportunity to learn how to build confidence from your own mindset, so you can enter into your next relationship with a new found peace and avoid falling into same default patterns of thinking that caused you so much anxiety.
For anyone who's reading this and can resonate with this being exhausted by anxiety over boyfriend, jump on and book yourself in for a free mini coaching session with me here. I have availability for 2 spots every week and would love to teach you one tool that will help you show up in your relationship as the kind of girlfriend you want to be (not the overprotective kind-of-crazy one that anxiety causes us to be!)