Many clients come to me wondering why they struggle so much with anxiety in their relationships, while others seem to have it so easy. They are desperate to learn how they can fix it.
My response is often the same, it’s not about fixing the anxiety. It’s about changing how we relate to it so that we can uncover the forces and inner dynamics that are at play within us. Those inner dynamics are causing us to feel anxious because they conflict with each other.
Here is how I can best describe it: at the heart of anxiety is an inner conflict. In an inner conflict, a part of us feels threatening, and another part wants to contain the threat.
When you push the anxiety away, you use up all your energy trying to contain it. But if you learn to lean into it and give it space, something magic happens. You give it permission to move through you and transform.
How I work with anxiety is informed by the Jungian tradition and Eastern spirituality teachings.
Those two modalities combined together are very powerful when working with anxiety. They help lean into the anxiety with curiosity, and help uncover the inner conflict at the root of the anxiety.
With the right support and tools, my coaching clients can see what lies beneath the anxiety, what wants to come through, what can be learned from it.
If you ignore the anxiety, try to push it away or by-pass it, you use up all your resources trying to contain it. So in a way you make the threat real. You validate the anxiety and you act accordingly to this.
Regrettably, most coaching and therapeutic models see anxiety as something that needs to be fixed.
The advice out there is: ‘you are stronger than your anxiety’ or that maybe you should avoid what makes you feel anxious.
However, by-passing, ignoring or dismissing the anxiety is never a good strategy. Carl Jung famously said – what we resist persists. And this is exactly what happens when we ignore or push away the anxiety. It will grow bigger and more intense, or will start latching onto another topic.
That's because anxiety is a very smart alarm system informing you something within you is ready to be be explored. So that it can be worked with and transformed.
When I support clients navigating relationship anxiety, I help them become curious about what the anxiety is pointing to. Together we can work from the inside out to uncover the beliefs, stories, experiences that are contributing to this inner tension.
That way we can resolve the tension by bringing into awareness what within us is ready to be seen, accepted and received. As as results clients feel more like themselves, more grounded, centred, more ‘whole’.
One of my clients said to me at our last session last week ' I would never be where I am today if it wasn't for you. I feel so grateful for this work'.
If you’re currently in the midst of relationship anxiety, or any forms of anxiety – this is your calling to slow down and look at what's going on internally. With the right kind of support, in just a few months you could be in a very different place.
If you're ready to discuss how I can help you navigate your relationship anxiety so you can start to feel like yourself again, but only more grounded, peaceful and confident, this is your change. Email me to book in a free 20mins consultation to start exploring how to constructively work with your anxiety.