Were all prone to view things through a negative self-fulfilling prophecy lens.
Cogito ergo sum – I think therefore I am.
Now I’m not going to try and ‘go all physician’ on you,
Because I’m not a physician
2. Because there is not enough research conducted on it.
So today I’m going to invite you to go inside, as we can’t go outside and get really curious about your own relational experiences and fears of rejection.
Dating – you might be a serial swiper or more of a POF kinda guy/gal but whatever form of online dating you use I would hazard a guess and say that it eases the ‘pain/fear of rejection’ partly because you have so many other choices but also because you’re not actually having to down a tequila and walk over to said lucky guy/gal and ask to be kicked in the proverbials resulting in the painful walk of shame back to your friends.
In my opinion our lack of dutch courage needed to enter a genuine face to face situation that has the ability to spark up a real conversation with a human being instead of a smartphone screen is taking us away from at its core, personal growth. You might be getting a lot more rejection via a swipe the wrong way but in comparison to a swipe in far greater magnitude of a real life situation you are definitely drawing the long straw.
First 12 months of a relationship – This is the part of the relationship where you are still getting to know your partner and learning who they are and what makes them tick. (obviously you’ve spent some time before getting into this relationship so you can form an educated decision as to whether or not they are worthy 😉) This is also the most vulnerable stage of a relationship, you don’t have any real certainty, you have very little security and this is the minds kryptonite as human beings love certainty, and this first year you will be watching what your partner says and does to decide whether you are safe to remove a layer of armour and let them in, or not.
The caveat to this is if you are not continuing your own personal development such as making your health a priority, keeping up with your own hobbies (to preserve self identity) and making sure you are always curious in regards to your own feelings/triggers etc then your perception of things will get blurred.
Lets say you are currently not feeling particularly good in your own skin, you then notice your partner has liked a couple of pictures on social media and you instantly attach a story of ‘my partner doesn’t fancy me anymore’ to those likes.
Now I hope that as you read this you are confident in your body, but if you’re not then ask yourself the question IS THIS STORY I’VE CREATED AROUND THOSE ‘LIKES’ FACT OR NOT? And then try to take as much responsibility as you possibly can right now for how you currently feel.
^^^ That can be hard because in the moment we want to project how we feel onto our partner and start throwing around blame, but always TRY your best to look inside first and take as much responsibility before you open your mouth.
12+ months into a relationship – You have a sense of security now and if you’ve made it this far then your partner should be your ‘safe place’ but with that being said this can also be the time when if you haven’t watered your ‘relationship garden’ (every part of me wanted to write YOUR LADY GARDEN but you’re not as childish and perverted as me) then your partner could begin to think about how green their neighbours grass is. It’s in these stages of the relationship that rejection could be far more catastrophic, not only do you feel more secure in your relationship but you’ve also began building a life and identity around your relationship. You might be living together, you might have kids together you might even be married if that’s something you believe in (*sidenote I wholeheartedly believe in marriage for the right reasons but that’s another story for another time), so if you start to feel a sense of rejection and you’ve been doing your own work and working on your relationship then this could be for something that is completely out of your control and possibly due to your partner not doing their own work and putting equal amounts of effort into growing the relationship.
The truth is no matter how much time and effort you invest in yourself and your relationship things can still not go the way you want them to or have even planned them to.
Every single one of us are walking this earth as a work in progress and carry our own unhealed traumas and with that being said I’d urge you to always look in the mirror when you feel a sense of rejection instead of making your pain and hurt from a perceived rejection someone else’s problem.
Think about what you can do to grow and step more into your best self, think about how you can be more loving to your perceived rejecter, think about the person you want to be and think how that person would respond/communicate.
Ultimately as hard and as painful rejection is, there are so many variables that come in to play and when you get that intense feeling of rejection and you start questioning your self worth try to take a deep breath and think about what this feeling is teaching you.
Somewhere buried deep inside you is a lesson that is trying to come out, but first you have to be willing to ask yourself the questions that elicit the most uncomfortable feelings and continue to keep leaning into them.
What comes to mind as soon as you hear the word sexuality…?
Is it the differentiation between gay, straight, bisexual and everything inbetween?
Well my proverbial scholar lets take a trek into the murky waters where shame and sexuality lie, but tread carefully, you could quite easily be eaten up by the green eyed judgemental monster.
Lets start with good old wikipedia…
Their definition of the word sexuality is,
The way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, or spiritual feelings and behaviours.
So in short it can be described as everything you are, from not only an ego standpoint, but also a human genetic standpoint.
Basically sexuality is such a broad term that it is more of a blanket word that covers so many different aspects, and I want to specifically break down certain parts of sexuality that I have experienced, and areas that I am hugely passionate about.
Now shame is something that we all have internalised at one point or more in our lives, and I am no different.
From a very early age I was brought up as a Jehovahs Witness, There are a lot of positive loving lessons i’ve learnt that have been due to this part of my childhood and I am by no means bashing this religion, but I would like to just share some of my feelings surrounding shame around masturbation and why growing up I struggled.
For the majority of my life I have always felt like a child whose parents told him to ‘stop touching your willy’ it felt like I was disgusting, seedy and later on in life weird and obsessed.
One of my earliest memories was when I was in middle school so I must of been maybe 11, and one of the kids in my class who was openly interested in boys used to sit next to me in my music class.
I can’t remember exactly how the conversation started but it was something along the lines of ‘do you wank?’
This was about the age that the surge of testosterone was now beginning to flood my body.
Of course I felt embarrassed and told him no.
He said to me ‘you can come round mine after school and I can show you how to?!’
Due to fear, shame and embarrassment I never took him up on the offer.
1 thing that sticks out in my mind about that conversation though was just how accepting of himself he was at such an early age.
I have a few other of these ‘experiences’ that go further than just a few embarrassing words but ironically writing a blog about shame is bringing up feelings around shame…
Don’t you worry though, I have made a promise to myself to ‘bare all’ over the course of the next 12 months.
Shame can be so crippling because its not only our own feelings of humiliation, but it’s even more so our fear of becoming an outcast.
Masturbation made me feel like I was doing something naughty, and one to two seconds after that moment of ejaculation, I was flooded with all these thoughts of i’m bad, I shouldn’t of done that, why do I keep doing this? why can’t I stop? am I normal? The only tool I had in my toolbox to deal with all these feelings was to internalise them and stuff them so far down in the hope that they never came up again.
Of course they come up again, that’s what unhealed trauma does, it’s there to protect us from a perceived danger.
That danger for me, was that I wouldn’t be loved and I would not only hurt and upset Jehovah but i’d bring shame and disappointment to my mum (my dad wasn’t a jehovahs witness) which as a young lad was something that terrified me.
As I went through my teenage years I closed myself off to any sexual experience I could of engaged in and instead chose to continue being the little boy who shut himself away.
Many religions see masturbation as a sin, Jehovahs witnesses see masturbation as an unlcean mentally and emotionally defiling serious sin of fornication, now imagine what that conditioning can do to a pre-pubescent child.
Shame can show up anywhere and as we continue to trudge on I want to take a look at society as a global collective and how we as sexual human beings are shamed for our sexuality.
The rise of personal explicit sexual content platforms such as onlyfans. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a monthly subscription service where individuals or couples upload content (photos or videos) and put them out to the public for a low cost price ranging between £5-£10 a month.
I recently saw a post on my social media newsfeed where a girl (no judgement towards her on my part here) had stated her views about this particular platform, and how degrading and disgusting this type of thing is and girls who choose to do this need to learn a little self respect.
There were a lot of comments with the same views as this girl, but as I scrolled further down the comments, I read far too many from young lads saying that these girls are slags, and plenty of other words their mother would wash their mouths out for uttering.
The irony in this is the fact that these lads, i’m pretty certain choose, and enjoy watching porn probably on a daily basis, and are more than happy to make use of the free wanking material available online,
BUT… as soon as a girl wants to make money from it, then they need to be shunned and ridiculed, hmm…
Now I wonder how many of them girls who were commenting derogatory things on that post are the same girls that HATE the gender inequality when it comes to sex inparticular,
Girls are slags if they sleep about yet men are studs and deserve a high five.
Truth is those people that took the moral high ground, and decided to look down their noses, have also got some form of unhealed trauma that is triggered by people that fully embrace their sexuality, which is definitely something that is a humanitarian crisis that only further disconnects us from eachother.
Now lets say you like the thought of setting up one of these platforms, or lets say you choose to fulfil your desires through things such as underground sex dungeons or swinging clubs, however out there or vanilla they are, would you be ashamed if your boss/clients found out?
You know the whole notion of ‘I wouldn’t get a tattoo there think about how employers would view it’ again this is just another opportunity for you to stuff that sexuality so far down that you to can join teenage me in becoming the dirty little child hiding yourself in your bedroom.
As were etching closer to the promise land where we can all live in harmonious nakedness, a place where body shaming no longer exists and love and sex are part of our every day life where we roll around in the endless fields of beautiful flowers…
Wait, sorry that was the 60’s or what i’ve been accustomed to believe, oh how I wish I could of experienced that decade.
Now this might possibly be the most feared grim reaperesque of all…
Embracing and owning our sexuality in the face of our family and partner.
Now why is this a piece of the puzzle that no matter what way you try to turn it just doesn’t seem to fit.
From a very early age we have learnt what things we need to do, or be, to get attention/approval, but more importantly love (or our perception of what us getting their love looks like)
It could be achieving a good grade at school,
It could be doing well at sports day,
It could be getting into your parents preferred university,
Or it could be as little as something like sleeping well through the night regularly,
No matter what it is we have learnt that certain actions, achievements or successes gain us positive reinforcements.
Now this inherently makes every single one of us a people pleaser to varying extents.
This positive reinforcement continues through to your adult life with job or career roles, positive intimate relationships, and moving in to your first house.
Now what if you have done and become everything you feel you should and the rewards from family in the form of approval and love have been precedent, but you suddenly have the realisation that you are actually living someone elses life, and not the life you have chosen for yourself…
you begin to fantasise about possibilities of a new life, a life that lights you up and turns you on, a life that doesn’t see you go to uni but instead sees you owning your own business, a life that doesn’t see you in a ‘secure marriage’ but instead sees you enjoying exploring your sexual desires with multiple consensual partners, a life that doesn’t see you in a nice home with a garage and financed car but instead sees you travelling the world living life on your terms…
How do you unbecome the person you have shown your family you are, and become the person you actually want to be without the fear of losing their approval and love?!
Now what about (this was something that I suffered with and caused a lot of hurt because of) you don’t give yourself permission to embrace your sexual curiosity, and you have allowed fear and shame to consume you and you’re now in a relationship thinking to yourself ‘I have never experienced this, I have never given myself the opportunity to see if I like that’ and as each day passes you become more and more engulfed with this feeling of curiosity, shame, guilt and fear.
You don’t want to hurt your partner because you love them, you even wish that you didn’t have these fantasies and desires because now you’re having thoughts of infidelity, these toxic thoughts are only heightening the feelings of fear thinking of your life without your partner that you have created together.
Now i’m not here to judge you could say it would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black but I prefer to look at it like this…
I have invested the last 3 years deep diving into the areas where I hold the most fear and shame around…
I have slayed many dragons but I have also got badly burnt in the meantime.
I have had judgement from ‘friends’
I have had judgement from family,
and I have even had judgement from people that don’t even know me, but what i’ve also had is an amazing relationship come to fruition, a couple of very close friendships become even closer but more importantly I have dropped so much emotional baggage i’ve been carrying round and can categorically state that my life, confidence and sex life have improved more than I could of imagined.
I’m not hear to tell you it’s all going to be rainbows and unicorns in fact quite the opposite BUT the reward far outweighs any judgement you may endure.
What i’ve learnt is shame is actually fear of loss, we fear losing those people that are close to us all the while are more than comfortable with losing ourselves, now that is lifes biggest paradox.
If your religion has you carrying so much shame is it a religion that serves you?
If your job, social circles or community shun you for embracing your sexuality then are the cons outweighing the pros?
If your family judge you for removing the mask and showing up as your true self then do you want to allow them to control anymore of your life?
If your mariage/relationship isn’t open to growth and freedom to become the best version of yourself then is it the right one for you?
There are many different options available but my advice to you is DO NOT allow your true self to hide in the shadows any longer.
If you want to gain more insights in to how you can start embracing your sexuality more, I highly recommend one of my favourite podcasts which is True sex and wild love created by Whitney Miller and Wednesday Martin who are doing amazing things regarding sexuality and relationships.
For a long time now i’ve been my usual stubborn self and wanted to do everything without any help. This comes from the fact that I want to prove not only to myself but also everyone else that has ever doubted me that I can and I will do this.
This, i’ve recently realised is my own definition of success (nice car, nice home, a lot of money in the bank) which was something that started off as a way for me to grow in confidence and not be that shy little boy that I was all through my life, until I applied for that apprenticeship in the health and fitness industry at the age of 21.
The last 2 years for me have been particularly tough and have led me to attach certain labels and identities to who I am and i’ve allowed these to take control and be the main driver for a lot of the choices, decisions and actions I have been taking that not only no longer serve me but are now beginning to scare me…
My biggest fear is now that because of a choice or action I take I will ruin a friendship, my reputation, that has taken me a long time to build (I mean the people’s opinions that actually know the real me, not the people that THINK they know me) and the respect others have for me.
After a certain weekend a while ago when I could of potentially seriously fucked up and hearing the words of someone say to me just before I was going to go in to the toilet of a pub, to be face down, with a £10 note up my nose ‘I’m just worried because I want the best for you’ I knew that something drastically had to change, and as much as I could justify what I was doing to make it sound that in some weird way that I deserved to be doing this, I finally held my hands up and admitted that I could no longer do it on my own, I needed help.
I believe that every single one of us needs help to get out of our own way and become the best version of our self, but there seems to be some weird stigma surrounding this notion that if you ask for help you are ‘broken’
I like to think of us in a way that doesn’t promote this mentality of being broken, and rationalising by admitting that none of us are ever broken because none of us are ever whole.
My theory is that when something is whole it’s complete and when something is complete it can’t be added to but if we cannot be added to then why the fuck are we bothering to better ourselves in the first place because we have reached our full potential already and where you currently are is where you will always remain,
December 2017 before my 30th birthday I was in a holiday inn just outside Manchester with only big ted, my pen and my journal to keep me company the night after i’d attended a mindset and business seminar, for the previous 4 months leading up to this night I had been telling myself and my journal just how broken I was,
I made a promise to myself that night that tomorrow will be day 1 in search of Dan under all the labels, identities and versions of myself that i’ve been to please others around me.
it’s been the most transformational year of my life and I am so glad I went through it because if I hadn’t then I would not have the level of self awareness and confidence in who I am that I do now, in short (yes like me!) I am now able to start dropping the identity of Dan the struggling homeless PT step into the new identity I have been creating for myself for just over a year.
After having a couple of conversations with this amazing life coach whose seminar I went to back in December I realised just how kind, caring and genuine she was but I was still playing ‘stubborn Dan’ and chose to continue to go at it alone.
over 12 months of trying to do it alone, almost ruining friendships and hearing a few very close friends and family members say to me ‘this isn’t you’ COINCIDENTALLY Shari the amazing life coach i’ve been speaking about was speaking on a facebook live about her new 12 week maverick life program and right at that very moment I knew this was exactly what I was meant to see at the top of my Facebook newsfeed!
Yesterday was the end of week 1 and i’ve already uncovered a lot of things about who the ‘old Dan’ is that is trying so hard to hold on so the new Dan can’t come out.
I have also learned a lot about why it has taken me so long to shed the struggling, broken, homeless PT Dan and who the real Dan is that has been pushed so far down that he’s become lost.
I’m fucking excited to see where these next 11 weeks take me and who I will become without fear of judgement or needing to be someone for others and just stepping into the Dan that I want to be. for me.
I wanted to explore a concept that baffles me time and time again every single time i’m faced with it,
I like to call this the people pleaser syndrome.
None of us like to hurt people intentionally and will even at times ignore our own wants and needs through fear of someone being displeased by a decision that doesn’t suit them unless of course you have zero empathy, fall into the category of a psychopath and your aspirations are to be just like the man, the legend Adolf Hitler <<< sarcasm level 101%.
Now let me put this into some real life context for you before my mind wanders down that rabbit hole of sociopaths, psychopaths and Satan worshippers.
Lets say you have recently made the decision to stop doing cocaine because you realise that some of the worst decisions you have made are a result of being face down in that white powder with a £10 note up your nose.
Now you know that your decision making is completely in your control when you are sober, but add some tequila, Strongbow dark fruits or Prosecco (if you are a proud owner of a vagina or are gender fluid) into your bloodstream and this becomes a whole new conversation if you’re fortunate enough to not of bypassed the should I shouldn’t I stage.
Your friends birthday is a few days away and you know this means going out and getting drunk and disorderly and you will without a doubt become victim to some shocking decisions after being face down in that substance that makes you believe you are untouchable.
Now they come out for your birthday a couple of months ago and you tell yourself it’s only right I should go out for theirs even though you know the things you are going to be getting up to are the opposite of what you promised yourself you were going to do.
This is where this people pleaser syndrome comes into play…
Do I break the promise I made to myself and do the things I no longer want to do,
Do I speak to my friend and just mention that i’m not going to be coming out drinking but we can go for a bite to eat and i’ll pay when you’re next free,
It takes a very strong person to not follow the crowd and most of us will choose to go out and justify it by telling ourselves, it’s only once and it is their birthday, i’m not hurting anyone,
In actual fact making promises to yourself and then breaking them every time a difficult decision that will potentially upset someone comes along is hurting YOU and if you are so easily willing to hurt yourself then why do you get so upset when someone else hurts you?
I think this people pleaser syndrome comes about because we are all looking for instant gratification and can’t handle when we feel bad ourselves by delaying instant gratification for long term gain.
You can’t go out for dinner and choose a lower calorie option when everyone else is eating burgers and pizza because you don’t want to feel left out, but you’re more than happy to over indulge knowing that this is going to be far worse for you in the long term.
You can’t have a year without a holiday and invest that money into that course you want to do even though you know that a week abroad isn’t going to help you start a new career but yet you will still go away and get back to the same shitty job with that arsehole boss you always moan about.
You can’t be single for a while even though you know that jumping from relationship to relationship is only bringing you more unhappiness in the long term because you’re just getting with anyone that shows you a bit of attention because you feel lonely on your own.
You are not willing to feel bad yourself in the short term which is exactly why you are so scared of upsetting others based on a promise you have made to yourself that is all about improving your life and requires the delaying of instant gratification.
2019 for me is going to be about doing more things that I want to do that will bring me more fulfilment and a much more meaningful life rather than worrying about upsetting others.
Think about the decisions you are faced with every day and decide if you are making them based on what you actually want to do or if you are just choosing the easier instant gratification decision so you don’t upset someone.