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May 31, 2015

Interview With Sandra Possing

1. A number of my subscribers tend to be in the worry zone- they are worried that they are single, they are worried if they would ever find love, they are worried if the man they like will call them, they are worried if their relationship will last etc. What advice do you have for women who seem to be in a constant state of anxiety and worry?

Admit that worrying is a waste of time.

If you find yourself constantly worried about things related to your love life, or lack there of, stop and ask yourself if it’s helpful. Have you ever experienced any positive outcomes as a result of constant worrying?! My guess is that you have not. It’s a huge waste of time. Once you are able to admit that it’s not helpful, you can start to change your behavior.

Let go of the future. Stay in the present.

Worrying is just thinking about things in the future that may or may not happen. It’s coming from a place of fear. This is totally normal. Our saboteurs (our limiting beliefs) want to protect us from danger, so they tell us to figure out what might happen so that we can avoid pain. The truth is that we have no idea what is going to happen in the future, nor can we control it, so, obsessing about it is not a great use of your time and energy. Instead, come back to the present. That is where life happens!

What if you’re walking down the street one day, literally bump into your soul mate, but are so busy stressing out about the fact that you’re single, that you don’t notice the way he smiles at you? You’ve just missed an opportunity you could have embraced if you were here in the present.

Love and accept yourself.

Stop looking for validation of your self-worth outside of yourself. Look within yourself instead. Learn to love and accept yourself just the way you are. That is where confidence is born! When you aren’t attached to whether or not someone likes you, is going to call you, or is going to stay with you, you can start to find and connect with your authentic self.

From this centered, self-aware place, you will see things more clearly. You can start to feel peace, joy, and freedom. It has nothing to do with being arrogant or thinking that you’re better than anyone else. In fact, it has nothing to do with anyone else! You’ll realize that not only does it feel amazing to love and accept yourself, but that it’s the kind of energy that other people want to be around (as opposed to that desperate, frenetic energy we emit when we’re constantly worrying about what people think and if they like us.) Learning to love and accept ourselves is one of the most profound gifts we can give to ourselves and to those who care about us.

2. Body image issues also seem to affect women especially as they age. They feel inadequate and undesirable especially as they compare themselves with other women. And to make matters worse some become so skeptical that they feel that men only desire young, beautiful looking women. Can you share some practical strategies to overcome these negative beliefs?

Acknowledge that comparing yourself to others is not actually useful.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparing your whole self to someone else’s highlight reel doesn’t actually make any sense if you think about it. Every single one of us is completely and utterly unique. No one human’s journey is like another’s. Comparison usually involves some kind of judgment. Either we judge ourselves as worse than whomever we’re comparing ourselves to, or perhaps we judge them because we’re jealous and need to put them down in order to feel better about ourselves. However you slice it, this kind of fear-based, judgmental thinking is not helpful to anyone. Decide to start letting go of this habit.

Replace jealousy with inspiration

In the process of training away the comparison habit, when you notice yourself doing it, try this instead. Rather than feeling jealous, see if you can feel inspired instead. Fake it if you have to. Work backwards and you might find you’ve acted your way into believing it. Use whatever characteristic you’re admiring in the other person to add fuel to your own fire. For example, if you start beating yourself up when you notice someone who looks stronger and leaner than you, stop right there and just say “good for her”. Then take a deep breath and recommit to your own workouts.

Stop assuming you know what men want.

We get so brainwashed by the media and whatever our culture’s current and fleeting ideals of beauty look like that we forget that beauty, at the end of the day, is still in the eye of the beholder. Just because a particular body type of look is popular in fashion or on TV doesn’t mean that there aren’t tons of people who actually appreciate quite the opposite of that. Sure, it’s easy to convince yourself that men only want a certain type of women, but in reality you actually have no idea what any particular man likes or wants. Most of the men I’ve talked to actually just want to be with someone who loves their own body and isn’t so concerned with what men think about it. What many of them find sexy isn’t a particular shape or size, but rather that inner confidence they exhibit. It’s that they’re owning it.

Learn to love and accept your own body

I know it’s hard to grasp if you’ve never loved your body. Or if you haven’t been able to for a long time. Try this. Visualize how you would view and treat a child or an animal that you love unconditionally. Feel that emotion as intensely as you can, not just in your body but with your whole being. Now, take that sensation and direct the energy toward yourself or, better yet, imagine yourself as young and innocent. Picture yourself holding this inner child in your arms and showering them with love, peace, joy, and that same protectiveness you would feel if your own child or an innocent animal was in danger. Love them fiercely.

Now, extend that love onto your body. This is the only body you get in this life time. Why waste your precious time criticizing and hating it? How is that helpful to anyone? Instead, see it for exactly how it is. Every imperfection. Every wrinkle. Love and accept those imperfections with your whole being. Honor the sacred gift that is your incredible human body – isn’t the human body magnificent when you think about it! – with self-care. Take care of it the way you would care for a cherished grandparent or that innocent child. Be attentive, listen to what it need, and meet it at whatever stage it’s in. This doesn’t mean we can’t work on improving, changing or decorating our bodies, of course. It just means that we start from a place of love and acceptance and build from there.

3. Some of our subscribers experience extreme anxiety and fear when they go out on a date. This is especially true when women are coming out of a messy divorce or a toxic relationship. Some women even tell us that dating is a dreaded chore. How can women stop putting themselves under so much pressure and start enjoying dating other men?

Change your perspective

The human mind is incredibly powerful. We believe what we believe to be the truth until we convince our minds to see it a different way. If you’re stuck seeing dating as a chore, as something terrifying, as something threatening, or whatever your mindset may be, be willing to let that go. Imagine changing the lens on one of those stage lights they use in the theatre. Let’s say you’ve been looking at dating through a blue colored lens. That tint is making it all seem hard and scary. What happens when you change the lens to yellow or pink? What if it was fun and easy? What if it was just an experiment or silly game, rather than something so serious?

We make all sorts of assumptions based on our past experiences. For example, if you’re coming out of a toxic relationship with an abusive ex-husband, maybe you assume that all men are aggressive or abusive in some way. Or that you aren’t capable of being with someone healthy who treats you well. Those are simply the beliefs in your mind right now. What if you went on a date and tried on the idea that your date is just a fascinating human being on his own journey and you’re simply curious about what his story might be?

The more you can let go of your assumptions, judgments, and fears and just show up with an open heart, a curious mind, and as your authentic self, the more you’ll realize that there isn’t nearly as much to worry about as you think there is.

Do those work? Let me know if you need anything edited etc.

4. One of the famous lines from the movie Jerry Maguire is “You complete me.” As incredibly romantic as it sounds, it resonated with how so many people enter into a relationship- expecting the partner to make them happy. We find a number of our subscribers embracing this flawed line of thinking where they seem to be too dependent on their partners to make them happy. You want to be in a relationship to be happier and not to be happy and if you are expecting a man to make you happy, you are setting yourself up for eventual failure and heartbreak. Can you share your advice on how women can ensure that in the course of a relationship, they don’t lose themselves and burden their partners to make them happy?

Know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want

Self-awareness is key. When you know yourself (your likes, dislikes, passions, strengths, and weaknesses), know what you stand for (your values and purpose), and what you want (goals, visions, and dreams) you’ll be better equipped to navigate the inevitable complexities of being in a relationship. You’ll get better at communicating and make decisions based on what’s important to you, rather than always deferring to what your partner wants, falling into people pleasing tendencies, or the like.

Take responsibility for yourself

In a relationship, of course it’s important to take the other person’s opinions, needs, desires, etc. into consideration, communicate with each other, and work together to find win-win solutions. Just don’t forget that you are still responsible for yourself, your thoughts, your actions, and your impact. Know yourself and what’s important to you, own it, stand up for yourself, and be in charge of your own experience!

5. Sometimes our subscribers are so scared of losing their man or they refuse to accept the reality that the relationship is over and in the process, they numb their feelings or resort to desperate tactics. They resort to excessive texting and calling, dating other men just to make their man jealous, having sex with him hoping that would save their relationship etc. I guess the root cause of all these behaviors is to avoid pain- I don’t want to feel the pain of being betrayed, I don’t want to feel the pain of being dumped etc. How can women bravely face their fears instead of working towards avoiding them?

The only way to get through the pain is to GO THROUGH the pain.

As long as you are resisting the pain, it will persist. And the longer you avoid it, the worse it will grow. Better to feel your feelings now, so you can move through them, than fear them, and consequently allow them to fester. Know that pain is inevitable in life, but suffering is optional. Tear the damn band-aid off and find the courage be with your pain now! It will not only save you more heartache later, but it will make you stronger in the process.

6. A number of our subscribers also suffer from being in relationships with years of resentment and hidden anger. This comes from lack of communication, lack of understanding, one partner compromising and sacrificing more than the other etc. What are some ways for women to effectively deal with resentment before it destroys their relationship?

Be honest, yet compassionate

Communicate without attacking. Don’t point fingers, as that will usually make the other person get defensive. Instead, be honest about what’s bothering you, but express it in a way that is loving, respectful, and compassionate. Speak in “I” language, meaning talk about how you are feeling, rather than blaming them, e.g. “I feel hurt when you ____.” Be vulnerable and open. And invite your partner to do the same. Then listen with curiosity instead of judgment.

7. One reason why women tend to be stressed out is because they tend to place everyone else above themselves including their friends and family. When they spend money or time on themselves, they usually feel guilty. How can women overcome this habit and stop beating themselves when they engage in self care?

Realize that self-care is not selfish at all.

When you think about it, taking amazing care of yourself is actually the best gift you can give to your family and friends. Do you think the people who care about you would rather have you show up to take care of them feeling depleted, drained, and resentful OR fulfilled, energized, and grounded. When you prioritize self-care you have SO much more to give. Put your oxygen mask on first!

8. Another difficulty our subscribers face is trying to cultivate habits that stick for the long term. One of our subscribers recently commented on how she feels good and positive when she listens to a motivating speech or when she reads a self help book but it doesn’t take long for her to get bombarded with negative thoughts. The daily grind and routine of life seems to quickly negate any positive progress she makes. In her words, when I take one step forward, within no time I am pushed three steps back.

Can you share any practical strategies that can help women to not just feel good in the moment but work towards a positive change that lasts?

Take action

Self-help books and motivating speeches are great sources of inspiration. There are endless resources out there for information and inspiration. If you want to create positive change that lasts, however, don’t forget to take action. Switch your focus from consumption (of information and inspiration) to creation. Don’t just read and learn. DO. Instead of telling yourself over and over that you are going to change 10 things, pick just one of them and take some action toward that goal. Break things down into tiny baby steps if you need to and just do the next one on the list. Action is SO powerful. Taking action creates energy and momentum.

Accountability

When left to our own devices, many of us will procrastinate or give up on our commitments. Finding a friend, partner, mentor, or coach to hold you accountable to your commitments can be a game changer. Honor your commitment by enrolling someone else to help you stick with it.

9. What are your top 3 relationship tips that you would offer women who are single and looking for a long term committed relationship?

1. Practice radical self-love, radical self-acceptance, and radical self-care

Cherish yourself the way you want your future partner to cherish you. Be the kind of partner to yourself that you want to be to them one day. Build a solid foundation, upon which a relationship can stand. When you are solid as you are, you won’t need that partner, but rather just desire that partner, which will be an incredible gift to them.

2. Shift your energy around finding a relationship

When you are out and about, notice what your internal dialogue is. See if you can shift any desperate or needy energy you’re feeling (and most likely emitting) to something more like openness and curiosity. Invite and attract that future partner, rather than hunting them down, like they are your prey.

3. Let go of superficial parameters and know what’s really important to you

Forget what you think “your type” is as far as anything external is concerned. When we are attached to superficial things like physical appearance, job title, or net worth we are severely limiting our options. Instead, get clear on what the essence of the person is. Maybe it’s important to you that they are kind, have a sense of humor, and are a free spirit. Or that they value vulnerability, communication, and respect. Get curious about what kind of energy would work well with yours.

10. What books or resources would you recommend for women that are looking to attract the right man and create long lasting fulfilling relationships?

These books are great resources for how to navigate any kind of relationship. To create long lasting fulfilling relationships, we must start by creating that relationship within ourselves.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

About Sandra Possing

Sandra Possing

I was born in Sweden, grew up in LA, and now live in San Francisco, but prefer to think of myself as a mobile world citizen.

I am a speaker and coach focused on cultivating leadership in individuals and organizations. My ideal clients are change makers. My calling is to set them free to go and do the important work they have to do in the world. Keep up with my shenanigans on my Facebook page.

When I’m not working (which, arguably, feels more like playing) I’m passionately designing my lifestyle to include other things that make me feel alive. Things like traveling, dancing, speaking foreign languages, reading, adventure, water, laughter, personal growth and lots of fresh air.

To know more, visit my website www.sandrapossing.com.




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