3. Then ask, “If I had felt completely safe (if I had not been controlled by my fear), what would I have said?” Now, say these words inside your own mind right now—just as if you were saying them to the other person. This gives you practice taking emotional risks.
4. Now, notice how you feel saying these words. Whatever you feel, you are now getting in the habit of noticing or witnessing your feelings (vs being consumed by your feelings). This practice brings you into the present moment, so you're less worried about possible outcomes. Communication that comes from such presence is always more alive than communication that comes from trying to get a certain outcome. And you are getting practice noticing your feelings as you speak. This,too, is good practice for “being present.”
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5. And finally, ask yourself if you’d like to try revealing to this other person whatever it was that you did not feel safe to reveal before. If your answer is Yes, then during your next communication with this person, go ahead and say the words you said to yourself in item #3 above.
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These five steps will get you started. They also help you put more of your attention and self-valuing on being aware in the moment vs getting a predictable outcome. “The outcome” is something you cannot control. So if you tend to base your self-esteem on whether someone approves of you, which is not in your control, your self-esteem is on shaky ground. It might be a good idea to make the shift to valuing and appreciating yourself more when you show up real. That’s something you can control. And the fact is, when you’re less concerned with rejection, you’re more attractive to others. That’s the paradox of dating: the less you worry about being loved, the more loveable you become.