I’m sure you can probably relate to that gripping fear of opening up to someone new for the first time.
Maybe it’s a new friend or a new romantic relationship.
Maybe you’re opening up to your family or someone from work.
That fear of uncertainty can be totally overwhelming.
After all, you don’t know what they’re go to say or how they’re going to react.
Maybe they’ll be supportive or maybe they’ll tell you that they just don’t care.
They might even reject you outright.
And that is a scary thought for anyone!
So, today I want to talk about how to open up to other people about your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
After all, this is one of the most important things that you can be doing to raise your self esteem and boost your confidence.
Just being open and honest with yourself and others about what you think and feel and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and authentic will build your self-esteem over time.
Confidence is built on a foundation of self-esteem and self-esteem is built through self-acceptance.
And what can be more self-accepting than truly communicating your true thoughts and feelings?
How I First Started To Open Up To People
My first experience with learning how to open up to people was during therapy.
And during that time I was learning how to get in touch with my thoughts and feelings for the first time ever.
Eventually it came to a point where I realised that I was never going to get to the next level of confidence and self-improvement until I started to be honest with others about the way that I felt.
I had to start expressing myself more truly or I would stay exactly the way that I was.
You see, I had lived most of my life hiding the way that I truly felt about almost everything.
I was terrified of being rejected or rebuked in any kind of way. So, I just kept my feelings to myself for fear of getting hurt or hurting someone else’s feelings.
So, it was time that I finally expressed who I really was and what was going on in my life.
And I decided that the first people I needed to open up to were my parents.
Opening Up To My Parents
So my therapist and I worked on how I was going to do just that.
It would be a few weeks until I worked up the courage to speak to my parents.
Mainly because we didn’t have that kind of conversational relationship at the time.
But, eventually I sat down with my parents and had a long conversation about where I was emotionally.
And I’ll be honest, I was terrified.
But, I was able to tell them about my struggles with depression, anxiety, self-harm and so much more.
And, to my surprise, it actually went really well!
They listened, were supportive, asked great questions and we all just gave ourselves the space to talk about how we really felt.
And from there, I was able to start opening up to more people about who I really was.
I was able to be more open with my siblings, friends, work colleagues and pretty much everyone else in my life.
And all of that came from that first terrifying experience of opening up to my parents.
So, how did I actually do it?
How did I get myself to that point?
How did I learned to be more open with the people in my life?
Open Up To Yourself First
Before you can be honest with other people, you must first be honest with yourself.
You have to be genuinely honest about:
- The thoughts you’re having
- The feelings you’re experiencing
- What’s going on in your life
- What you want from life
- Where you want to go next
- And much more…
Making sure that you’re being as honest with yourself as possible is absolutely key to this process.
You can spend some time in personal reflection or start meditating or journaling. Whatever is most comfortable to you.
Don’t filter or censor yourself.
Because if you can’t be honest with yourself, then you won’t be able to be honest with others.
Do It For The Right Reasons
There are a thousand one reasons why you might want to open up to others.
But the best reason is simply self-love.
You see, when you love yourself unconditionally, then you let yourself live in a state of self-acceptance.
When you love yourself, you’re not afraid of what others think about you or what you think about yourself.
By opening up to others with self-love you are telling yourself that you are a person of worth.
You deserve love and belonging and that is what will raise your self-esteem over time.
And as you now already know, self-esteem is the foundation of self-confidence.
Opening Up To People Requires Vulnerability
Unfortunately, opening up to other people is scary.
You never know what their reaction is going to be.
It could be positive, it could be negative or maybe they might not care at all.
Before that first time that I truly opened up, I had lived my life as a closed book.
And it was very scary for me to put myself in a situation of vulnerability where I didn't know what the outcome was going to be.
I didn't know if there was going to be a hugely negative reaction or a backlash or if it would be a hugely positive reaction.
So, I had to learn to accept and embrace that vulnerability.
I had to remind myself that I was going to come out of that situation stronger, regardless of the outcome.
And I did come out of that situation and as a stronger person.
So you need to remind yourself that some vulnerability now will build strength and character for later.
If you can embrace it, you'll be able to move forward much faster than you have been able to do before.
– Start With Someone You Trust
Another way to reduce some of the vulnerability is to pick someone that you trust for the first time that you do this.
This is exactly what I did and it made the first time so much easier!
For me, I knew that I could trust my parents and that they wouldn’t go around telling everyone my personal business.
I also knew that my parents loved me unconditionally.
So by picking someone you already trust, it will help you to eliminate some of the fear surrounding opening yourself up emotionally for the first time.
Start Opening Up With Small Things First
Now, I went all in on my first attempt at opening up to my parents.
And this isn’t necessarily what I would recommend everyone do.
Instead, what I would recommend is to start small.
So, rather than throwing yourself into the deep end of the pool, you can start by sharing small parts of your life.
Even though it can feel great to just let your thoughts and feelings flow, you do have to take into account that the other person might not be ready for that.
And if you do just flood them with your deepest secrets, emotions, thoughts and more, you won’t be serving yourself in the best way possible.
And it might seem like this goes against the previous point about embracing vulnerability but by starting small with whoever it is you’re trying to open up to, you will be building a more lasting relationship for both of you over time.
So that's why I recommend starting small and not flooding another person with all of your emotions and thoughts and feelings immediately.
– Prepare For Bad Reactions
Now, there are going to be cases where there are going to be bad reactions.
In fact, I've had situations where I've opened up to other people and they have genuinely told me that they didn’t care.
And, in all honesty, it disappointed me and it even made me a little bit angry.
But it was also a lesson that I was able to learn from.
I learned that this wasn’t a person that I should be sharing my life with in this way.
And I was able to take that experience and apply it to future relationships too.
So just expect that there are going to be bad reactions.
But through making yourself vulnerable and working through these situations authentically, you are building strength of character and that is going to be hugely important to the development of your confidence over the course of your life.
Expand Your Comfort Zone Over Time
So, you already know that you should start small.
But what comes next after that?
Well, you just keep going.
Maybe you open up even more to the same person or perhaps you choose a new person to share with.
For me, I started off with my therapist and then I opened up to my parents.
After that, I was able to open up to of my friends and then to some of my siblings.
I simply just continued expanding that comfort zone and opening myself up emotionally over a period of time and that's what really worked for me over the years.
And I know that this will work for you too.
It is hugely rewarding to share what is going on with your life, especially with people that you can trust and who care about you.
And I know that this will be hugely beneficial for your self-esteem as you start to practice this.
So, start today by being honest with yourself and then you can start the real work of learning how to open up to people in your life.
If you’re ready to:
- Take your life and confidence to the next level
- Achieve your goals faster than you ever thought was possible
- Finally overcome self-doubt and become the person you’ve always known you could become
Then Confidence Coaching is the way to do it!
So, if you’re ready to work together to crush your obstacles, 10x your confidence and live a life that you love, make sure you check out the Work With Me page and arrange a FREE Discovery Call today!
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