This is the 4th episode in the Know, Love, Grow series.
Self-confrontation is the willingness to take an honest look at the parts of us we really don’t want to see- the parts of us we choose to keep hidden from ourselves and others because they are too painful to see.
Self-confrontation is a way we can grow ourselves up emotionally. It’s not an easy thing to do, but if you are willing to look at yourself honestly and open yourself up to the things you don’t really want to know about yourself, you have the potential for exponential growth.
We will each have discomfort in our lives. We can accept unproductive growth of not embracing self-confrontation, or we can choose to move into productive grown with self-confrontation. You get to choose with discomfort you allow in your life.
I have a free pdf for you – 30 journaling questions to help you begin to know yourself better. Click below to download
I want to give you a high five for clicking on this episode. Because it doesn’t sound like something that’s going to be fun to listen to. Right? Self confrontation sounds terrible, in a way it is. But I just want to warn you, this is not for everyone. This is another way that we get to know ourselves. This is another important way that we build a strong foundation of the person that we want to become, we can’t really come to know ourselves without doing self confrontation. But it’s totally your choice, whether you decide to do it or not always a choice for you. I’m just letting you know that it’s out there. And it’s a super powerful tool.
So what is self confrontation? This is the willingness to look at yourself, honestly, specifically at the things that you don’t want to see. And you open yourself up to them. It’s like opening up a book that’s been sealed, that you were afraid to open up, you always knew it was there, you tried to pretend it wasn’t there. But it now you’re going to take it off the shelf and you’re going to open it up and you’re going to see what’s inside.
This is often something that I do with my clients and coaching. Because I clients most of the time are coming to me to help them with a problem that they are stuck in. They’ve been trying to solve this problem in many different ways. They’re creating the same patterns in their life that they don’t like. They’re not sure how to break those patterns. This is something that we use to start breaking those patterns, we start opening that book and turning the pages and see what’s in there that they’ve not been wanting to see. I think so often we want to see the problems in our lives, and we want there to be a smoking gun, right?
We want to be able to say to ourself, I know that there’s this one thing, if I just knew that, then everything will be better. And I could be happy. If I just had this in my life, this, this one thing that I just don’t seem to be able to get. If I just had that, then everything would be great. And then I could be happy. What we don’t want is that one thing to be us, we don’t want to be the one that is keeping ourselves stuck, we want it to be something else. Something if you just tell me what to do. If you just tell me what that thing is, or how to solve this problem, then I can fix it and it will be it everything will be great. But when that one thing is us, that’s a really hard thing to look at. We want it to be someone else, we don’t want to be the people that are creating the very thing that we’re so unhappy in. And we think that it would be so much easier if it were something or someone else.
Well, I have good news for you. And I have bad news for you. So that’s how this always goes. When it’s you that are creating the problems. That is good news. Because you have the ability to affect you, you have the ability to control yourself, you don’t have the ability to control other things and other people. So if the problem is other things in other people that leaves it out of your control. When it’s you, you’ll get more control over the situation. That is the best news ever. And when it’s you, you have to take an honest look at yourself. And that can be hard, really, really hard. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing that you will ever do. And that’s the bad news.
But I don’t really think that it’s bad news. It just feels like bad news at first. And it feels bad when you’re going through it because it feels like you’re doing everything wrong, or going against our very core ego. And I’m going to talk about that in a bit. But just know if you feel really bad. You’re doing some self confrontation. You’re feeling bad, you’re doing it right. That’s kind of a hard thing to get into our minds, but that’s the truth. So self confrontation really is the willingness to look honestly at ourselves, specifically at the things that we don’t want to see, and open ourselves up to them.
Taking a look at what is true about you, is hard. And it requires strength. It really makes you put yourself in a vulnerable position. Nobody wants to be vulnerable. That’s another one of those words that we say we just don’t want to even hear. We don’t want to go towards it sounds terrible to be vulnerable. It sounds terrible to do self confrontation. It just sounds like the worst thing ever. Why would I ever want to do that?
Vulnerability is often thought of to be a weak person, if someone is vulnerable, we say, the most vulnerable in society, it’s those people, you know, children, those who are ill, or who are not physically capable of taking care of them themselves. That’s where we usually put this label of vulnerable. But what if you put yourself in a vulnerable position of opening yourself up to things that you’ve been hiding inside yourself, because they were hard to look at. That requires a lot of courage, and strength. It requires courage and strength to go there with yourself to shine a light on what you’ve been hiding, or pretending not to know about yourself, to shine a light on the way that you have been creating the very problems that you’re hating in your life, the ones that you want to get rid of.
This is a hard thing to do. real courage is really having the strength to stand up and tell yourself the truth. This can be an act of bravery. This is truly an act of bravery, standing up and owning what is true about you, even when it’s hard to do that, that takes courage. And that puts you in a vulnerable position. You’re not really going to know yourself, at a core level until you have done some self confrontation. If you’re not willing to go there, you will limit your own growth.
If you’re only willing to look at the things that you like about yourself, you’re not actually seeing the own the whole picture. It’s really like looking at a picture of yourself with half of it covered up, you don’t really know the whole you without looking at those parts of you that you don’t like the parts of you yourself that have been hiding that you’ve not acknowledged up until this point. And being honest with yourself is the core, it is at the very core of a healthy self esteem. Self esteem does not mean you only focus on your strengths. And you just tell yourself that you’re a great person. That is not what healthy self esteem is. It is seeing the good and the bad in you. When you can do both of those things.
When you can acknowledge your strengths, and your weaknesses. That creates a healthy whole person. Self confrontation will create will create a deeper relationship with yourself, it will give you the ability to create deeper, more intimate relationships with others, specifically your family. Now, this is going to be hard, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s going to be easy. It challenges your ego. And your ego. Really, it’s that part of your brain that wants to protect your favorite view of yourself. It has a story in your mind, you have a story in your ego about who you are, and about what your life is supposed to look like and the things that are supposed to happen to you, and the way people are supposed to treat you and the way other people in your life are supposed to perform.
We all have these stories, our ego creates these stories. That’s its job. When we start to challenge that view of ourselves, it can really feel very disconcerting, like our foundation is really crumbling beneath our feet. It challenges that sense of who you are, of who you think you are. Sometimes we get thrown into a new story, not out of our choosing. We get thrown into a new story by situations that happen to us in our lives.
And we get forced into this point of having to create a new story and really look at ourselves. That’s not always the case. Sometimes we if we want to grow, we have to choose to go there. And even if you’re choosing to go there, you’re not being thrown in it out of your against your will. Your brain is going to choose the old story. Your brain is going to want to go back to the story and say that is the life that I want. I don’t want this new one, I want the old one, even if it was a story that you didn’t like, because your brain is always going to choose the pain of the known, versus the pain of the unknown.
Because we don’t know what’s over there, we already know how to experience this pain over here that we’re in that we’ve been in for a long time. We’ve been here for a long time, and it feels comfortable to be in this pain, we know how to deal with that pain. We don’t like it. But we still know what it is. When we move into a different story, we move into opening things up about ourselves, that might be hard to see, we are opening ourselves up to pain that we might not be able to handle. That’s what our brains think I can’t I’m not sure if I can handle that pain over there. So I’m just going to keep that door shut, not going to open up that book.
But when you bring out things that you’ve hidden from yourself about yourself, it can be very hard to take a look at those things, it can bring up a lot of shame. And shame really tells us there’s something wrong with me. That’s in it in its core. That’s what shame tells us.
And I want you to tune in the first week of February, for the first episode in the Love Series. And I just recorded that with Amy Gianni. And we we do a pretty deep dive into shame. And there will be a lot more about shame in that episode about what it says to us how we react to it, what we can do to get out of it. So I’m going to send you there in the future, right? Because it’s not February yet. We’re gonna send you there to the future, this future episode to listen to that episode with Amy Gianni. That will be coming out on February 2.
Now, why do you if this is so awful, doing self computation is so awful, like I’m telling you it is? Why do you want to do it? Well, maybe you don’t, maybe you’re content to stay right where you are right now. Maybe you’re saying this has worked for me for this long. And I don’t think that I need to change anything. So maybe that’s not, maybe you don’t want to do self confrontation. And that’s okay, you get to choose if you do this or not.
But when we choose not to self confront, we are also choosing to not really mature in some vital ways. And we’re choosing to not grow in some pretty vital ways. So you’re going to have discomfort in your life, you we just can’t avoid that we have discomfort, you can have the discomfort of growth, which is a productive discomfort and you can move into self confrontation. Or you can have the discomfort of not growing. That’s an unproductive discomfort, you have the discomfort of staying where you are. Either one is your choice.
No one’s forcing you to do this, I’m just telling you that this option is out there. And we deceive ourselves all the time. self deception is a super, super easy place to go. We are very good at telling ourselves why we do the things that we do. And justifying all the reasons that we do them. But if you’re willing to look at the things that you don’t like about yourself willing to look at the reasons that you do things without justifying them, that is a choice and you’re the one that gets to make that choice, it’s going to be you’re going to have discomfort either way, you get to choose the discomfort that you want. If you do choose to open yourself up to the discomfort of self confrontation, you will gain a greater understanding of who you are. You’re going to open yourself up to the ability to grow emotionally.
Putting yourself in a vulnerable position, like I said before, is a position of strength. That is growing yourself up emotionally. By choosing to move into times of discomfort purposefully in order to support your own growth. Maturing physically is not something that we have a lot of control over it just happens to us. But maturing emotionally is something that we have to cause to happen with our own actions. And a big part of that is self confrontation. It’s uncomfortable, where it’s going to cause anxiety in us but remember, we have anxiety or discomfort either way.
But this is the choice to be uncomfortable through growth. It’s productive discomfort. Another thing that it does is open yourself up to greater intimacy with yourself. Intimacy is the willing to know and be known to know yourself to really no other people to let those hard parts of yourself be known by you and by other people. This brings up a lot of fear in us because there’s things that we eat hide, we all have shame. There’s all things that we, we all have things that we hide from from other people, because we think if someone knew this about me, they wouldn’t like me, it would not be okay. And if you’re afraid if this brings up fear in you, then you’re doing it right. We think that that fear means we need to pull back. No, it actually means we need to go forward.
So how do we do self confrontation? We ask ourselves questions, like:
What am I pretending not to see about myself or my part in this situation right now?
Asking yourself that question can open up a lot of things for you. Because we like to complain, we like to blame other people, for the situations that we find ourselves in. We like to justify our own position. And we like to point fingers at other people are just to complain about something and not take action to make any effort to change it. So we are all pretending to not see things about ourself, and our own part in the situations of our life that we are creating.
Another question is:
What would it be like to be in a relationship with me right now?
Looking at yourself from another person’s point of view can be very powerful to really look at what you’re doing in a relationship and say:
If somebody else was doing this, to me, saying this, to me treating me this way? What would I think about that? How would that be for me?
And to take an honest look at what your part in a relationship is.
In the episode that was dropped a couple of weeks ago, with the four tendencies with Leah Davidson, Lea mentioned a quote about my children’s eyes lighting up when I walk in the room, I looked up that quote, I wanted to see what the full quote was, and it’s from Tony Morrison.
And Tony said, “When a child walks into the room, your child or anybody else’s child, do your eyes light up, that’s what they’re looking for.”
And I would really turn the tables on that. When you walk into a room. Do your child’s eyes light up? Do your spouse’s eyes light up? And if not, who are you being that that is not happening?
Does it have anything to do with you? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But that’s what we want to look for. Who am I being in this relationship, that I’m not lighting up somebody else’s life? Or their eyes can tell that through their eyes, right?
Looking at yourself from another person’s point of view, super powerful.
Another thing we can ask ourself:
What am I saying that I want? But not doing anything? And doing my part to get it? Am I acting like a person who really wants this thing that I say that I want? And doing the things that needs to be that need to be done to get it? If I’m not? If the answer that you get is no. Then ask yourself, why? What are you afraid of? What are you protecting? Are you pretending that someday it’s going to be easier? And someday? You’ll do it when you feel better? And you’re just waiting for that day? Is there a different meat more meaningful reason that you’re not doing it? What are you holding back from? Do you have legitimate fears around doing this thing? Are they valid? Or are you just afraid of failure? Are you afraid of addressing failure in your own life?
These are all great questions that you can ask yourself.
Another thing we can do to self confront is to ask people in our life questions. And I will warn you that this can often be even more difficult than asking yourself questions. Because we all have our own blind spots when it comes to ourselves. Other people often see us better than we see ourselves. And these questions might not be ones that you want to just ask any old person, you might want to just address these to the people in your life who are meaningful, and who you care about your relationship with, who you want to move into a more deep, more loving relationship with.
And before you ask these questions, I want you to ground yourself, get yourself to a place where you feel very strong, and you feel grounded. And a place where you leave defensiveness aside, because your first reaction when you get the answers will be to defend yourself. That’s just a human nature response. So make sure you’re in a very grounded place. Prepare yourself to have some answers that you might might be really hard to take a look at.
You can ask this person:
What do you see in me that I’m not seeing in myself?
And then just listen for the answer. At first, they probably will be very surprised. So you might want to actually preface this with, I’ve been trying to work on myself, I really want to be working and seeing things that I’m not seeing about myself. And I need for you, as an outsider, you’re outside me, I need for you to give me some honest feedback. And I’m willing and open to receiving that right now. What do you see in me that I’m not seeing in myself, you might need to give this person some time to think they might not need to think about it, but they might need to think about it.
So if they ask you for some time, make sure you go back and revisit this question. Is there another question you can ask is? Is there something that you want me to know about myself? That I don’t see right now? And you’re afraid to tell me? That is a really vulnerable question. Again, be grounded. Be strong in your own emotions, and watch your own defensiveness as you receive answers.
Now, the answers that you get from people, they’re going to say things according to how they see you, which also might not always be entirely accurate. The way you see yourself is not entirely accurate. The way other people see you is not always entirely entirely accurate. So you may need to filter through things and weigh the answers that you get and say, Is this something that is true? Is this a truth that I am not seeing in myself? Is this something that I need to take a look at and a truth that I need to take in? Or is this something that I think that they’re, they have a different reason that they’re telling me that it has more to do with them than it does with me? And so I’m going to put that down and not pick it up.
You get to decide, what are you going to take in. What are you going to put down? Because for sure, whoever you ask is also going to have some things they say that have to do more with them than with you.
But be open to whatever your person tells you. And if you want to really move into self confrontation, take a look at those things and ask yourself, Okay, how can I be better? How can I be more honest and open with myself?
When you are willing to look at these parts of you that you want to keep hidden, and you acknowledge them, you say there’s good in me there is a lot of good in me. There’s also some bad in me. And they’re both okay, this makes up a whole person. There’s good and there’s bad in all of us. But as I am willing to look at both the good and the bad things I like and the things that I’d really don’t want to see, but I’m willing to look at them.
I become a stronger person, I become more emotionally mature, I know myself better and deeper, and I can see my own limitations. I see my own weaknesses, and I can work on those. And that’s a good thing. That is a beautiful thing. This is a vital step into knowing yourself a vital step into becoming a person with a strong foundation.
It’s called self confrontation.
Remember, if you are feeling fear, if you’re feeling ungrounded, a little bit like you are standing on shaky ground, you are doing it right, that does not mean anything has gone wrong.
So again, I’m giving you a virtual high five for clicking on this episode. For listening all the way through self confrontation, even opening yourself up to it requires courage and vulnerability. But I know that you have the courage to do this. Challenge yourself to embrace the growth, the productive growth, the uncomfortable ness of growth and moving into self confrontation.
Don’t forget that I have a free download a free PDF for you that you can find a link to in the show notes. It’s 30 journaling questions that you can use to start to know yourself better to know the parts of you that you’ve suppressed, that you have forgotten, and that you had to squash a long time ago in order to fit in to your system that you were in as you grew up as a child. So go to the show notes. Go download that link. And I will see you next time.