“The same goes for most over-learned, automatic, processes. And attachment styles (click link for descriptions), as personality dispositions, can be viewed as over-learned automatic processes. We get accustomed to working with ourselves, the social world, and work in a certain way. Then the situation changes, and we are all of a sudden called upon to see and respond to the world differently. Look at it this way: attachment styles, including insecure ones, develop to help you cope with a specific family/parental environment in childhood. They don’t become problematic until you take that style out of the family and start applying it universally (across contexts) with friends, romantic partners, and people at work. Now, you may experience social friction or relationship problems, or get derailed from achieving your professional goals.
Your attachment style developed in the context of your specific family environment in childhood. So, it should be expected to work well in similar contexts but not so well when the context is substantially different.”
If your subconscious identity is “I’m insecure” or “I’m jealous” — trying to change your behaviours in relationships won’t work. You will fall back into your old patterns eventually.
I know, because this happened to me for years.
I used to try my best not to pick up the phone and send an endless stream of texts to whoever I was dating at the time — I didn’t want to seem clingy or desperate.
But, like a fly that wouldn’t buzz off, my subconscious identity lingered in the background: “I’m desperate and clingy!”
So no matter how hard I tried to refrain from clinging onto others or ‘testing’ their love for me, it didn’t work. I continued reverting to being this clingy and desperate person because my identity and behaviours didn’t match up.
Subconscious transformation coach Jim Fortin rightly said,
“We can never outperform our self-image and unconscious identity.”
This is why I had to transform my subconscious beliefs and insecure attachment habits if I wanted to become secure.
Nearly everything we think, feel and do are all autopilot habits created by the brain. This is neither good nor bad, it’s just what the brain does.
Your brain has learned how to think, feel and act in a way that aligns with insecure attachment. Your thoughts create your feelings, and your emotions drive your actions.
The thoughts you continuously have become your beliefs and internal narrative. So, to shift your identity, you must begin changing your thoughts.
“I’ve tried doing that, and it doesn’t work!” I hear you shout out.
You can’t just try it for a week or two and think your life will change in a hot minute. You’ve accumulated layers of habits and beliefs over the years.
You need to keep at it, and it must be done repetitively and consistently, this is how the brain learns — it’s how you got to where you are now.”
“Can you see yourself in any of these descriptions? Or maybe you find that you hold bits and pieces of more than one. We all tend to have one primary way of connecting, however, we can also have pieces of more than one attachment style. You may also exhibit different ways of attaching depending on the partner that you are with. Although we all should strive to be securely attached, if you are not, that doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. Attachment triggers can be shifted when there is an awareness of when it shows up, and how to not go back into your default patterns of protecting yourself. Creating a safe relationship where there is an opportunity for vulnerability is key. Of equal importance is showing respect for space and the connection that you and your partner need. When you both are aware of your attachment needs and are willing to respond in a new (yet uncomfortable) way, you can make different moves that attune to each other’s needs in a way that fosters a secure bond. You calm the inner child that gets activated, respond from your adult self, and help each other heal.”
Tools to change:
- Know your attachment style
- Know your partner’s attachment style
- Practice self-soothing techniques such as deep breathing and meditation, so that you can better respond in times of stress.
- Communicate what you need in times of conflict/stress
- Couples or individual therapy can help you understand the best way to communicate your needs without triggering your partner, and address childhood wounds that created the attachment style.”