Somatic Embodiment Coaching and the Social Nervous System

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Owning Your Voice Starts Here

Somatic Embodiment Coaching can help you figure out why you say yes when you want to say no! A common and frustrating experience amongst women.

Firstly, don’t blame yourself for being weak or impressionable.  It’s important to understand that this response is rooted in your body via your social nervous system.  

Introducing your Social Nervous System

Your social nervous system teaches you how to read facial cues, empathise, talk, play and be a social being.  It also holds your imprint of ‘fitting in’ (or not). You sense of betrayal or belonging, and how you need to act or behave in order to get your needs met.

How you need to act would have been hardwired into your body during infancy.  In particular through the facial expressions and responsiveness of your mother (which over time you would mirror as an example of how to relate and interact with the world).

On one hand your social nervous system is absolutely needed for connection in society.  

On the other, it can cause you to be prone to minimising your perspectives, opinions, aspirations and intelligence.  It can cause you to shrink yourself in order to keep the peace or be accepted.

Women, in particular are more susceptible to this, because on average we have higher levels of Estrogen than men.  

Estrogen is a hormone that regulates Oxytocin, which in turn governs bonding and connection.  Subsequently women tend to be far more invested in maintaining  relationships, often at the expense of themselves.  We tend to be far more likely to say yes when we mean no.  

Why else do I say yes when I want to say no?

Essentially your responses (often created in childhood) are controlled by your desire to feel safe.  These responses are repeated over and over until they become unconscious default behaviours.  

If you find yourself in a situation where your social nervous system feels under threat.  For example at risk of losing connection, being rejected, or isolated – the common default behaviours you might display could fall into two categories.

Fitting in is a way of hiding or minimising yourself.  You say things to agree with the person your nervous system feels threatened by, hiding your true opinions, and over riding your gut instinct.

Fawning is when you develop people pleasing behaviours that keep you out of ‘trouble’.  Perhaps you find yourself being overly nice, or bending over backwards to help someone.  Either way you merge with the wishes, needs and desires of others in order to stay safe and maintain a sense of belonging.

Mixed in with these behaviours can also be a ton of shame and blame. Perhaps when a particular situation is over you reflect back and wonder, why didn’t I speak up? or ‘why did I say yes when I wanted to say no?’ 

This is why it’s so important to understand what goes on underneath the level of your rational mind.  You might think one thing, but if your nervous system is under threat, your default survival behaviours will run the show! 

There’s absolutely no shame here. In the past these behaviours have likely kept you safe and maintained that all important social connection.  

How can I start to change this?

Firstly, by understanding and appreciating this organic intelligence in your body.  By becoming aware of your current default responses you can use them as the foundation from which to make change.  To create new nervous system responses that enable you to say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no.

My work as a Somatic Embodiment Coach brings awareness to default nervous system behaviours.  It also creates new levels of safety in your body, so that you can start responding in ways that express your true, vibrant, authentic self.   

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