What is your holiday family gathering default behavior? Do you have a tendency to revert to the role you played when you were younger? Our families are systems and we often take on a role as children in order for the system to work. The problem is, as adults, this role no longer works for us but many times when we reunite with family over the holidays, we pick up our old roles.

What was your role? The attention-seeker? The peace-maker? The rebel? The people-pleaser? These roles may have been necessary when we were young but most of the time, we outgrow these roles. Yet many times, our families still see us in that role and we easily fall back into it.

It takes courage to show up at a family gathering, stay in your power, and express who you are now.

This may disrupt the system at first but when you show up confident in who you are and allow yourself to play a different role, you open up the space for a renegotiation of your relationships. You can approach the questions that you always get asked differently, from a place of power and compassion. You are creating the opportunity to never have to answer this same question again next year. You are offering the relationship a chance to transform.

Imagine the conversation you most dread at these events – is it about your job or career, or about your relationship, or your education, or your level of success? Which topics trigger you the most?

Here are five tips to help you navigate your most dreaded conversations at family gatherings:

  1. Meditate – simply give yourself five minutes to focus on your breath.
  2. Visualize – imagine the ideal outcome of the gathering and the conversation.
  3. Practice – practice the conversation in front of a mirror or with a good friend.
  4. Write it out – write down all your anxieties about the gathering, all the questions you will most likely get asked, and a list of solid, confident answers.
  5. Walk – take a quick walk around the block before you head out for the event – getting fresh air and moving your body will help relieve any pent up tension and allow the emotions to flow through you instead of being trapped in your head.

Keep this process simple. Visualize your ideal scenario while you are walking. You can even practice the conversation on your walk.

Maintain your ideal outcome and focus on how you want to feel at the conclusion of the event and at the end of the conversation(s). Imagine this with as much detail and feeling as possible. Set this as your intention on your way to the event. Trust you will get exactly what you desire.

Imagine how incredible you will feel as you leave the gathering – empowered, confident, strong in your power, secure in who you are and what you are about. Imagine how much more enjoyable your family gatherings will be going forward. The truth is we teach people how to treat us and we always have a chance to begin again.

The holidays will only be different if you have the courage to make them different. Do you really want to perpetuate a dysfunctional pattern and spend another holiday gathering feeling anxious and unhappy? Do you really want to take that with you into 2017? You can make this the last time you have that same old conversation and the last time you just get through the family event. You can choose to show up differently, have a different experience, and transform the holidays. It just takes a little courage.

If you want help working through your scenario to truly transform the holidays for once and for all, sign up for your courage boost session now so you can show up this weekend knowing exactly what you want and how to get it with grace, confidence, and ease.

Sending you a holiday filled with courage,


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