024: Self worth & Relationships – Efrat Wolfson

The-Fearless-Females-Podcast-Efrat-Wolfson

In this episode:

In this episode of The Fearless Females Podcast your host Tegan Mathews interviews Efrat Wolfson who shares:

  • How she came to recognise she was in a verbally abusive relationship
  • The  4 steps she took to be able to leave that relationship
  • Understanding your self-worth & how important that is
  • Having the courage to start her own business
  • Creating conscious couples in relationships

Tegan's Take Aways:

  1. Whatever you feel you are lacking in your life, you have the power to create that yourself if you think outside the box
  2. When you are being tested, trusting that there is something positive that is to be born from the experience, will get you through it
  3. You don’t have to know where it will go, you just have to start with something and the world will let you know what is needed from you.
  4. Sometimes you have to let go of the safe and secure and your comfort zone in order to make enough room for something better to come in energetically.
  5. If everyone on the planet knew how lovable, worthy, beautiful and amazing they are then there would be no wars and no violence.

About Efrat Wolfson

Efrat Wolfson is a Conflict Transformation Coach, originally from Israel, developer of “The Conscious Couples Formula” Blog and Training. Efrat supports people worldwide to build loving, connected, turned-on relationships, by becoming aware of their own Subconscious Relating Patters that are keeping them back from having the relationship of their dreams. Nowadays, Efrat lives in Australia with her gorgeous partner and two children, who provide her with daily opportunities to practice these skills!

Contact Efrat Wolfson

A Gift for Listeners From Efrat Wolfson

A hugely valuable guide for all of us called How to Stop Pointless Arguments and Get Back To Connection In Five Minutes. Designed to help you be able to stop in the middle of those arguments that just go back and forth and go nowhere and come back to connection.

Show Notes: Episode 024: Self-worth & Relationships - Efrat Wolfson

Efrat Wolfson’s Fearless Story

When I was 25 years old, after being in a relationship for four years, I realised I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship. It had taken me a long time to realise this and I had a six-month-old baby with this man at the time.

It took me a further two whole years to get out of the relationship and by then I had two children. So, leaving that relationship was scary for me. Although from the outside it seemed obvious that I should leave, it scared me.

Over the six year relationship I had become very dependant on this man. I was financially dependant, I wasn’t working as I was home with the children. On a deeper level I was also dependent on him for approval and validation. I had given him the role of the person who validates me as a person and the person who validates my actions.

So, even when we broke up, I would phone him up and ask him about my moves (decisions) because I had become so dependant on his approval for even little daily decisions. It was scary to go out into the world without someone who would approve my choices.

What were the steps you took to leave that situation?

There were many steps but the first one was to realise that I was in an abusive relationship. This may seem strange to some people but it can be very confusing when you are in that type of a relationship. Often the abuser can have a lot of charisma.

My ex partner was very loving and caring but at the same time he would be putting me down and letting me know that everything was my fault. Telling me how I can’t do anything right and how stupid I am and how worthless I am. This was very confusing to me.

I kept thinking that he wasn’t abusive and that he was just a very troubled and wounded man and that my love was going to save him. So there was a lot of co-dependency going on in the relationship.

So the first step is to recognise that you are in an abusive relationship. When you are walking on egg shells, when you are afraid of his reactions, when you are constantly doubting yourself, these are all very clear signs that something is off.

Since then, I have become very sensitive to these things and my radar is very sensitive to these signs.

The second step is to acknowledge to yourself that you are worthy of being loved in the way that you want. That you are worthy of 100% of love and being treated like a queen. To acknowledge this took me a long time, almost two years for me.

During that time I was going to therapy and coming to terms with my own patterns of low self esteem that had attracted me to that relationship in the first place. Slowly I built up my levels of self esteem to a point where I just could not bare to be in that type of situation any more.

My partner at the time was also going to therapy and counselling to try and heal that stuff, at the end of the day, I was still getting hurt. So I wasn’t going to stick around while he worked on his stuff, any longer.

Step three was to get as much support as I could, to break free. I began writing an anonymous blog on verbal abuse and started getting a lot of women commenting on that. I talked to some of them personally and asked how they got out of their relationship.

I surrounded myself with lots of love and people who could support me through that process. It’s about understanding that you are worthy of that love and that you no longer have to put up with any more outbursts of violence, not even one more! Then surround yourself with the support you need to break free.

Step four was that I went on a journey of deep self discovery to understand what were my sub-conscious patterns that had attracted me to that type of relationship. I already touched on this but just to go a bit deeper.

If I thought that this relationship failed just because of him and I didn’t take any responsibility for my part in it, then I would have gotten into a very similar relationship next time. It’s not about blaming or being the victim here, it’s about responsibility.

What has attracted you to that relationship on a sub-conscious deeper level. Otherwise you keep attracting and repeating the same type of relationship again. If I keep blaming the other person then I haven’t really learnt anything from the relationship for next time.

When we broke up I was blaming him and saying that he is this, he is that, he is abusive and he is violent, which is all true. But there was my part as well and asking myself, “What was my part?” because there are always two people there.

If I had had the same level of self worth that I have today, I would not have stayed one minute with this man. So, you know, I had a part in this dynamic and it’s important to get clear on your part so that you don’t replicate it.

How did you turn the situation around – the practicalities?

I was very lucky because I wasn’t alone. I lived on the same land as my parents so I had a lot of support. The father of my children was still around so we shared custody of the two children and we still do today.

But it is important to know that if you don’t have that support, you can create it. On my parents land I created a community centre because I felt like I needed more community and support around me. So we built this centre out of mud and junk and stuff we had around and it took a few years but it is by far, one of the best experiences of my life so far.

This was in Israel and I now live in Australia but the centre is still vibrant and has hundreds of people who come there every year. I share this because some women may be feeling like they don’t have support or a community but whatever you feel you are lacking in your life, I believe you can create it. Ask yourself, “How can I create that, be more of that or have more of that in my life?” Think outside the box of how you can create what you feel you don’t have.

More recently you had another scary experience, do you want to tell us about that?

Yes, I think its important for the listeners to know that it isn’t always ‘happily ever after’ once you take the step to leave the relationship. I think often we think it is going to be and we have that expectation and then we get disappointed when it doesn’t happen that way.

There are always going to be challenges. The Hollywood movie ending doesn’t always happen and if you are waiting until you get to the imaginary “there” then you are never going to be happy because there is always going to be another “there” that you find.

So, what happened was, a few years after we had separated we all moved to Australia, my ex partner and the children. It was supposed to be just for one year but there was a complication and I ended up living with him after a very brief attempt at getting back together again. I very quickly realised that nothing had changed though.

I had been searching for a job but I couldn’t find one and I couldn’t understand why when I had my masters degree and I had a lot of experience. So I had no where to live and I had no job. We lived in an area where there wasn’t a lot of housing available and everything was just very chaotic and I was in a really big crisis.

I didn’t really know what was going to happen but I kept trusting that there was some ‘thing’ that was supposed to be born from this. I didn’t really know what but over time I decided to overcome the financial fears that I had and go out and start my own business.

For someone who had always been an employee this was really scary. I had no idea how to run a business or whether I could succeed at it so I just jumped in and what happened was that my business became quite successful, quite quickly.

I have only been running my business for two years now and I have clients from all over the world and I have branched out and do several different things now. So it’s been a pretty amazing process, just from taking that leap of faith.

It also didn’t happen overnight. In the beginning I still had to clean houses and work at a restaurant to make ends meet. Often I would be working on my business when the kids had fallen asleep. So I had to make a decision to really be dedicated to it and to making it work.

What I do is I work with couples and I run a program called the Conscious Couples Formula where I teach people how to connect better with each other through self awareness. I also have a school program where I work with teachers on how to work with young people and conflicts.

I also work with women in Israel to help them to connect more with their sexual and feminine energy.

But what I want to inspire in the listeners is that I didn’t know that this is what I was going to be doing when I started my business. I started with the school program and it has just grown from there. You don’t have to know where it will go, you just have to start with something and the world will let you know what is needed from you.

So, if you wait until you know exactly how something is going to go and exactly how you are going to do it and you are totally clear, then you will procrastinate forever. Jump in and see how things evolve organically

Most Memorable Moment

I remember the moment when I decided to just focus on the business and let go of the other jobs I had going on. This was scary for me because I still had two children to feed and not a lot going on in the business yet.

Two days after I gave one of my house cleaning clients the news that I was quitting to pursue my business I got a huge joint venture business opportunity and that was amazing for me.

It was like I had to let go of the safe and secure and my comfort zone in order to make enough room for something better to come in energetically. It was a really beautiful moment for me of trusting that if I let go of one thing, then something else will come in.

What are you most passionate about today?

It’s hard to pick but I would have to say my couples work. I’ve had couples who have been going through my courses and saying that they had been in couples counselling for two years and hadn’t learnt what I teach and that really excites me.

This is why it’s called the Conscious Couples Formula because the more awareness we bring into our own life the more it brings into the relationship. Becoming aware of what we have been expecting our partners to give us, we need to find within ourselves or we need to believe we are worthy of receiving. To see couples have aha moments, I just love that and it’s my favourite part of what I do.

What is something in your future plan that scares you?

I would love to open up to training facilitators in the method and when I think about that I am scared because I think, “Is this good enough for people to want to learn how to do it?” and all these self doubts come into my mind.

Whenever I face self doubt or self criticism or even outside criticism I always come back to my intention. I take a deep breath and ask myself, “Is what I am offering 100% loving and at peace with the world?” and I just connect with my intention and that really helps me to move through that fear.

The other thing I do is to remind myself that I don’t have to overcome my fears, there isn’t a schedule where by a certain date I have to have overcome that fear. It’s about respecting that the fear is there to protect me and giving it the time that it deserves. By doing that it takes away the pressure of the fear and gives you the opportunity to acknowledge it.

Five Fast Fun Fearless Facts about Efrat Wolfson

  1. Who inspires you? Woltiest Mann - The Israel woman who started Windows for Peace which is peace organisation. She is my mentor, my second mother and I worked for the organisation for many years.
  2. Favourite thing to do each day? Cuddle up with my man and spending quality time together.
  3. What's something that still scares you? The amount of misunderstandings in the world. The amount of violence that comes from people not knowing how to get their needs met.
  4. Favourite technique or app or book? Favourite book = Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  5. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing in the world right now, what would it be and why? For people to know on a deeper level how worthy they are of love. I think if everyone on the planet knew how lovable, worthy, beautiful and amazing they are then there would be no wars and no violence.

Final Question for Efrat Wolfson

If you could turn back time what's the one piece of advice you wish you could give your fourteen-year-old self?

Actually, it would be what I said before which is that you are worthy of all the love and of pleasure and of living all of your dreams exactly as you are. You don’t need to please anyone else. You don’t need to hide parts of yourself in order to be loved. You can be loved exactly as you are and with all of your parts.

Where can people reach out to you? www.efratwolfson.com

Facebook – Efrat Wolfson - Conscious Couples

A Gift for Listeners From Efrat Wolfson

A hugely valuable guide for all of us called How to Stop Pointless Arguments and Get Back To Connection In Five Minutes. Designed to help you be able to stop in the middle of those arguments that just go back and forth and go nowhere and come back to connection.

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