How to Communicate with an Open Heart (2 Questions To Ask Yourself)

communication, healthy relationship

July 24, 2023

This short episode covers two very fundamental questions I ask my self routinely that have completely changed my relationships and the way I communicate:

Am I acting out of fear or out of love right now?

How can I show up in a way right now that I’ll be proud of 5, 10, 20 years from now? 

Both questions likely require a lot of unpacking, vulnerability and digging inside to face some hard truths. But If we can get clear on the type of person we want to be, we can equip ourselves to communicate in a way we can be proud of now and in the future.

In this episode, we’re talking about:

  • How to control your temper and reacting poorly
  • Acting out of fear vs acting out of love
  • How to communicate better in a relationship
  • How to have a healthier relationships
  • How to practice self love and compassion
  • How to get clear on who you want to be
  • Why ego isn’t a bad thing

Please listen and let me know your thoughts on these 2 questions – have you ever asked them of yourself? How have they changed your life for the better? Email me or send me a DM in Instagram (@emilygoughcoach

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Episode 290 | Opening When You Want To Close: Why Withholding Will Damage Your Connections       

Podcast Producer: Adam Liefl


When we can get super clear on the type of person that we want to be, who we are becoming, the way that we want to show up for ourselves, for others, the way that we want to feel, and the ways that we want to make others feel that changes how we communicate with others. I’m Emily Gough, a human connection coach, writer,

and speaker with an insatiable sense of curiosity and adventure, always asking more questions and using the power of stories to teach, learn, and Grow. We boldly explore relationships, connection, and the nuances and complexities of the human experience with compassion, honesty, and a sense of humor. With both solo episodes and highly curated guests, sharing incredible stories, experiences and expertise.

The Room to Grow Podcast takes the entire idea of growth to the next level, all while covering the uncomfortable topics many of us would like to avoid. There’s always more room to grow. Let’s do this. Hey, hey. Welcome back to The Room to Grow podcast Emily here. And today I want to pose two different questions to you that you can ask yourself when you are communicating with somebody else or when you are just kind of like checking in with yourself.

And these two questions can completely and fundamentally shift the way that you respond, the way that you react, the way that you treat others, the way that you treat yourself in so many different interactions. And, and the, the way it can completely alter the way that you interact with the world and the way that the world experiences you. Because every single one of us is an experience in and of ourselves.

We, we are an experience to everyone who comes in contact with us. And this is something I really, I put so much emphasis on for myself. And I can also tell when I have gotten out of practice of asking myself these two questions, these two questions. So I always come back to these. So the first question is, am I acting out of fear or out of love right now?

Am I acting out of fear or out of love right now? Ooh, that it’s, there’s a lot that can be, there’s a lot that needs to be unpacked with that sometimes, and we know what the answer is. We might not like when we ask ourselves that question and we realize that we are perhaps acting out of fear instead of love. And it also might be terrifying to even think about acting out of love because it can be so much more vulnerable.

But would you rather act out of fear? Would you rather have that experience instead? Sometimes when we’re behaving out of, out of fear, it can become more of, if, for example, we are asking for our needs to be met in a particular, in a particular relationship, when we respond out of fear, not only is it typically much more reactive and can completely shift the tone of the entire conversation and the way that the other person responds,

but it can also come across as demanding or unreasonable or anything like that. And I’m not here to, to tell anyone that you, that your needs are too much or not enough or any of those things. That is an entirely separate conversation. You, you are not too much, okay, you are not too much. But can we check in and get super fucking honest with ourselves about why we are either responding or behaving or speaking from a place of fear and or are we speaking from a place of love and starting to really know what that difference is?

The other thing to note here as well is that over 90% of our interactions are our communication with others will end the same way the communications started. So if we go barreling into a conversation where we are super aggressive and, and we are on the defense and we are going to get our needs met, dammit, whether we the other person likes it or not,

first of all, that is coming from fear and I’m very familiar with that, that sensation. I, I know what that feels like and I, and I understand the reasons why we can often come from that place. There’s, there’s a multitude of reasons why we can come from that place, but I want you to really consider how you are initiating conversations too,

because when we shift the conversation to start on a more positive note to soften the startup of it, that’s, that’s usually what it’s referred to in, in kind of like communication terms that will completely alter in, in most cases by far the majority of cases, what the outcome ends up being and that the outcome will end up being so much more positive.

Whereas if you go in very aggressively defensively, all of those different things, the outcome is more than 90% of the time going to end in a similar way. So we, we have to ask ourselves these questions. Am I asked, am I, am I showing up right now out of fear or out of love? The second question I’m gonna challenge you to check in and ask yourself about is,

how can I show up in a way right now that I’ll be proud of 5, 10, 20 years from now? That is not a question that is always easy to, to implement in real time. So this takes practice too. So, you know, when, when we are in like conflict with somebody or something like that, it is very difficult in that exact moment in,

in that split second before we react to ask ourselves that question and really control the way that we are responding. But I say practice very deliberately because I did not used to be a good communicator. I did not used to be a good communicator. I assure you I was very reactive sometimes years ago. I had, I had an quite a temper. I was often on the defense.

There were so many ways where I was not communicating in a way that made me or the person that I was speaking to feel good. And my relationships ended up being a direct reflection of that, that that there was not the intimacy and the connection and the, the, the feeling understood and seen and heard. None of those things really existed for me in a lot of my relationships and it,

it could have it. Now, once I started to learn how to do things differently, everything changed. Once I started to implement skills that I have picked up over the years through professional training, through working with incredible like coaches and, and everything else and, and life experience, my conversations and relationships take a wildly different turn for the better. And when we can get super clear on the type of person that we want to be,

who we are becoming, the way that we want to show up for ourselves, for others, the way that we want to feel and the ways that we want to make others feel, that changes how we communicate with others. So play with this question a little bit and, and you know, you can also do this a little bit retro retroactively at first too,

to kind of get a feel for trying it on for size, right? So when you look at past situations that I did or didn’t go well, in the situations where it did go really well, what did you like about how you showed up? What were you proud of? How did you manage a, a situation or manage your own reaction or anything like that in a way that you felt really good about that you still feel really good about looking back on it?

And conversely, what are the situations where you showed up in a way where you kind of cringe a little bit? Looking back you’re like, Ooh, if I knew then what I knew now I would’ve done these things differently. I would’ve said something differently. I would have, you know, shown more compassion or curiosity, whatever it is, whatever those things are.

And I’m not, I’m not giving you that exercise to bring yourself down. Like I don’t want you to dwell on that and to, to blame yourself or anything like that. I want you to look at this so that you can start to build a better picture and foundation for yourself of who you are becoming and how you want to show up going forward.

Because sometimes we have to look in the past to get a better feel for where we want to go. So that can give you the clarity that you need to start deciding who you want to become and start being that person. I’ve used this quote on here before, my, my dear friend Dr. J Tita always uses the phrase, be it until you see it.

So it’s not fake it until you make it because that feels very disingenuous. It always has. But Jade always uses the phrase, be it until you see it. So who do you want to become? How does that person show up? How do they treat others? How do they treat themselves? Go through that. And how do they show up in a way that you will be proud of 5, 10, 20 years from now and then start behaving like that version of you because you are wildly capable of it.

You are wildly capable of becoming that person. You already are that person on some level. Sometimes it’s just a matter of peeling back the fear and the bullshit that has gotten in, gotten in the way and the the wounding and the the ego. And listen, I’m not here to, to follow the ego because the ego does a lot of really good things for us and I can hear a lot of like almost ego bashing lately.

We have an ego for a reason. If we didn’t have an ego, we would not have the confidence to go into the world and to do anything to get anything done. We need to have an ego. So that’s not a bad thing, but where can we perhaps see where our ego is getting in the way, whereas preventing us from being who we know we are capable of becoming?

So these two questions that I want you to focus on and to come back to over and over and over again. Am I acting outta fear or love right now? And how can I show up in a way that I’ll be proud of 5, 10, 20 years from now? Those are the two questions that can completely and fundamentally alter your relationships and the way that you show up for yourself and for others.

And they will also allow you the opportunity to get to know yourself on intimate levels that you may have never experienced before. Because sometimes especially the the fear versus love question, whew, that one, that one can carry a lot of weight. And you can get to start to see sides of yourself that you never experienced before. Simply by digging into that question and being willing to look at the really uncomfortable aspects of yourself underneath that.

Like what fear is coming up? What is it that you fear in that moment or that situation or what that particular person, what, what is the core need underneath that? What is the wound underneath that? Sometimes you need to look at the wound first before you can get to the need. These are the the layers that we need to unpack sometimes before we can get to the next step of being able to respond out of love to,

to make that a little bit more of a default reaction. Listen, it, it’s, it’s never gonna be a hundred percent of the time because we are all human. Fear is going to come up. But how can you show up with an open heart? How can you, how can you open in this moment rather than close yourself off? How can you trust yourself or the person standing in front of you in a way that would allow you to show up out of,

in a way that was more out of love than out of fear? If you trusted this connection with the person enough, if you trusted the connection to yourself enough, you would be able to show up in a little bit different way. And what would that look like? What would that feel like? What would that have you say in this particular moment?

These are the questions that we can start to unpack that will unravel some of these really tightly knit parts of ourselves that are keeping us from experiencing true deep connection. So am I acting at a fear of love right now? And how can I show up right now in a way that I’ll be proud of 5, 10, 20 years from now? Those are the questions I want you to sit with.

Okay? So thank you so much for listening. This one is a little bit of a short one. I just wanted to give you these two questions because they are powerful and have completely shifted things for me in such a, in such a powerful, incredible way. And these are two questions that I continuously come back to for myself over and over and over and over again.

This is not a one and done thing. This is very much a practice and this is part of the ways the, these are just like two of the tools that I use to come back to, to check in with myself over and over again to see if I’m showing up in a way that I’m proud of and to see if I’m showing up for a,

for the people that I love and care for the most in a way that I am proud of it, to see if I’m showing up in a way that I’m proud of with, with any random stranger on the street. Like that’s the way I want to operate. So these are the questions that I ask myself in order to be able to check in and come back to that over and over again.

So sit with these. I’d love to hear how this goes for you. Let me know, okay, semi DM over at Emily Goff, coach over on Instagram. I would love to hear from you. I’m just like kind of playing with this whole threads thing. I don’t know, I’m not sure. So if you wanna find me on threads, feel free.

I haven’t been super active on it yet, but trying it out cuz I do prefer sometimes writing rather than like video stuff. And I like, I like the idea of that. So we shall see. But it’s the same handle over there. Emily Golf coach. Yeah, so send me a message, let me know how this goes. Let me know if this shifts something for you or a breakthrough that you have from this and I can’t wait to hear about it.

Okay? Talk to you soon. Thank you so much for listening. If you want more, one of the most common questions I get is where do I even start doing this work to create deeper connections and better relationships? I’ve got a free 15 page guide for you called, where Do We Begin? This is the very foundation that you need to start building healthy relationships with others and with yourself.

This is my gift to you and multiple people have referred to it as life-changing. You can find it over at Room to grow or check the show notes at to go download it and have it sent straight to your inbox. Thanks so much and stay tuned for more episodes weekly.


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