top of page

Confusing Love With Performance

Codependency, Co-narcissism & Self Love Deficiency - The Holistic/Psychological View

If our lives are run by the constant need for approval, self-doubt, and not feeling good enough we are in a constant state of alert and stress. Performing, succeeding, and needing reassurance cannot replace the feeling of peace in our hearts when we know who we are and what our purpose is. We endlessly seek for more of whatever we believe can measure our validity but never reach the mark. Often we don't even realize how we are caught in an endless cycle of trying to do better not even knowing what we are trying to be better at. Instead of stopping this futile game of trying to be different from who we are, we keep trying to fix ourselves other others. What is going wrong here?

What happened to us that we are so afraid of making mistakes?

Why is it more important to us how others feel than how we feel?

What is keeping us going?

Why are we so driven to prove to ourselves that we are not lovable?

Why can't we see ourselves as others see us?

Why can't believe that who we are is enough as is?

One of the hallmarks of codependency is confusing our own needs with those of others. Through our empathic ability to anticipate, give, and provide for other people's needs or give them pleasure we unconsciously make our sense of self depend on our ability to give in order to get. Get what?

Take a moment to ask yourself what you truly want? What's underneath all this? What are you trying to get by being more perfect, better, flawless, stronger, or less vulnerable? What could others give you that you can't give yourself? Love?

Are we confusing what we need with what we feel we need to give?

Our needs and wants are what define our sense of self. They provide us with feedback on our state of being - not our doing - or our performance. When we don't know what we need or we can't express them properly it means that we cannot feel ourselves. When we cannot feel ourselves we confuse who we are with what we do. The codependent fixates on meeting other people's needs so that we can feel fulfillment and self-awareness in a different way - through the recognition of a 'co'. When we externalize our sense of self to others we will never feel enough!

We are often totally blind to the fact that we are incapable of meeting our needs. The psychological point of view for this particular mechanism of assuming other people's needs and trying to fulfill them instead of our own is called Projection. Projecting our own needs onto others means that we cannot or don't want to allow ourselves to recognize that it's actually our own needs that need fulfillment. Unconscious CODEPENDENT PATTERNS, such as projection confuse our perception of truth and ultimately lead us to believe that there must be something wrong with us. There are many more aspects of the complex subject of codependent behaviors, but at the core of our deficiency, that leaves us with our UNMET NEEDS is the SEARCH FOR LOVE. Codependency is fueled by our fear of rejection of love and not being good enough or lovable. It makes us question ourselves, not realizing how our striving for 'becoming better' perpetuates our fear and inability to meet our own needs. The endless cycle of trying to 'be better' feeds self-love deficiency and enables codependent toxicity in relationships.

Asking for love through giving or trying to be someone we are not, makes love conditional, performance-related, and thus unsafe for us.

The ability to love ourselves was slowly substituted by the validation we expect in return. We lost connection with ourselves, our needs, our wants, and who we are. In this way, we not only became dependent on needing to be needed, but we also PROJECTED OUR NEEDS ONTO OTHERS, which puts the responsibility for meeting our needs also onto the hands of the other.

Underneath this difficult coping behavior lies a deep fear of feeling guilty. Pleasing others or living up to other people's needs and expectations are only more important to us because we don't want the burden of feeling responsible - at the expense of our self-responsibility. It's basically damage control. We are stressed out because feeling responsible makes us feel guilty, and feeling guilty is the ultimate fear - worse than not having our own needs met.

In the attempt to receive the love we need we fixate on helping, serving, or pleasing others instead of allowing our own needs and giving ourselves space to receive. It makes us feel resentful, taken advantage of, victimized, or traumatized, yet we aren't recognizing how we enabled our needs to be ignored by refusing to take responsibility for ourselves. For the often co-addictive and self-defeating codependent mechanism in us to heal we will have to learn how to allow ourselves to feel into our needs and wants again without doubt or guilt. Here is where many of us get stuck. Not only do we doubt that we deserve to be loved in the way we want it, but we often can't even feel what we need or truly want!

Our perception of normal and our abnormally high threshold for pain makes it difficult for us to determine what is good, meaningful, and healthy for us. Often we are so used to having inconsistent or non-existent boundaries that we don't even notice when our needs aren't met or boundaries are violated.

Here are three questions to ask ourselves if we are not sure if we are in tune with our own needs. They can help us to become more familiar with and accepting of our needs, but most importantly, they can remind us to self-reflect on our own needs:

"How does this feel to me?"

"Does this feel healthy/expansive/loving to me?"

"What do I truly need right now?"

In order the rebuild a better foundation for our sense of self I often suggest becoming aware of the hierarchy of our basic human needs (here, a chart freely adopted from Maslow's Hierchary of Needs Pyramid.) We need a proper foundation so that higher hierarchies of needs can be manifested or maintained.

When we cannot meet our fundamental needs our ego tries to cope by refocusing on other - external - things or people, which induces high levels of internal stress on us (see the arrow on the left.) This mechanism leading to our inability to determine and express our needs goes back to our early childhood. Depending on how our early expressions of needs and wants were answered or responded to we developed either a SECURE OR INSECURE ATTACHMENT to the way we perceive our NEED OR WANT. In extreme cases, our needs were not just neglected, but minimized, or abused as a token of conditional love by being coerced into meeting the caregiver's needs. The beginning of the conditioning has us not realize that disregarding our own needs and wants cannot lead to happiness.

A simplified way of looking at the complex subject of codependent behaviors hints at the importance of facing the truth of our state of self-love and self-care. If we are experiencing high levels of stress without an adequate feeling for what we need to prioritize our striving and performance issues will stay unresolved, which often rules our relationships and behavior patterns.

If we want to better understand what makes us susceptible to recurring issues in our relationships and the retraumatization through never feeling good enough we need to reflect on the underlying unmet needs that lead to developing codependency patterns.

The objective of the Codependency Healing modality is to assist the codependent in refocusing their attention to their TRUE SELF, which permeates through us regardless of how well we are performing. In order to feel loved, we often need to be able to experience joy and give ourselves permission to feel alive first! The attuned frequency for this modality is UNCONDITIONALITY, which translates directly as Self-Love and its shared form with others as True Love (read "Understanding True Love") through LETTING GO OF PERFORMING RATHER THAN FEELING LOVE.

Learning to love oneself is the gateway to intimacy and openness. It releases us from searching for love outside of ourselves into a space where the love we can align to leads us to the life that our heart needs.

Thank you for your time. Check out our specifically designed Energy Healing transMISSION Codependency Healing here


Jona Bryndis

Energy Coach, Energy Healer & Founder of transCODES


transCODES offers a variety of energy coaching and training modalities. If you are interested in learning more about energy sessions click here.


bottom of page