No person is an island.
Similarly, no business can succeed without fostering a myriad of healthy relationships.
In today’s blog, I’m sharing my perspective on what is the most important relationship we as business owners and leaders are to build, why we need to build it and how to build it.
First and foremost, I believe the most important relationship we are to build is…
…the relationship with ourselves!
From my perspective my relationship with myself is a direct reflection of my relationship with any other person. How I see myself, what I think about myself, the things I beat myself up for and acknowledge myself for (and the frequency with which I do those things), the things I say to myself (even if it’s not out loud), and how much I love myself and accept myself for who I am will be directly reflected in what I do, say and attract in my relationship with other people. Ouch!
Conversely, how I see others, what I think about them, the things I berate others for and the things I acknowledge others (and the frequency with which I do these things), the things I say to others (even if it’s not out loud) are a direct reflection of my relationship with myself. I will only love and accept others as much as I love and accept myself. Double ouch!
E James Rohn says, “work harder on yourself than you do your business” and I agree. Unfortunately, it’s the thing we least enjoy doing because whatever we see in the mirror (literally and figuratively) we may or may not like. Working on ourselves takes courage, commitment and determination.
Why do I agree with Rohn?
I’ve shared with you before my current philosophy of life – each one of us was born a masterpiece. Throughout our early life, others, including parents, family, teachers, religious leaders, friends, society, media etc have thrown at us their perspective of what is important to them and as sponges we have taken much of that upon ourselves. Unfortunately, in many cases that “extra glue and paint”, as I call it is, has shadowed or detracted from the person we were created to be.
My perspective is my life’s journey as an adult is not to become a better person, it’s uncovering that masterpiece – chipping away the extra glue and paint I have taken on to uncover the best version of me which is actually already there.
So how do I do that?
How do I improve my relationship with myself?
For me it’s a moment-by-moment choice. Every time I have a negative feeling or thought about myself or another person, every time life throws something at me and I experience a deep feeling of any kind, I have an opportunity to improve my relationship with myself.
For example, the way someone is treating me may be totally inappropriate to me, so my feelings of uncomfortableness are the signal to me that I need to stand up for myself more and ask that person to stop. Conversely, I may be upset because I recognise that at times, I treat people like that and I’m being shown that the behaviour I also display is inappropriate.
In fact, in my opinion, these events are the flag or signpost for me to uncover more of the best version of myself.
There are several different things I do when these events happen. One of them is to acknowledge the feelings I have. For example, I may say something along the lines of, “I have strong feelings of anxiety right now”. Sometimes I ask myself, “I wonder where those feelings of anxiety have come from?” I then promptly follow that with “I chose to let go of those feelings and the causes of them”. I say the causes, because many of our reactive feelings to things are lifetime patterns of behaviour. My coach tells me that our responses and emotions are in our DNA from 7 generations ago – eek! Therefore, in my opinion uncovering causes is not an immediate fix and may or may not even be important.
What is important is that we acknowledge them and then make the choice to let them go.
The other thing which is important is the language we use.
I say “I have feelings of ….” rather than “I am feeling …..”.
Why? We are not our feelings. Every time we say the words “I am” we reinforce to our subconscious our identity and who we are. We are not anxious, we are experiencing feelings of anxiety. There’s a very clear distinction.
Thirdly, the feelings we are experiencing are purely a signpost to look at what is happening. Something is not boding well for us. It gives us the opportunity to make changes. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on some “extra glue or paint” that is hiding our masterpiece, the best version of ourselves.
Another similar habit I have is to make a statement, for example “I have feelings of anxiety”. Followed by “I choose to let go of those feelings and the causes of them”. The feelings of peace when I do that, in my experience are wonderful. I am, again acknowledging the feelings I have (not pushing them down) and I also am immediately letting them go.
Another habit sometimes is to write all or any of the above. I call my journaling my pen and paper pal. I can tell my pen and paper pal anything. She doesn’t criticise or judge me, she lets my pour my guts out, yell, scream and swear at her!! I love my pen and paper pal. Once I’ve written it down, many times I rip the page out of my book, tear it up and throw it away. I never go back and read it.
All of my habits are different ways of acknowledging what is happening to me right now and they are also enabling me to let them go.
For many of us we have feelings and reactions to things and then figuratively smack ourselves over the head with a hunk of four by two, tell ourselves we are stupid or ridiculous and then push them down. It is far more helpful to merely acknowledge our feelings and also let them go.
Another practice is, on a daily basis, saying out aloud or writing down 10 things I acknowledge about myself. It may something that I’ve done, eg Today I acknowledge myself for really challenging Billy in the coaching session with him today, making him look at things he had previously been burying his hand in the sand about. It may be something that I am, eg Today I acknowledge myself for my great sense of humour.
Another daily habit is to say aloud or write down all the things that I’m grateful for – the great things, the awarenesses I had about myself and my behaviours, the lessons I learned from my experiences.
You may be surprised to know that I have my own coach.
Having a coach or mentor ensures I look at my experiences much more thoroughly than I will do on my own. My mentor asks me the hard questions I don’t want to ask of myself. My mentor keeps it in front of me when I don’t want to look at it myself. I freely accept that I will not uncover my masterpiece on my own. I am not an island and was never intended to be.
These habits to improve my relationship with myself are the foundation of improving my relationship with others. In next week’s blog I will explore with you the other key relationships we need to strengthen to get from our business whatever it is we want to get.
Remember though, your relationship with yourself is the foundation of every other relationship.
If you’d like to improve your relationship with yourself, reach out. Rob and I are here to work with you to ensure you and your family achieve the life you deserve, and a business which works for you in achieving it.
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