How to Have Amazing Relationships 2: Relationship with Self

How to Have Amazing Relationships 2: Relationship with Self

At Your Future Now, we believe that everything we do, every reaction we have and every outcome we generate has to do with mindset. Our studies and trainings are all based on the science of the mind and the mental patterns we have in place; mental patterns to excellence, and mental patterns to sliding backwards. If you have never heard of Neuro-Linguistic Programming before (NLP) that is essentially what the focus of it is all about.

(see Part 1 for relationship with others)

Our biggest focus at our company is on the pathways to excellence. Because when we adopt patterns of excellence we can design a life that we really want and live it in a way that brings us peace, happiness and fulfilment. We also inspire and impact those around us to achieve their own excellence. It’s a great way to be!

One of the keys to excellence is relationships. In our first blog, we gave you easy tips on how to build and maintain amazing relationships at home, work and play. There is one additional element that people who maintain excellent relationship share though: It’s an amazing relationship with self.

This is the one relationship we are most likely to neglect because it’s sort of a secret relationship. No one really talks about it or asks you about how things are going the way they might ask about your romantic life, your boss, your friendships. “So, how is your self going there, Matt?” No one asks me that.

This is the thing. If you have a damaged relationship or a disconnected relationship with yourself, you will find it harder to have an excellent relationship with others. If you are feeling like you are stuck in an ongoing negative cycle with your external relationships it’s time to stop looking out ‘there’ for the answers, and spend some time reconnecting with you.

It’s really easy, just follow these simple steps.

1.      Embrace imperfection

Many people see their vulnerabilities as weakness and spend a lot of energy trying to appear flawless and completely independent. This is not a great idea for a number of reasons. Firstly, you can never improve if you don’t acknowledge the problem, secondly, you never know when these repressed emotions might come back to bite you.

You are incredibly unique, that’s a GREAT thing to be. Your differences allow you to create deep and meaningful connections and pathways as you interact with the world around you.

In most cases your vulnerabilities are actually your greatest strength and greatest personality assets. Revealing them to others can open up incredible connections, rewarding partnerships or just create a feeling that people can relate to you (keep in mind, they are flawed too).

Our inaccurate perceptions of what is ‘weak’ and what is ‘strong’ can cloud our judgment and ability to respond in flexible and meaningful ways to our environment. Hiding flaws also prevents us from being genuine and open as people and attracting genuine and open relationships.

Allowing mistakes, admitting to ‘flaws’ and accepting advice and assistance from others is the fastest way to grow and expand your self, ability and knowledge.

Only when you accept and embrace your differences can you really use them to your advantage and discover your true purpose.

Your ‘weakness’ may be the very thing other people find endearing, inspiring and real.

2.      Pay yourself

One of my biggest business keys for start-up entrepreneurs is that you have to pay yourself. This is the exact same concept in relationships. People can make the mistake of thinking if they give enough out they will get enough back. The trouble is many people don’t know how to receive love, praise, compliments, assistance or thanks.

In our free weekend seminar Live It Now we do an activity that demonstrates how vital it is to both give and receive. It can be a transformational moment for people who have been denying themselves for a long time, maybe even their whole lives, without noticing it before.

The notion of self-sacrifice for other people again traps people into a feeling of being taken for granted or unappreciated. You might even be familiar with the argument that starts off: “After everything I have done for you…” which is followed by a list of payments made.

The truth is that person gave those items away willingly, as gifts. It is not the receiving person’s responsibility to know what is too much or how much to return (with interest).

If a gift (of time, or money or effort) is provisional the terms need to be outlined beforehand as an agreement of what is given in return.

Most importantly the giver needs to choose to keep a designated amount of time, love, pampering, patience or opportunity for themselves, to ensure they have the energy, creativity and education to grow and prosper in their own life.

It’s just like the instructions they give if the cabin pressure falls in a plane. You must put your own mask on first, before helping children or other people around you. Not because anyone is more or less important, but because if you can’t breathe you will not be able to respond. So while the child’s mask might have been fitted before you passed out, there is no one there to hold that child’s hand, provide assistance to others or maybe even get to the cockpit to save the plane.

Take an evening a week to do a hobby you love. Go bushwalking on your own and enjoy nature, take a ten-minute nap in the afternoon. It doesn’t have to be a big thing to have a big impact in your life. You can have what you want and need without denying or harming anyone around you.

Balancing things out so everyone gets an even share takes time and practice. Recognising how essential it is to pay yourself, pursue your own dreams and take breaks in your life is the first step to a great relationship with yourself and excellence in life.

No matter what roles you achieve in life, parent, teacher, partner, business owner, student, boss, you first have an obligation to yourself, the original you.

3. See the big picture

Every step you take, even the ‘wrong’ ones, are an incredible opportunity to learn and grow and discover more about yourself. In fact, one step in the wrong direction may reveal a whole new pathway you had never considered before that will shape your entire future. Some of the greatest discoveries and inventions of our time have been uncovered through serendipity.

The big picture needs a really wide focus. Keep an open mind. Embrace new opportunities, do things that are varied and exciting in order to discover your self, your limits and your abilities.

Being flexible with your views will also allow you to be flexible with other people as well. It’s much easier to engage with new people and have lasting friendships if you are not enraged or critical about everything they say and do.

If you are a person who feels safe being ‘in control’ it’s time to widen your focus to see the whole picture. What are you really able to control? What are the actual results? Letting go of the small things can give you incredible control and power over the big things, like your direction, your happiness and your actions.

4. Lighten up

People, (even really funny people), can take themselves far too seriously.

A sense of humour is an important part of friendships, however it needs to be taken to heart as well. Brush off some of your mistakes, have a laugh instead of feeling angry, embarrassed or ashamed. It will improve your resilience, your courage and increase the risk reward ratio to tip in the favour of reward.

It will also give yourself permission to celebrate more of your wins, as you will be less focused on you ‘failures’.

This is not the same as talking down to yourself or having a joke at your expense, it’s simply staying relaxed when things aren’t going your way, looking at the bright side when you make a mistake and be willing to pick yourself up and brush it off straight away, rather than brewing on it for a month in hiding.

In short, be kind to yourself and laugh more.

Find and befriend that side of you who knows how to have fun to free yourself from some of the limitations you have falsely gathered about yourself over the years about how you ‘should’ or ‘must’ behave.  A great relationship with yourself is not based on ‘shoulds’ it’s based on likes and passions. Strip off the rules you don’t need so that you can follow your heart to fun and rewarding places.

5. Make intelligent decisions

When you are emotional your intelligence drops and your IQ is limited to a few blips and blahs. Get yourself into a calm state before you make any choices or take action. It’s as simple as reminding yourself that you are emotional, that alone will help to calm you down.

Making decisions when you are excited, stressed, angry, tired or panicked will result in a short-range result, and probably not a rewarding one.

Give yourself time and space to calm down and get back into the NOW position. That means no sadness over the past or anxiety for the future, it’s just the exact moment you are living in right now.

From here you can get real about the true nature of the situation at hand, what your options are (there are always more options available) and how you can take steps towards the future that you desire.

It’s all about designing your future by living what you want right now.

If you would like help designing your future and improving your relationship with yourself, join us at Live it Now and wipe the slate clean, so you can reconnect with you.

Kindest regards,

Matt Catling

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