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July, 2010:

What Is The Strength Of Relationships? Commitment To Personal Growth

What if I told you the strength of your relationships is contingent upon you and your partner’s commitmentto personal growth?  Let’s take a closer look.  Since many partnerships have dissolved as a result of stagnation, the simple act of stretching our knowledge and awareness can create the positive energy between two people to reinforce the choice to stay together. This is true for any kind of significant relationship or partnership, whether the relationship is personal or professional. Any successful partnership involves a degree of intimacy.

If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”

~ John Maxwell

So many of us believe we find security in the status quo.  However over time, people tend to develop resentment with those they feel are holding them back from the life they really want. Many come to realize the predictability they once cherished is no longer satisfying.  Although it is easy to blame our partners for this lack of growth, it is up to us to live the life we aspire to.  It is useful to look within to determine whether you feel stifled.

Here are a few simple questions to evaluate whether you are being intellectually and emotionally stretched:

  • Pay attention to your level of enthusiasm about the day ahead.  Is it high or low?
  • Do the activities you participate in offer the opportunity to be exposed to people outside of your normal circle?
  • Have you recently learned new information that enhances your life

If you find you are stuck in the same old routine, make the powerful decision to consciously expand your awareness. With this expansion of consciousness comes the opportunity for remarkable progress. Your relationships will be positively impacted by you making the decision to step outside of what is comfortable and challenge yourself to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Simple Steps To Change Negative Patterns And Create Emotional Security

Wouldn’t it be relieving to know negative patterns of behavior could be changed? Most are afraid to make any kind of transformation due to the fear of the unknown. A feeling of emotional security can be created by staying within the status quo.  Many fight for predictability even though negative patterns can be created. Sometimes years fly by before we come to the realization that we are simply living the life expected of us, as opposed to seeking new experiences and awareness.  There is a degree of comfort in traditions and knowing that preceding generations have lived the same way.  This cyclical pattern affects all aspects of life, from a sense of self worth to the quality of relationships.

If you have become aware of yourself repeating negative patterns, there are some very simple steps you can take to create positive results:

  • Make a note of the pattern you want to change.
  • Write down several ways how this pattern manifests in your life.
  • Share this awareness with an objective person.
  • Make a simple plan of specific actions you can take to change your direction.

Involving the assistance of an objective person is critical. It is difficult to maintain any honest self-appraisal. It can be a challenge for anyone who is emotionally to close to your situation to offer direct and frank advice.  With the help of a trusted friend, coach or mentor, you will discover areas of your life you may not see on your own and you will establish accountability.  With this connection, you will feel empowered and more likely to make the real changes you desire. This outside perspective will remind you how far you have come and encourage you to keep moving forward.

So start today!   Begin to notice where you act without awareness. Observe situations in which you find yourself reacting in ways you do not like.  Choose to take the simple steps to begin a new chapter in your life.  One where you live the life you really want.

Be Positive! Improve Your Thinking To Create Success And Happiness

It is hard to deny that so much of success and happiness is based on positive ways of thinking.  Most of us are aware that a hopeful attitude is one of the keys to the expansion of forward thinking.  Of course, optimism alone accomplishes only a part of the puzzle.  One must be willing to take action to ensure progress towards real success. The combination of positive ways of thinking, the resolve to follow through with new ideas, and the development of supportive relationships create a recipe for favorable outcomes.

Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed imagination.” ~ William Arthur Ward

In order to connect with limitless possibility, it is necessary to commit to creating supportive relationships.  This can involve many challenges because supportive doesn’t always mean comfortable. Creating the right relationships for success involves being stretched beyond the normal definitions of security. Positive connections create accountability to the commitments made to grow and change. It is vital to be aware of how partnerships affect thinking.  Regular evaluations of an individual’s relationships can create an environment of growth and positive change.

A Simple Assessment To Evaluate Relationships

  • Does this relationship challenge my ideas?
  • Do conversations support expansion of thinking or suppression of ideas?
  • Does this relationship encourage compassion?

Finding the answers to these questions can provide you with tremendous insight into the condition of any relationship. Often, people will hold on to friendships and other connections because of the fear of being alone. No matter how scary honest evaluation can be, the knowledge gained from accurate appraisals is vital. With this awareness you can find a specific direction to go in to continue your personal growth. The combination of your desire to grow and a system of support makes the road a lot less treacherous.  The more we know about ourselves and our relationships, the more we can create positive attitudes, inspire action, and strengthen our resolve.

Do You Struggle To Accept Different Opinions? How To Avoid Conflict

Do you struggle with accepting different opinions?  Conflicts often begin as a result of trying to convince someone else to see a situation the same way you do.  You have every right to your opinion and the free expression of it.  It is important to remember, however, so do those with whom you don’t agree.

As people, we thrive on validation and connection.  Having our contemporaries support and understand our viewpoints feels good and keeps our hearts open.  We experience a sense of unity and advocacy.  It only becomes problematic when one party attempts to suppress the opinions of another.

Contrasting perspectives enhance life.  Although it may be rare for someone to change their mind, being exposed to differing beliefs can be very healthy as we learn to become explorers in this complex and multi-faceted world we live in.  Through listening to someone else’s ideas we may choose to create positive change in our life, or it may strengthen our current decisions and personal power.

Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”     ~ Stacey Charter

To be able to accept another person’s opinion is a symptom of healthy self-acceptance.  It is always good to know who you are, what you believe, and why you have the perspectives you do.  Enjoy sharing your insights, and even more importantly, learn to enjoy listening to the insights of others.  All of this enriches life.