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Growth

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.

You Are Responsible

The more you are able to recognize your patterns of fear and negativity, the more you can create positive and loving relationships in your life.

Fear and negativity are fed by false and negative beliefs about the motives of other people. As a result of these limiting and fearful beliefs, many people use flawed definitions of relationships, such as “Relationships are hard work” and “Relationships are 50/50,” to justify isolation and loneliness. If you see other people as enemies who are trying to take advantage of you, then it will be very difficult to feel a true sense of connection and closeness. When you are able to truly take responsibility for your decisions and actions, you can form definitions of relationships that are rooted in love and enhancement.

Grow Without Pain

Relationships can certainly be complicated. When people come together at any level, there are belief systems, preferences, and motives to be acknowledged. This process does not have to be painful. Although it can be scary, and sometimes frustrating, building positive healthy relationships is one of the key factors in a joyous life experience. The biggest challenge is deciding whether you have the willingness to take responsibility for your behavior.

• How you live and perceive life is a choice.

• A close relationship consists of each individual’s 100% commitment to its success.

• Flexibility is essential in building strong relationships.

• The only actions you can truly control are your own.

• Building relationships can be complicated. In order to build strong relationships you must take responsibility for your own actions.

Be True to You

True growth can only happen when your roots are strong. It doesn’t matter what you learn or become aware of, if you are not in touch with your essence, the meaning of the new lesson will be lost.

Many people spend years aimlessly drifting, hoping to some day stumble upon the one great truth that will completely transform their life. They feel they have no purpose and find it an impossible task to connect with others. Still others look for the radical change that will set them in the direction of success and happiness and satisfy the urge to remake their existence. Finally, there are those who kneel at the altar of the status quo, condemning anyone who deviates from the norm as being a reckless saboteur. They constantly fight to “get back” to a state of mind which has been idealized and used as the standard of happiness.

These are all extreme examples. Understanding them is important because they illustrate some of what we use as criteria to make connections and form relationships. Growth is fluid and organic. Without movement, life atrophies and dies. At the same time, change for the sake of change simply creates a temporary sense of satisfaction, its long term effects as deceptive as drug-induced euphoria.

Keep things simple.

  • Answer, to yourself, the question of “Who am I?” No one else outside of you can tell you what your essence is. Friends and advisers can point out patterns, traits, and characteristics, but only you can make the final determination of who you are.
  • Take risks! It is dangerous and unhealthy to not seek new awareness and perspectives. This is only a problem when you are attempting to escape a challenge. Again, change for changes sake isn’t taking a risk, it is simply avoidance.
  • Have fun! Life is a joyful experience. The key here is experience. Go, do, and be. Find new adventures and share them with people you love.
  • Seek guidance from those you see growing. Make it a point to find and talk to people who have knowledge on something you wish to learn about. It’s always fun to meet new people and absorb.

The key in all of this is to be true to you. Rarely does someone need a radical makeover. Most often it is a readjustment that will do the trick. Have a strong network of relationships, strong roots, and allow growth to happen. Remain open to new ideas and stay curious. With this as your foundation, you will surely thrive!

Growth, Change, and Relationships

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Photo Credit: Suyog Gaidhani via Flickr

Growth is sometimes painful. Although pain is not a prerequisite to growth, sometimes it happens. Ideally, we would all grow painlessly and effortlessly. It is an important ideal to shoot for and one to which we all aspire. A critical part of growth is flexibility and the willingness to change.

One of the most difficult aspects with growth can be the relationships in your life. If, for example, you decide to make a major change, every relationship you have will be affected. Some people will be inspired to change themselves as a result of your new found discoveries. Others, unfortunately, will be at the ready to pounce as soon as you show any sign of fear or insecurity. Why? Because your decision to change can make others insecure about their situation. 

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Photo credit:sillydog via Flickr

When you stretch, it can be uncomfortable. This discomfort does not mean the change you are making is wrong. It is simply a reminder of how long you have stayed in a familiar place. Here are some simple ways to gauge the level of support in your relationships:

  • Validation is vital. Growth can be scary. It is nice to know people in your life are empathetic. Hearing from someone who understands goes a long way to galvanizing your conviction.
  • Understanding, or the desire to understand, lets you know the other person really listens to you. 
  • Encouragement comes in many forms. Sometimes it is verbal. It can also come in the form of what is not said. When you clearly state goals to your friends, and know why you have these goals, you need encouragement. You will experience times when you simply want to acquiesce to the status quo. It is at these times the encouragement from vital relationships provides the added strength you need. If someone supports you giving up, the relationship is negative. 

The status quo is safe. Nothing changes. We can find security in not changing. Unfortunately it is impossible to experience joy, happiness, and success without taking risks. Make sure your relationships support you.