“In order to run a successful business, don’t I have to sacrifice time with my family or taking care of myself? I mean, running a successful business is hard and really time-consuming, right?”
If these are your thoughts, you’re not alone. I believed that business and everything related to it, like marketing and launches and money in the bank, was hard!
And there was a big part of me that believed I didn’t deserve what I was trying to create. That my own limiting beliefs about what it means to own a successful business were getting in the way of my actual success. Earlier this week, I was listening to a podcast and had an aha moment. One that, in retrospect, I feel like I should have seen so much more clearly, but I was missing it.
The idea that everything we have, or don’t have in our lives, we have a relationship with. A story, a belief, a thought, an idea that either allows us to move easily toward or causes us to repel this thing—be it money, self-love, success, time, and business. You can add to that list anything you desire more or less of in your life at this moment. And these stories are about your relationship with them and theirs with you.
Think about it. What is your relationship like with money? How do you feel when you look at your bank statement? Or how often do you obsessively stalk your own bank account on that neat, little app on your phone? There is a story, a belief, a notion about money, and you and your relationship with it.
Maybe your relationship with money says you are not good with it. Maybe it says money is hard to come by, that it will slip away easily, or that you are not deserving of what you have. Maybe you are like many of my students when they first showed up at my door and you are fearful of spending it, or you spend it excessively and then feel guilty. Maybe you obsess about it, or you fear it.
In my years as a therapist, I have always explored relationship patterns. Whether that relationship is related to your parents, your intimate partners, friends, boss, self, or someone else, I see the power in these relationship patterns—the insight that can be gained from diving in and looking for repeating thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.
For instance, in intimate relationships, imagine you are feeling alone, disconnected, and unloved. Through some personal work, you become aware that your pattern is to keep people at arm’s length, being a supporter but not accepting support in return, never actually engaging in vulnerability. There is an opportunity for self-realization, as well as a course of action that can be taken to change the outcome and connection in your relationships.
The next step is to look at your connection with yourself and explore your willingness to see you for you. In essence, being willing to be vulnerable with yourself.
If transforming your relationships with people and things in your life is what you want, you must be willing to put in the work.
Transformation begins with a willingness to be open to growth. In both coaching and therapy, it begins when you engage the service, hire your coach, or register for the program; in essence, it begins with the transaction. From there, anything is possible, as long as you stay open to the work.
Ask yourself the following questions regarding one relationship at a time (money, business, time, my spouse, my mother, myself, my limiting beliefs) and journal your responses. Keep writing until nothing else comes out. Then go back to your journal in three days and answer the questions again. (Remember, the first rule, be open!)
So with this in mind, here are the four steps to shifting all of your relationships.
Relationship Transformation Principle:
- What is my current relationship like?
- What are my current beliefs/stories/ideas about this thing/person and me?
- What does holding onto these outdated beliefs save me from?
- What do I want this relationship to be like?
What is my current relationship like? With this question, take time to really explore your behaviors and actions, take a deep look, and describe this relationship in one sentence. This is based on your experience with the thing or person. Example: “My relationship with money is stressful, overwhelming, and confusing, I often feel abandoned by money when I really need it, and I don’t think it will be there for me when push comes to shove.”
What are my current beliefs/stories/ideas about this thing and me? This is when you explore all the stories and beliefs that you have about this thing/person. These stories can be related to your own experiences, but they are also rooted in the lessons you have learned and how others perceive said person or thing. “Money is not reliable, easy come, easy go. Money is hard to come by. I will always spend more than I make and there is nothing I can do about that, only assholes have money or money makes you greedy.”
What does holding onto these outdated beliefs save me from? Holding on to these stories, that money will slip away when I need it, allows me to be stuck living paycheck to paycheck. It allows me to not take responsibility for my own success and achievement of financial freedom—then I don’t have to put in the work in my business.
What do I want my relationship to be like? This is where you can really get clear on if the opposite was true. In this example, if money was abundant and always flowing in, then what would my life and relationship be like? If I was welcoming of money, how would my life change? When I am clear on this, I can express how I want my relationship to be by stating it in the present tense, and expressing it as if it is already true, thus practicing that mindset and changing my outcome. “Money flows to me with ease, and there is always an abundance of money flowing in.”
Check out the list below for the relationships you can transform with this process.
>> Intimate partner
>> Business (as in being the CEO of your own)
The possibilities here go on and on. Any person, experience, fear, or entity—you have relationships with them all and therefore can transform those relationships into exactly what you want!
Return to this tool over and over to challenge your beliefs and stories related to all the relationships in your life and see where it takes you.