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No matter how successful we become professionally, without meaningful relationships from which we derive a sense of connection, belonging, and joy, we feel a void that in many instances adversely influences our level of happiness, fulfillment, and overall enjoyment from life. And that includes the relationship we have with ourselves.
As visionaries, healers, spiritual leaders with self-awareness and an understanding and perspective that may conflict with others in our environment, homes, workplaces, and social circles, how can we co-create these healthy relationships without "losing ourselves?"
How can we develop and maintain healthy, empowering connections with others, especially a loved one, a partner, while honoring our journey, individuality, authenticity?
How do we feel mutually safe to fully unfold into all possible human expressions or aspects of our personality and spirit as they emerge daily, emotionally, creatively?
How do we build the bridge to straddle the world of who we are, what we are, how we are individually, emotionally, and spiritually with the demands of the roles we play (mother, partner, employee, business owner, leader, etc.) to create these healthy relationships in our lives?
What does this all mean?
Here's a tangible example.
From experience, I've noticed that there are occasions when people in my social circles, including myself, complain about "losing themselves" in their relationships. Over time, we may morph into an unrecognizable version of who we are and significantly deviate from our natural likes, dislikes, preferences, and ways of being.
If you can relate, you may agree that, at times, we tend to contort ourselves to "fit" the expectations or demands we perceive others have of us, including partners, colleagues, and managers.
The question I ask myself is, "what's behind that behavior, and what can we do to peacefully and joyfully co-exist in meaningful relationships at work and personally while staying true to ourselves and evolving simultaneously?
As I reflect on this question, I tentatively conclude that this autopilot behavior somehow stems from a deep, subconscious desire to be loved and liked. Or perhaps, it's a need to belong, feel approved of, a hidden concern or fear of being misunderstood, not wanting to rock the boat or stand out.
These unaware desires can lead to a subdue willingness to do whatever it takes to have love and be loved, earn someone's good graces, and be part of the circle or clan. It essentially feels like our survival depends on it, but at what cost?
Reflecting further, I also notice that I tend to move away from being authentically me when I participate in contorting my behaviors, my genuine voice, and playing along. Thus, I play small, hold back from fully expressing all that I am in a particular interaction and moment, ultimately letting my spontaneity and sense of freedom fade. I start feeling suffocated or restricted by the box that I put myself in—by no fault of anyone but me and even unbeknownst to the other party. My energy, presence, work performance, relationships, and sense of joy and enjoyment suffer from that emotional state.
How can you relate to this?
Think of one relationship, work-related or personal, where you feel challenged.
What seems to be the source of the challenge in that relationship?
What expectations do you have or sense they have of you?
How are you responding to the expectations and how are you behaving toward the person who you have expectations about?
How is this dynamic negatively impacting the relationship?
What can you "own" and do once you recognize the role you're playing in that dynamic? And how can you support the other person, lovingly, and patiently, to extend their awareness?
Here's my checklist with five shifts you (and I) can consider--celebrities welcomed--to resist the tendency to lose yourself and bring your best self to a healthy, accepting, and sustainable relationship:
Shift #1: Connect to the emotion and the place and time you are in and detach from the perception and preconceptions you sense others have on how you "should be" at that moment.
Shift #2: Be who you are at that moment, unapologetically. Feel the emotions you're feeling, share your perspective compassionately. Stay open to yourself and what is present.
Shift #3: Don't contort yourself to meet the expectations you sense are present—thus not being authentically you.
Shift #4: Focus on the pleasure of the interaction and the moment—seek the joy in real-time.
Shift #5: Watch and observe yourself with love and compassion. Be loving and kind to yourself first and others. Communicate what you notice from a place of contributing to the "we" or "us" i n the relationship.
Bringing it all together
What is the bridge to "being" a visionariy, healer, spiritual leader and being in a healthy relationship in this world?
The bridge I envision builds upon these five shifts, which, taken to heart, can help us connect deeper to who we are, anchor in our truth, value, and worth to support the growth of meaningful and loving relationships.
The intent is that you, I, and the people who share in your life benefit from and enjoy the abundance you are--with all your dimensions, emotions, and states of being.
Let me know how this topic resonates, and if I can support you in any way, please reach out, and let's connect at www.callwithginny.com.
Live with purpose, live with joy!
Coach Ginny 💕
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Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning transformational speaker & leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 best-selling author of Healing Leadership and Fearless Women at Work. Ginny specializes in partnering with organizations and ERGs to develop leadership dream teams. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or transitioning into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees, and delivered keynotes impacting global audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.
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