Navigating The Relationship Gap
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How Do You Bridge The Relationship "GAP"

Sep 01, 2020

When only one of your grows?

What do you do when you find yourself with this relationship gap, that gap that's been created, because you have committed to developing personally your partner hasn't and now you find you're not even on that same page. Well, that's what we're talking about in this fourth episode of the, your rich life podcast. If you're ready, let's dive straight in.

Now, this is something that I see very commonly. So if you're feeling this you're not alone, and if you're feeling this, there is absolutely a way for you to navigate through this. And that's what I'm going to give you today. I want to give you some different perceptions to look at and some tools to use to help you bridge that gap. Because you becoming successful and building a successful business, doesn't have to mean the end of the relationships that really matters to you.

But there is probably a necessity for you to understand that you're going to need to uplevel your communication, to keep people on the same page as you, when you're surrounded mostly by people who are not on your journey, who don't have their own business is very challenging for them to understand your drive and your determination and the way that you're thinking.

Don't Point The Finger

One of the things that I first learned when I found myself with this relationship gap was I had to stop pointing the finger. I had to stop being the one that pointed out how different we were and how much I had changed and how much it was his responsibility to come meet me. Where I was at.

I actually had to use some of my own coaching experience on myself and seek help from some fellow coaches and mentors to help me navigate that. And I'm going to pass that on to you today. Now, the first thing that I want to discuss with you is that every single one of us has three main pains that we're trying to avoid. And one of those pains is the pain of loss. So many business owners are holding themselves back from going to that next level, because of this subconscious belief that they're going to lose something commonly, it's the loss of comfort.

It's the loss of the known of the certainty. That's a big one that most of us could admit to saying now and again, you know what? I'm not really that happy where I am, but I know what's going on. And I feel comfortable with that. But one of the ones that we don't know about quite so consciously is that fear of losing our relationships in our friendships. What if I'm really successful? And I start living this different life and my friends and my family judge me. What if I lose the friends I've had from school? Because we've got nothing in common anymore. What if they think that I have changed? And they don't like me anymore? All these things are unknowingly often going on inside of our head, but it comes to a different, a whole different level. In my opinion, when we're starting to worry about what if I lose my, what if my determination to succeed in my business?

Your Business Is An Extension of You

Because I'm guessing if you're listening to this, you're not just in business to make money you're in business, because it's something you feel so passionate about your business as an extension of who you are. It lights you up from the insight and the thought well, having to choose between that and a relationship. Well, it just doesn't bear thinking about does it? So when we think about the loss pain, one of the last pains that is deeply ingrained in many of us is what if I lose the person that I love. I'll tell you that because if you are not at that stage yet, where you're experiencing that relationship gap, please don't switch off. Please listen, because I can almost guarantee that if you're in this journey to create your rich life, and you're in a relationship where your partner isn't actively doing the same, or at least upleveling their, their personal growth and development, then it's a real risk that this, this, this river, this gap will be sensed at some point further down the line, even if right now you couldn't ever possibly see that happen because that's what took me so much by surprise is that I just didn't see it coming.

So when you know about that loss of potential loss, and even if it's not something that's been in your conscious awareness, you can now plan for that because when it's in your awareness, you're already thinking about, okay, so how do I navigate around that?

Firstly, STOP communicating through the lens of the past. What I mean by this is we all have a very unique model of the world. I like to talk about things being in buckets. So we have values and definitions and meanings and expectations and experiences on so many aspects of life. And we, we file each of them away in these little buckets, and it helps us to give meaning it actually helps us to stop our brain exploding with the amount of information that we take in on a daily basis now, by nature, that we all have a very unique life experience.

We Don't Share The Same Buckets

None of us have the same buckets. All of our buckets are filled with very different experiences and therefore we have very different meanings. Now, add to that, the fact that if you've been in your relationship for a substantial length of time, you now have your relationship bucket. You have all of the experiences and the memories of your relationship from all of that time in this one bucket, good, bad, and ugly. And you know what we're really good at doing, especially women. We're very good at every time that is not going right. Every time we're experiencing a disagreement or an argument, we're really good at emptying that bucket out on the floor. I'm picking out what suits. I'm sure that's not just me. So when we communicate through the lens of our past experiences in the relationship, and we communicate through the lens of what is our model of the world, we actually start to immediately close down the possibility for effective communication.

Now, right off the bat, I'm going to tell you that one of the most amazing books that got recommended to me that helped me see, this was a book called leadership and self deception is a super cheap book. You can get it off of Amazon. And seriously, you can read this in an afternoon, which is what I had to do. When I found myself facing the decision. Did I want to end my marriage? Or did I want to work through this together? Because this is something that you just can't do it on your own. And I want to talk about that just a little bit later on in this podcast. So the first step is if you really want to start bridging that relationship gap, you are going to have to release ego. You're going to have to release the need to be right. And you're going to have to release all our old behaviors around how you've dealt with relationship difficulties in the past.

It Requires A New Level of You

It's requires a whole new level of you. Now, what I want to say here as well. This is my perception is that in the first instance you are probably going to have to be so much more intentional than you will as the time goes along, because you may feel like in the first instance that you're doing this alone, if you have done any level of personal development, you're going to know more about awareness and consciousness and intention and showing up if your partner has no concept of those words and what they mean and how they show up in life and you start using them. Can you imagine what's going to happen? I remember my husband saying to me, you're using this word intention and showing up, and I don't know what you actually mean. And I realized in that moment, like I was using words that I use with my clients and I use in my development and I was trying to communicate at my level and I wasn't, I wasn't meeting him at his level.

Notice that I don't say coming down to, this is not a space where we even entertain the idea that I am up here. When you're down there, there is an awareness and an appreciation for where other people are at. Now. You can, you can actually marry this across to any conversation, any relationship where there is conflict, you can use this same methodology. So the first step really is understanding that it's okay to have this awareness of, of, of loss, but that doesn't have to be the story. The second point is understanding that communication has to come through a clean pair of glasses. You need to take yourself out of the box of your past experience with this relationship and with everything you believe to be true. If you haven't yet listened to the episode on challenging your conditioning so that you can become the creator.

You really must go back to listen to that episode right now and go get yourself that book's about four pounds on Amazon and start to think about how can you be the person who intentionally sets up the space for communication, where there is an outcome that suits both people, where there is a space for both people to express how they feel. And neither party is allowed to say, well, that's not how I see it, or that's not what I'm feeling. You cannot, you cannot listen to somebody telling you how they feel and make sense of it through your experience. This is their experience, and you have to honor the way that they feel. And for me, this is the key part of bridging this relationship gap. It is how do I communicate more effectively and allow the space for them to communicate more effectively. And also, like I say, if they have no concept of personal growth, you have to allow time for this process to happen.

Assumptions and Expectations

Now, the next step along that similar to looking through the lens is you have to get really clear of where you are making assumptions and you are You're putting expectations on this other party. Assumptions can be everything from, well, I don't understand why you don't see that. I need that help from you. I'm assuming that because we've been together a long time that you know how I feel. I'm assuming that you're going to understand how challenging this is for me. Don't make any assumptions. Because when we make the assumption, we're actually robbing that other person of the possibility to see things in a different way. We're actually putting something on them. And we're actually, by making that assumption, we almost kind of block their creativity for seeing where we're at. We need to be able to go back to the communication. Even if that means you have to say, I've realized that what I've been doing is making some huge assumptions and I can see how that's not helpful.

And I guess what I was looking for was blah, blah, blah. But I can see how by making assumptions, I've achieved, blah, blah, blah. I need to find another way to do that. Do you have some ideas? And I know some of you are right now, like, eh, you know, we don't want to hear this. We don't want to feel like we've got to think so much about communication, but because most of us were never taught to communicate effectively up until about three years ago, when I was in relationship conflict, my modus operandi was screaming, shouting, slamming doors and not talking for anywhere from three days outward. That's what I learned. It's not effective. And it's in disempowering, to both parties.

Now we're talked about expectations. So assumptions and expectations are sort of somewhat the same, but also what I've noticed is that we have expectations for ourselves. And we don't share those expectations with people, right? What are your expectations of yourself and your life and your dreams? And are you assuming that your partner knows those? And what expectations are you putting on your partner that they don't even know that you have so on assumptions and expectations. This is maybe your first port of call, where you have to get super honest with yourself and ask yourself, where are you doing these two, these two things. What assumptions are you making? And what expectations are you putting on your partner? They probably have no idea about because you've, you're not communicating effectively. Now, even in the most amazing relationships where there isn't personal growth going on on either side, I would pretty much guarantee that most relationships break down because of ineffective communication.

Everybody wants to be seen and heard. It's not about right or wrong. It's not about putting one person in their place. It's not about one person backing down or giving in. It's not about saying all. Let's just agree to disagree. There are ways to communicate effectively. So please do make sure that you get that book now, communication one Oh one here. We also don't put the pointing the finger. We don't try to apportion blame. This is where if you go in with, you've all heard it. If you're pointing the finger, there's three fingers pointing back at you. And the minute you start to criticize your you're literally adding fuel to the fire. We can talk about this is the way that I feel this thing that's happening makes me feel this way I am experiencing. I see that. I feel that. What do you think?

Find yourself a way to rehearse this level of communication with people so that it doesn't feel like you're trying to coach your partner. It feels like a conversation where they feel empowered and safe to speak. I feel now even the first instance and the second and the third, and maybe the 10th instance, your partner is still coming back at you with, you know, we've fire and venom and misunderstanding. Please have some patience. This is a quite a long process to navigate through. So in these moments, I find it always helpful to remember why I love him so much and why we got together and in all the ways that he supported me in the past, and also looking at my faults and where I don't show up fully so that I don't end up feeling like the I'm better than him or more advanced than him.

They weren't getting on there at the end of the line, and she really needed some help. And the therapist, whoever gave her this magic water and the instructions were to when the husband came home from work to make sure that she drank this water before she spoke, and it would have these magic effects. And lo and behold, after just a few days, the lady was realizing that the relationship was really changing. They were laughing together. They were getting close together. Things were happening in the intimate areas of their life as well. When she run out of this magic water and she goes running back to her therapist and she's like, I'm a good, you've got to give me more of that magic water. And the therapist was like, well, clearly that it wasn't magic water. It was just water that I put in a special bottle.

But It Made You Stop

Sipping the water forced the woman to respond, not react. It gave her time to see something different, rather than what she had already decided in her head.

Stay Focused on The Positive

You could start to write down one thing a day that you're grateful for, for your partner, so that you're focused on the positive. Focus on what could be possible for you rather than where you are right now. Because you know what, when you expect bad things from people nine times out of 10, they're going to give you that back.Instead hold them in a space of grace and create the space for the pair of you to navigate through this and not just survive it, but come out the other side, both as better and more authentic versions of yourself, but also a whole new level of relationship. Because you're not the same people that you were when you're married. Have those conversations that are deeper, meaningful. And if you have to be the one that keeps inviting them, let that be.

Hopefully the other person starts to experience that magical shift that's happening, and they will start to dance your dance. If they don't that's a whole new podcast episode for another time. 

Please do subscribe to the podcast and if you loved it, leave me a review. Thank you 

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