Take a moment and think about your relationships (e.g., family, friends, significant others, clients and business partnerships). Have you ever considered how they contribute to your life?
We can’t choose our family members. Sometimes childhood friendships linger. Relationships have such an impact on our lives, for better or worse. Some relationships are fruitful and bring out the best in us. Meanwhile, there are associations that are detrimental and toxic.
The latter create major energy leaks, causing us to become a less than optimal version of ourselves. The people we surround ourselves with directly impact our growth as human beings … even as entrepreneurs.
This is why creating relationships that serve your ultimate good is one of the most important strategies to strive in life and business.
“Who you spend time with is who you become! Change your life by consciously choosing to surround yourself with people with higher standards!” — Tony Robbins
We are not victims. The way we live is a byproduct of what we allow. Yes, some things are not clear right way. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why certain events take place. Yet, however, for the most part — we can create our own lives.
How are you showing up?
You are where you are today because of how you show up. How you relate to yourself impacts how you relate to others.
If certain people are draining you, it’s because you allow it. If you do not like it, you can create boundaries and distance yourself from them. There are no excuses. There are no special circumstances.
If you are unhappy serving a particular client examine your motives. Take responsibility for the fact, that regardless of your motive … you allowed it.
I know you’re probably thinking, “But Elinor… you don’t understand. So and so is doing this to me. They are not supportive of me. I can’t do anything about it.”
I challenge you to think of the possibilities. The reality is that you can do something about it. You can’t control the way other people react to you, but you can absolutely control how you react to them. In fact, it is the only thing you can control.
Owning your personal power
If something transpires between you and another person and it makes you feel uncomfortable, do you communicate it? It can feel awkward at times to say how we truly feel. Most people prefer to avoid conflict. But this is how you begin to own your internal power.
Your internal power is a light that will turn the darkness before you into light, the rough places into level ground. It will help you reach your purpose.
There is nothing wrong with communicating your expectations and feelings about an interaction. The art of getting your needs met is about understanding your feelings and communicating them in a proactive, not reactive, way.
The simple act of saying: “I want this,” or “I need that,” creates preference. Communicating your preferences in life is a key dynamic of decision making. It attracts the right types of relationships into your life.
However, a key step requires admission that some relationships are not serving your higher good. Once you identify relationships that are detrimental to your well-being, it is up to you to let go.
There are some people that we cannot eliminate. Yet, you can love people from afar. Engage with them less often. Get honest with yourself. It’s an uncomfortable conversation, but discomfort is a gateway to growth.
Boundaries and growth
Ultimately, when you create healthy boundaries, people will have a deeper appreciation for you. Healthy boundaries leave an open door for future growth, peaceful solutions and improved management of conflict.
This is emotional adulthood … the stage in development where we take responsibility for our own emotions and feelings. Taking responsibility for how we choose to think, feel, and behave is a conduit for personal growth. It’s a decision to be assertive, not aggressive (which is often ineffective). This is called owning your personal power.
When you create relationship boundaries you show up for yourself; you no longer put up with situations that do not prosper you. This is a key component of leadership. It is essential to cultivating more self-love.
When you are tuned into what you need and intentionally seek win-win solutions everything around you is elevated. This is how you create your life instead of dealing with what life throws your way. This is how you change your life and your business.
This article has been edited.
Elinor Cohen is a life and business strategist who helps grow businesses by focusing on entrepreneurs’ relationship with themselves and how they manage their biggest asset – their energy! She helps them grow their awareness and implements inner work rituals to create big, external results. By navigating business owners through their gifts, they are able to own up to what they really want in order to create the biggest impact on the world. Connect with @elinorcohen on Twitter.