When creating a relationship, it’s very easy to think of things in terms of what actions you need to take.
But the reverse is also true – it’s important to identify the actions you’re going to stop. Here are two you can stop right now: complaining and staying comfortable.
The ideas below are not the only ones. The purpose of this post is to get you thinking about them because there will be a range of actions, behaviours, and habits that are not serving you. Stopping them will make a difference.
Three other considerations; first, I’m not saying you always have to be positive. That’s unrealistic and silly. They key point is to be real. Second, any new action, conversation, or framework takes practice. Improving anything takes practise. And third, with the way we think, feel, and act, there will be blind spots. These are ways of behaving that we don’t even know we’re doing – and they might be undermining your relationship journey. Applying self-awareness, reading relevant material, or getting coaching reduces the effect of blind spots.
So let’s start with a look at complaining.
Complaining whilst committing yourself to creating a relationship is a brilliantly effective way to avoid taking action. Human beings are amazing at rationalising – or telling “rational lies” to ourselves. And you may be complaining about all sorts of things: there are no decent men, it’s hard to start conversations, at my age (or whatever personal situation) finding someone is too difficult. We are infinitely creative at complaining – to ourselves and others – and keeping the situation similar. It may even be a habit that needs examining and updating.
Keep in mind that complaining is different from telling the truth about a situation or acknowledging the facts. Most of the time when we complain, there’s no commitment to actually resolving the complaint. It becomes a way of reinforcing the same views, thoughts, and patterns of behaviour. So start to catch yourself – and see what happens.
Similar to complaining, staying comfortable is a great way to avoid taking action – but worse than that – there’s no growth. To get stronger – we lift heavier weights. To create something new, means taking different actions. Insanity is repeating the same actions, but expecting different results. Taking the same actions is easy; we justify to ourselves that we’re doing something even though we’re not doing something that might make a difference.
Growth happens when we take action –even though we might not want to. It’s the old ‘stepping out of your comfort zone’ idea. Again – we all might know this, but few of us actually take the action. It’s much easier to stay comfortable. To use another gym analogy – a personal trainer has you push yourself. This is how a relationship coach can help you take small steps towards finding the one.
It’s your choice
Consider that eliminating behaviours is as important as starting new ones. Consider also that we’re designed as humans to save energy, so we have habits in our lives to reduce the cognitive load we place on ourselves. By dismantling old habits and recreating new habits from choice, we can start to grow.
Being comfortable could be seen as a habit. Practising being at the edge of your comfort zone could also be a habit. It’s your choice.
- Write a list of your complaints about finding a great guy.
- For a week, take the top two, and start to catch yourself when complaining. Count how many times you complain.
- For the next week, practise catching yourself again. This time – in the moment – let it go.
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