4 Steps To Finding a Sense of Self – Despite Your Relationship Status
A guest post by Marisha Dixon
Ads sell much more than products and services. The media promotes social scripts and paints pictures of how our values and lives should look each day. The images of success, family, beauty, happiness, love, femininity and masculinity are projected and reinforced for us in various mediums on a daily basis. Unfortunately, these external standards, pollute our own perceptions and feelings related to these values. They often don’t reflect our true desires or make room for us to define and prioritize what really matters most to us as individuals.
When we live this way, we abandon the people, opportunities and experiences that will lead us to the fulfillment we’re seeking in love & life. When we live half full…half fulfilled…when we live life in the shadows of everyone else’s expectations (or our own outdated expectations) of who and what we think we should be, we inevitably neglect our true selves as well as our needs and desires…we forfeit personal integrity, and we diminish our birth right to happiness, sanity, and health. When this happens, we can’t fully show up to a romantic relationship – or any other area of life for that matter.
To reclaim your sense of self, despite your relationship status, I have 4 tips for you to live life – and love – on your own terms!
1. Self-Inventory: First, it’s important to remember who you are and what you need and want most in life. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, married or divorced, there are a number of experiences you have each day that encourages your evolution and allows you to gain a sense of clarity around your personal interests, core values, professional ambitions and intellectual and romantic needs, dislikes, etc. When you think of a retail or grocery store, they are constantly checking their inventory to ensure they are fully stocked with what matters most to them and the needs of their ideal customers…the same is true for you. What do you stand for (core values or what I call, Pillars of Purpose)? What do you offer that makes you ideal for your current or desired mate? Are you keeping inventory of the people, things and experiences in your life that truly reflect who you say you are?
2. Treat YOURSELF (& Others) How You Want Others To Treat You: Experience is the best teacher, not words! When you take the time to go out into the world and actually experience the things you said truly matter to you, you are setting the tone for others to follow. Again, regardless of your relationship status, YOU provide the standard for how others should treat you by doing for yourself what you’d like to experience with someone else. If you enjoy relaxation from time to time, treat yourself to a spa day or take a walk to a local park and read a book while people watching…or whatever your idea of relaxation looks like, do that! If having a romantic dinner is something you enjoy, treat yourself to a date night at a place you haven’t tried before. (Sounds intimidating? Start by making yourself a fancy, candle light dinner in the comfort of your own home). You have to pay attention to how you’re treating yourself first, so that others catch on to what works for you…BUT, nobody is a mind reader, so proceed to tip #3
3. Be Open: This is a two-fold step. On one hand, being open means learning how to communicate – in real time. On the other hand, being open reflects your ability to remain flexible as to how things could potentially unfold for you – in romance, finance, etc. Let’s start with open communication: For whatever reason, some people just don’t seem to be vocal about their needs. They worry about what other people are going to think or say. They fear coming off too abrasive. They feel that it’s better to play it safe, be “nice” or just expect others to know what we need and want. WRONG! Speak up!! You can be upfront and kind-hearted at the same time. When you complete your self-inventory, and begin treating yourself to the experiences that matter most to you, by nature you will be able to identify the feelings you want to have in your all areas of life. As you uncover these experiences and emotions that are fulfilling to you, you should be able to communicate with your current or potential mate what really matters to you. For example, “When I went to for a walk to the park the other day to read, I ended up meeting a group of people that invited me to their aerial yoga class up the block. I enjoyed that spontaneous adventure.” By remaining open (or flexible) to how all of that manifests in your life, you may meet new friends, travel to new places, learn new skills, etc. Believe that you deserve it and get ready for how the universe delivers those experiences (or new matches) to you!
4. Eliminate Distractions: Lastly, keep your nose in your own business! We are often bombarded (or snooping) by what’s going on in other people’s lives. Texting, social media, binge watching reality or other TV shows give us a false sense of what others are doing and can be anxiety provoking as it all makes us overanalyze what we think we should be doing in our own lives. When you’ve done your Self-Inventory…when you’ve started treating yourself the way you want others to treat you, and you’ve learned to be open with others about your desires, what’s going on with others lives will have no impact on you!
What we experience in our relationships is a direct reflection of what we are or aren’t doing – whether from a mindset or behavioral point of view! Take responsibility for creating the love you desire…start with these 4 tips and please share others that come to mind if you have found any successful approaches of your own.
As a Matchmaker and RelationSHIFT™Coach, I help busy professionals rethink what’s possible in love and life. Join my monthly newsletter where you’ll receive updates on resources that will not only help you improve the relationships that mean the most to you but, you’ll also get advice from my expert guests who provide relationship and self-discovery wisdom too! If you’re part of “America’s Singles Club” join me in celebrating National Single’s Week, September 17th-23rd!!