Are Relationship Challenges Holding You Back in Business?
If you're clashing with your partner, these steps can help you overcome it.
When entrepreneurs come to me wanting to improve their business, they're shocked when I ask them what's happening at home. When they realize that their relationship challenges are having a professional impact, they soon start to take notice. The real work begins.
I start off by explaining that anything is either giving us energy or taking energy away, so it's imperative that we start to free up energy by resolving any energetic drains. When this happens, not only are their partners happier, but the business also starts moving again because there is "energetic resolve." This is when the nervous system relaxes, and a natural flow and rhythm resumes.
Typically, I'm inundated with stories of blame, finger-pointing and criticism from the person that my client spends most of his or her time with. It's here that I start to share some raw and honest truth that cuts through the habitual patterns that keep clients blocked from growing.
Depending on the relationship, some arguments can be deep-rooted from events in the past, and others can be triggered by a recent event. Topics can include trust, money, overwork, children, commitment, addictions and the list goes on.
Regardless, this is how you can experience new levels of happiness and joy in a conscious partnership — and, by extension, in business.
Take 100% responsibility
There really is no growth in shifting the blame to others, attempting to get them to adopt a new behavior. The ego loves to fight, and so typically all this will do is trigger the other person to defend themselves. An argument is only ever caused by two egos up against each other. When it comes down to it, the sad truth is that we play a part in everything that's happening, so we have to ask, "What part did I play in this?"
This is also incredibly important when it comes to something happening repeatedly because the frustration often is about our lack of boundaries and directly linked to a lack of self-love and confidence. If someone is continuing to treat you a certain way, for example, then it was the fact that you let that behavior continue. There was a decision and action that was not taken that led to its continuation.
Take a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle. On the left side, put everything you're frustrated by, and on the right side, write down how you played a part in it, and you will very soon come to a realization that puts you back in a place of power.
Be honest about triggers and feelings
Especially for those with unresolved issues from the past (most of us), it's incredibly important to be vocal and expressive about what sets us off and why. Relationships end up breaking down because of a lack of authenticity; we shove things down, and that builds up. Now you find yourself in a fight about toilet paper when, in fact, it's about the topic that was never resolved a month before and has been brewing beneath the surface.
If you're willing to spend days resolving big issues in your business, but not willing to spend a few hours resolving something difficult in your relationship, it will be sensed by your partner, and he or she will disconnect because he or she will feel that the business is more important.
Unconscious, avoidant behavior punishes someone else for what he or she has done, and conscious, emotionally intelligent behavior is to admit something is uncomfortable to talk about, but push through it anyway. Being committed to resolving the issue is a powerful statement, one rooted in a commitment to happiness.
The connection question
Ultimately, arguments occur when we become disconnected from our partner, and therefore, what we need to do is reestablish connection. This is also incredibly important to understand regarding sex and intimacy. Knowing when there is connection and disconnection is a level of awareness that needs to be developed, and this is all about attunement to others. This is why emotional and energetic intelligence is so important. Work, and especially overwork, locks us into the analytical mind and blocks many people from the heart. When we are connected to our heart, we speak from the heart.
With that being said, the question that delivers the most connection when delivered calmly, with eye contact and from the heart is, "What are you feeling right now?"
When we ask this question, it will either be answered with resistance or honesty. If it's answered with resistance, the person answering doesn't feel safe. Create a safe place for the the person to be completely honest. Once the honest answer comes, notice what happens in your body and be honest about how you're feeling. This authenticity is a big part of conscious relationship growth.
Related: The Key to Success? Relationships.
Listening and meeting needs
A big reason for friction in relationships is the inability to be present and the failure to listen. People would rather have 20 minutes of fully present time in person than one half-hearted hour with you on the phone. It's okay to be working, but not working when you've agreed to be present. Frustration builds when we have not aligned to an agreed expectation and being a man or woman of our word. Nothing crushes trust faster than saying we are going to do something, then not following through.
When someone is meeting our needs, but we're not meeting their needs, it's not really a relationship. If we have stopped meeting someone's needs, we need to express why and resolve the issue. To punish someone is also not healthy.
A conscious relationship is based on two people doing the work to improve themselves and spiritually grow together. We can massively reduce arguments and accelerate love by learning to become more self-aware, resolve the challenges from our past and be as present as we can be with the people around us. The work always starts with us — and doing it will have positive ramifications in business and life.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor