It's all about accountability.
I've been speaking to so many amazing women over the course of the last few weeks, all in the name of research because I want to have the fullest possible picture to share with you and my clients.
I'm always willing to learn and open to changing my views, being humble (though not easily), admitting my mistakes, and making good where I can.
It's part of how I live my life.
These are only some of the changes I have implemented in my life in order to have a happy healthy loving marriage, to be a good friend, to be able to raise the bar and put healthy boundaries in place, to be able to say "no" to people when we don’t agree on how I should be treated (no matter how difficult it is).
In other words, in order to have successful relationships with others, I live life on its terms — and not mine.
I’m not perfect — absolutely not — nor would I want to be — because I grow with my mistakes and I'm a better teacher when I'm learning how to deal with the tough times, the hurts and the disappointments and how to best celebrate life.
Sometimes I’m not great at "practicing what I preach" but I own that shortcoming because I see how my desire to take control and step out of the flow makes a mess of everything. It makes me miserable, makes me fearful and it can make my interactions with others difficult.
When I begin to look for others to fill that hole inside me with their love, validation, and respect, I start having expectations.
I begin judging, gossiping and being mean. The world seems like a difficult place to live in. But the amazing thing about it is I have a choice — it is in my control to continue on this path or I can make a decision to step out of fear and back into love.
And that is also your choice at any given moment.
When I hit emotional bankruptcy, I wanted to hear from others what led them to not only survive toxic and unhealthy relationships but to move on and thrive in love and life.
Here's the biggest thing I learned, the one rule to having a successful relationship, the one single thing that each of these women had in common: They made a decision to work on themselves.
Whatever the motivation each of these women had, they all realized that the only way to succeed in life (and in love) was to make themselves fully accountable for their own happiness, decisions, and well-being.
Furthermore, they realized they must take ownership of their own behavior in their relationships.
Every single one of these women understood that no matter the situation she was currently in, she had in some way contributed to the difficulties in her own life.
For example, if you believe you're no good at relationships and you always attract the losers, cheaters, and abusers then guess what? You'll attract just that and in the meantime, repel the good guys.
Take responsibility for your part; it's the biggest gift you can give yourself. You can’t change your partner’s behavior but if you have awareness of your patterns, you surely can change yours.
I discovered that none of these women were trying to change anyone else. They were trying to live the best life they could and no matter the situation, the one thing they all had in common was that they wanted to live better and were working on themselves to achieve this.
For some, it was a very conscious decision to resolve a particular problem, and for others, it was a defensive action:
- "I am not emotionally strong enough to leave this marriage so I need to work on me in order to make that shift."
- "I am unhappy and dissatisfied so I must find a way to change this for me."
- "I realize no one else is going to fight my battle for me. I need to be strong and fight for my own happiness and hopefully, lead by example."
- "I had no choice but to leave, but I had a choice on whether I stayed down and out emotionally or I built a life for myself."
- "I didn’t understand why he was treating me this way but at a certain point, I understood that I needed boundaries — though I didn’t know at the time — it was just survival."
So what is the single transformation point?
Irrespective of the situation, it's the knowledge that each one of us must take responsibility for our own lives, love, and happiness. Otherwise, we give control to those who don’t deserve it and may even abuse it.
The only successful way is to focus on yourself and begin to dig down deep, get to know who you are, what you're capable of and how you arrived at this point.
What thoughts and beliefs drove your decisions? How can you change them? What are you prepared to do?
Your life and your happiness is your responsibility.
I'm a little nosy, so I asked what had been the most shocking revelation for these women and it was this: they stayed stuck because they took on the pain of someone else.
The didn't leave or set boundaries for fear that it may cause that person to harm themselves in some way.
The antidote is the knowledge that you are no more responsible for another persons’ life than they are for yours. The ball is firmly in your court to step out of supposition and expectation and do what you know is right for you. That is a truly courageous act.
So are you ready to step up and thrive in life and love, take control and be empowered? If you are still doubting, then close your eyes amd imagine two years from now.
You have taken no action, What is your life like? How are you feeling? How does it differ from the life you want?
To know more on how Allison Reiner works and how she can help you, email her at email@example.com. Or to get working immediately, why not download her 5 step worksheet to help identify where you can begin to make changes? Click here. To get to know Allison join her Facebook Community.
This article was originally published at Thrive Global. Reprinted with permission from the author.