Nationally we are facing what many are calling the worst recession in the last 100 years. And yet, when you really think about it, most of us have experienced a myriad ‘personal recessions» for numerous reasons. Whether it was from personal illness or that of a family member, investing in technology that swiftly became defunct, losing a job, having a marriage fall apart or being caught in a hurricane or other natural disaster.
While this global recession is unique in that so many of us are «in the same boat» so to speak, one thing can be sure: When this challenging time passes, and it will, each of us will have to face more challenges, whether regional, national, global, or personal. Just like our finances go through challenges and threats, both circumstantial and self-inflicted, so do our relationships.
We can be cruising along, reasonably content with the sweetness of our love lives when something major happens that sends us reeling, everything from illness to infidelity to mood swings to death.
So, since that is a known reality, the question is, what are you doing to self-strengthen? What are you doing to make yourself and your love life «recession proof?» What are you doing to be sure you are able to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and move boldly toward whatever is next?
Things will likely always come our way that will knock us off our feet, but the key is to be sure we don’t stay down for the count. We need to be able to pick ourselves back up again and get back in the game.
So, how do we self-strengthen?
Start paying attention to your language to see if the things you say to others and things you say to yourself are serving and strengthening you. You may hear yourself saying things like, «I can’t live without. . .» Or «I need. . .» Or «This is to die for. . .»(rather than «This is to live for!»).
It is remarkable that even the lyrics to songs that we listen to (over and over) pummel our brains with defeated belief systems. Much of our music features codependent relationships feeding the mentality that, «I have nothing to live for without you in my life.» Be sure that the messages you are telling yourself are serving you rather than serving to defeat you.
While you are at it, watch out for the use of words like «always,» «never,» «everyone» and «no one.» These generalizations are rarely ever true and usually only serve to feed our fear and sense of defeat.
Identify your values and strengths. Pay attention to what you do right. We tend to spend far more time «beating ourselves up» for our shortcomings and weakening ourselves emotionally than building our strengths. Then, we go out into the world from this weakened state and try to create powerful results. In difficult times it is imperative that we not only know our strengths and talents, but are also able to draw upon them to help us get through.
At the end of each day either make a mental note, or actually make a list of what you did right that day. While you are at it, make a list of what you are thankful for as we also spend a lot of time thinking about what is wrong in our lives, rather than what is right.
Strategize for your success. Many of us just watch what happens in our lives and react or respond accordingly. However, if you listen to the most successful people, most of them actually put systems and strategies in place to achieve their goals. This means making a plan of action. Inactivity in difficult times is what makes us feel stuck.
Breathe. As silly as that sounds, we have a tendency to hold our breath when difficult things happen. Breathing deeply and consciously can help to reduce stress and release it from our bodies.
There are a lot of things we cannot control, but we can take a lot more responsibility both for how we prepare ourselves and how we respond to those things that do happen.
Intellectual Foreplay Question of the Week: What is the first step you can personally take to self-strengthen?
Love Tip of the Week: Knowing your ability to not only survive but also to thrive will help you tremendously as you face challenges.