How many times have you caught yourself thinking “If he/she could just stop/start doing x, then everything would be great?”
In my coaching practice, a large percentage of my smart, highly motivated female clients, come to me with the goal of changing the behavior of their partner, family member or employee. They’re convinced that everything would be better if only the other people in their lives would just fall in line with their way of thinking.
The first thing I point out to them is that these other people didn’t come to me for coaching they did. And coaching is about setting goals and achieving them for yourself. You simply can’t force someone else to change.
Does any of this sound familiar?
So, the first question I ask people who call me is this…
What are you willing to change in yourself to make you happy?
They need to be committed to making some changes, not the people around them. Quite honestly, the other people might be very happy with the way life is going along. The under-performing employee doesn’t want to work harder. The emotionally unavailable spouse might like the relationship the way it is. The family member who doesn’t help support his aging parents doesn’t want to be involved.
This isn’t to say you should change your expectations of how you want your life to be but, here’s the secret…. When you change your thoughts and responses you will improve the situation.
In other words…
It’s all about YOU!
When you get down to it, trying to get other people to change is the easier – and less scary – way to go. Because if you really want to be happy and successful, it might require you to fire the employee, end a marriage or cut off ties with a family member.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is my desire to be happy/successful the highest priority?
- Has accepting the current relationship with this person prevented my happiness?
- Have I taken ownership for my own happiness or am I making it the responsibility of the other person?
- What specifically do I want to change in my relationship with the other person?
- What qualities do I appreciate about the other person?
- Am I willing to peacefully and lovingly end the relationship in order to be happy/successful?
The decision to choose happiness is yours alone.