Holistic life coach Maytal Phillips (of The Consciousness Edit) is our go-to expert on healthy relationships — those you cultivate with others and the one you hold with yourself. Both are at play in her advice below on how to employ positive intentional thoughts to build healthy relationships of all kinds. Banking on this power of belief and love as our human connections are more important than ever.
As cheesy as it may sound, relationships are truly the cornerstone of our lives. The people we choose to surround ourselves with offer meaning, growth, love and friendship. What would we do without relationships? And heads up that your fur baby doesn’t count. Our thoughts and beliefs ultimately affect the quality of those relationships.
The actions we take, whether at work or home, start as beliefs so if we have some blind spots around those thoughts, chances are they’ll show up and wreak havoc on our overall happiness. The tricky part is that limiting beliefs and preconceived notions are sometimes hidden from our view. Just by examining these, you may end up with more insight than you’d expect.
The 4 Relationship Thought Traps + How To Avoid Them
Below are four common limiting myths and beliefs that may be stopping you from living your best life and having healthy relationships…
The “Comfort zone” | This is classic “being authentic vs. being comfortable”. Getting comfortable in any relationship is what we all wish for—that moment when you can let your hair down and feel 1,000% yourself in any situation. But the truth is, we can feel confident at any point in our relationships. Being authentically true to yourself is a value and belief you can carry with you at all times.
What’s dangerous about the “comfort zone” in any relationship, is that we can easily start to lose ourselves with and for the other person. If you’re authentically you from the get go, it creates a strong foundation for that relationship to stand on. Chances are, the other person will be able to do the same. So be real about your Japanese samurai obsession and don’t feel like you have to get rid of any parts of yourself to feel comfortable in your relationship.
“I’m OK” | What you have in the “space” of a relationship directly affects the quality of said relationship. We’re, of course, referring to a metaphorical space where non-verbal, unspoken and broken agreements live—something left unsaid, whether it’s to forgive yourself or the other person, or simply let go of something that may be bugging you. It may be anything from a small resentment to a bigger lie that’s being held close as to not “rock the boat”.
Ultimately, clearing that space between you and another person allows for both people to feel fully expressed, and for love and affinity to flow naturally. This may not be the easiest to take on, and your chatty voice in your head will have a field day. However, what’s on the other side is absolute relationship magic.
“I’m Not Responsible” | The first knee jerk reaction we all have when we’re triggered in relationships (being human and all) is, there is no part of this that I’m responsible for. Just to be clear, responsibility does not mean fault, blame, guilt or feeling bad. It’s owning that we are fully responsible for everything in our lives and are not victims of another’s words or actions.
This limiting belief, once revealed, is huge in any type of relationship, as it gives you power to work through whatever the issue is. If everything is in the other person’s court, you are exposed, and a pawn to how the other person will react and feel. By taking full responsibility of your life, the other person can say and do what they will and you now have a choice of how you react. It doesn’t change the circumstances but it provides freedom to take positive action instead of reactions. And cultivate healthy relationships.
“I’m Bored” | Remember, you’ll never be bored with the right relationship/job/friend/fill-in-the-blank. This is a classic limiting belief: As soon as we get bored, we take it that we’re in the wrong relationship/situation/job, etc. But boredom is seldom a warning sign that something isn’t right—it’s more an opportunity to look at where you are or aren’t living into your values or mission in life.
In French, “je m’ennuie” (I am bored) actually translates to “I am boring”. Not to say any of us are ever boring (said as I watch a marathon of Fixer Upper). But we mistake boredom as something that is bad and wrong, and in fact it’s more a symptom of a larger picture internal issue. Ask yourself: What has changed in my life, habits or values that is no longer in line with where I was before I began this relationship? What am I passionate about? Does this relationship serve that purpose? It may or may not, however, when you’re passionate, the relationships around us become exciting as well.
While relationships are ever far from perfect, they can be an incredible source of power and love when limiting beliefs aren’t fogging up the picture. Remember to communicate where you can, and always stand in your power and values—and not in our default way of thinking.