Kathleen and Dan have been together for several years now. At first it was magic and Dan was so romantic and attentive. Now he is constantly criticizing her or even worse ignoring her completely. When he's not out with his friends he lays around the house watching T.V. expecting her to wait on him. Just when she thinks that she can't stand it any more, he becomes the old loving, romantic Dan once more; however, this never lasts longer than a few days and then he resumes his old behaviors. Kathleen knows that it's time to for a life change but simply can not bring herself to take action.
1. What you see is what you get.
We see or perceive the world based on what we choose to pay attention to and how we choose to interpret it.
? If you see yourself trapped, then you are
? If you see yourself as a victim, then you are
You are responsible for what you are attracting into you life right now. Kathleen is attracting Dan's abuse and neglect primarily because she doesn't have the respect for herself to create any boundaries as to how she expects and deserves to be treated. She is choosing to see herself as a victim, trapped in this relationship. Kathleen sees Dan as the problem; if only he would change then her life would be better. His behavior is rendering her powerless in her eyes.
Choose what you are choosing to pay attention to and how you choose to interpret it. Choose carefully what you want to see.
2. We always have choices and the one with the most choices wins!
Kathleen is choosing to accept Dan's behavior and she really thinks that she has very little choice in the matter. Dan sees that he has an infinite number of choices at the moment and this has given him an enormous amount of power. He is very much like the puppet master pulling the strings.
Choose to change your behavior by identifying more and better choices.
3. We have a good excuse for everything that we do.
Every behavior is useful or valuable to us in some way. Kathleen's submissive behavior is useful to her in that it reinforces her view of herself as a victim with no choices. Dan's behavior is valuable to him as it reinforces his belief that he is master of his domain.
Choose now to determine what is valuable for you in a situation.
4. We do what works for us.
Everything that we think, feel and do works to produce the results in life that we are getting. Kathleen's relationship with Dan is on some unconscious level helping her achieve exactly the results that she wants.
Don't like what you've got, choose now to change what your doing.
5. You can literally do anything if you believe that you can.
What does Kathleen believe about herself that requires her staying in an unhealthy relationship? What ever she believes she will always find lots of evidence in the world to support it. If she listened to her 'self talk' every time she thinks about leaving Dan, she would soon find out what she believes.
? I'll never get someone new. It's better to put up with what I've got
? Anything is better than being alone
? He is exactly what I deserve
? He'll change if I'm patient, he's a good person underneath
? He really needs me, he just doesn't realize it
? I need him, without him, I'm nothing
Choose to examine your beliefs and change them. You created them; you can change them. Look for evidence in the world to support the new belief.
6. Act as if you already have what you want.
If you really want to be loved then be loving, not only to others but also to yourself. If you want respect then be respectful, not only to others but also to yourself. Determine what it is that you really want to achieve then behave as if you already have it. If Kathleen wants a loving relationship based on mutual respect then she needs to model those essential qualities not only by how she treats others, including Dan, but also by how she treats herself. In Kathleen's case if she was more loving and respectful of herself she would draw some definite boundaries as to how she expects to be treated. If she really loved and respected Dan then she would expect more from him as well.
Lesley Cordero is the President of Cordero Consulting offering personal growth solutions in the form of workshops, keynote presentations, and Internet information resources.
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