February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day, love and relationships. As a coach I work with people on all aspects of their life from your relationship with yourself through to all types of personal, family, professional and business relationships. So I thought I’d post an article that takes this broader view of relationships. Here’s an article first published several years ago in a newspaper that I was writing for at the time.
The themes though are timeless. Though, I would now add one more dimension and that is about your relationship with life itself which is indicated in the first step below. The moment that you really embrace life itself then all relationships will become enriched.
Rasheed’s Guide to the 5 sides of Love
When we think of relationships we often first think of romance, Valentine’s Day and finding that perfect match. The reality is that there’s much more to relationships than this.
Step 1 Self Love:
The first step to a rich, joyful and rewarding life is self love. You will not be able to find lasting fulfilment in relationships, career or any aspect of your life until you accept yourself. Any beliefs that you hold that you’re unworthy, unlovable or incomplete are simply beliefs – stories you’ve been told and clung on to. The moment that you embrace, respect and appreciate yourself, life and others will too.
Step 2 Family Ties:
Some families are tightly bonded. Some feel like a knot. Some may have no ‘family’. You did not select where / when you were born. You did not control who your parents and siblings were nor their personalities. Acceptance of this is important if you’ve had strained relationships. If you have been fortunate about how these things have turned out then appreciation is in order. Either way the more you can allow yourself to be yourself and others to be themselves – giving space and support in the measure that you are able – the richer family life will be.
Step 3 Genuine Connections:
In the course of life we interact with people all the time at home, work, socially, passing-by in the street. Some of those relationships are more significant than others e.g. mother-child, boss and employee. Whatever the roles and titles the key to all relationships is a genuine interest in the other and their well being. I often point out that it’s always wise to be warm to others for you may not know what’s just happened to them immediately before they arrived in the office, train platform or back home. Look beyond your own assumptions, assertions and ego. Connect beyond the label – connect at the heart not just the head – and you will find that all your relationships will become richer and healthier overnight.
Step 4 Friendships:
Friendships emerge and blossom through the (often natural) process above. They can take many forms. When any type of relationship is rich there will be an element of friendship in it. Companionship, co-operation, support, fun and creativity can bloom.
Step 5 Partnerships:
Partnerships can emerge and blossom when you are mindful of all the other steps. It is a myth that we are incomplete until you find your ‘other half’. However it is possible that you can experience, grow and appreciate yourself powerfully through this special relationship where two can connect on all levels. If you are seeking that special relationship it will become available to you when you become available to yourself.
The old adage that some relationships are for a ‘reason’, ‘season’ or a ‘lesson’ is valuable to note in all relationships, but may bring comfort in being mindful of with regard to partners. Some relationships may last for most of a lifetime; some may be short-lived. What’s really important is the richness, the kindness, the value, the self and mutual appreciation, and encouraging all parties to grow and have warmly fulfilling lives.
Rasheed Ogunlaru is an acclaimed life, business and corporate coach whose simple ‘become who you are’ approach has helped countless business owners connect with themselves, their businesses and their customers. His background spans over 20 years in coaching, training, media, PR and performance. Rasheed is the business coach partner to the British Library’s Business and IP Centre and business coach mentor to TiE UK. He is a highly sought-after public speaker and regularly appears in the media, including the BBC, The Times and the Guardian.
Twitter – @RasheedOgunlaru
or call 020 7207 1082