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Updated: Mar 4

noun: the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

I have come to learn that your personal life is a direct reflection of your professional life and the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your RELATIONSHIPS. Period.

After reading this definition my immediate reaction was that RELATIONSHIP and CONNECTION are interchangeable.

I had never looked at it like that before. I had primarily thought about relationships in terms of people and more specifically in three categories.

The relationship with self, the relationships you choose and the relationships you don’t choose.

The relationship with self is pretty self-explanatory and in my opinion the absolute most important one. However, that is a blog for another time.

The relationships you choose are what I consider one of the best parts of the human experience - your friends and your partner.

The relationships you don’t choose (everyone that doesn’t fit into the other two categories family, work collogues, etc. ) I have learned are the most valuable teachers, even though they can be the most stressful.

Now let’s replace the word RELATIONSHIP with CONNECTION and see if this feels a bit different for you like it did for me.

The connection with self, the connections you choose and the connections you don’t choose…

What do you think? For me it became super personal. Images of strained and challenging family relationships were at the front and center of my mind. It was a bit of an ah - ha moment for me. Instead of seeing it as a challenging relationship - I simply saw it as two people that do not have an aligned connection and somehow that softened it for me.

How many of you have a challenging family member or situation that drains you? I have come to learn that no matter how perfect families look to all the people that are not members of them - that we are all living a different version of a similar story.

The main difference I see is how important or irrelevant people choose to make the challenging family relationship determines how this spills over onto their professional life.

The same applies in the reverse. If your family situation is fantastic and you have a relationship at work that is challenging and you feed it then it is nearly impossible for it not to affect your personal life.

This is what I mean when I say they are each a reflection of each other. No matter how much you try to deny or resist, one always influences the other.

Interestingly these two areas of relationship are the two we do not choose, even if you are an entrepreneur or a CEO sometimes you have to work with people that you have a challenging relationship with. It could be a team member, a partner or a client. If you are a Sales Executive, it could literally be anyone. There are often many people that need to come together to make a deal happen and in a perfect world everyone would get along perfectly, but chances are that is not always the case.

So what can you do to make the challenging relationships less dominant in your life in order to first and foremost reduce stress and become more successful?

The very first thing is to evaluate your personal relationships… all of them. The ones you choose and the ones you don’t. Fix what you can and let go of what you can’t.

For over a decade I tortured myself because of a strained personal relationship. Although I still had success as an entrepreneur, it came with a massive price. I was always on edge, short (and I am actually short at a whopping 5’3) and angry… boy was I angry.

I allowed this circumstance to overpower all the incredible things I had in my life. For those who have seen the movie Independence Day think about the scene where Will Smith looks out the window and this giant spaceship had made everything dark.

No matter how great my work was or anything else in my life, I always focused on the relationships that were not working. I beat myself up and tried to “fix”  them and when I couldn’t I beat myself up a little more. I often used my work as a distraction from my personal reality but I couldn’t sustain it long term and I finally gave up.

I always thought that giving up was quitting and I am going on the record to say I think quitting is underrated. We celebrate quitting eating junk food, smoking or drinking but why don’t we celebrate quitting relationships that simply don’t work?

Once I surrendered and accepted things as they were I noticed that my professional relationships started to flourish. I wasn’t distracted by what I wished was different. Instead I was focusing on all the beautiful relationships that I have in my life, both personal and professional.

By shifting my focus I was able to step into my true power and I launched a thriving multiple 6 figure business in one year. By simply focusing on the relationships that were working in all areas of my life instead of the few that were not. It is really that simple but super powerful.

The same can be done in reverse. If you have an incredible personal life but you have a boss that you can’t stand or a client or partner at work you simply can’t get along with, minimize the amount of time they take up with the most important relationship of all - THE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF.

So, you are thinking – how can I do that if my boss is literally “ruining my life” or this client is “determined to make my life miserable”? This is how, but first it is important to point out that most of us spend more time at work than we do at home. Since the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships, doesn't it make sense to focus on healthy relationships at work?

Here is a fact that will never ever change - you simply cannot control others or change them. All you can do is control your reaction to them and change yourself.

Here are some TIPS & TRICKS on how to build healthy relationships that lead to success:

Find  at least one relationship at work that is going well  and put your thoughts, energy and focus on those. Make a list of what is working in those relationships and keep it in a place where you can read this list when a stressful work relationship tries to disrupt you.

Clean up your personal relationships. Stop complaining and wishing they were different. If they wanted to, they would - so move on.

Your relationship with yourself and how you treat yourself will set the tone for how others treat you, so be kind.

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