Personally, relationships have been one of my greatest blessings and greatest challenges. Over the years I have had so many different situations in my life that have often caused me to wonder if I was on the right path. As I have matured over the years, I realized that everything we attract into our lives is based on who we are currently. This truth set me on a powerful course of transformation and redefining the relationships in my life. I discovered the importance of owning and protecting my personal power. In addition, I developed the courage to let go of toxic relationships, properly discern my value and embrace meaningful destiny relationships. I want to share four keys with you that will empower you to redefine the relationships in your life. After all, everything in your life centers on relationships.
- You need to examine and get clear about who you are. While this seems like an odd first step, I discovered years ago that the reason I continued to attract dysfunctional relationships into my life was that I was not clear about who I was. In other words, sometimes we are so desperate for associations that we do not take the time to discover who we really are. Therefore, we fill our lives with superficial relationships that lack substance. Years ago I made a decision that I was going to do the work to become the greatest expression of who I was created to be. That work included me getting clear about who Jamelle was and the core principles and values that defined my life. As I got clear about who I was, it changed my perception, priorities, and partnerships. You will never attract into your life what you cannot articulate. Until you can communicate what you want, you will never attract authentic connections into your life.
- You need to define the terms of the relationships in your life. If you have followed my work for any length of time, you will often hear me say that you must establish the terms of the relationships in your life. This is something that I learned years ago as I was doing my work. For so long, I just welcomed people into my world. However, as I started to get healthy and become whole I realized that I invited a lot of hurt, pain, and betrayal into my world. I’ve discovered that any relationship that you enter into without terms will inevitably become toxic. It is not enough to just welcome people into your life. You need to become crystal clear about why people are in your life. In other words, your relationships should serve a purpose. More importantly, your relationships should be mutually beneficial and growth-oriented. Ultimately, you should surround yourself with people that you love, trust and inevitably know will always be honest with you. Relationships are designed to enrich our lives and not serve as a tool of enslavement.
- You need to establish clear boundaries in your relationships. As an entrepreneur, some of the most painful lessons I have learned have come from my relationships in business. I have trusted people and opened my heart to them on many occasions. Unfortunately, these same individuals have betrayed me, stabbed me in the back and proven to be disloyal. It is hard enough to process pain in our normal relationships. However, it becomes much more difficult when companies and profits are on the line. I have learned how to navigate that pain and it has made me a stronger person and a better entrepreneur. One of the reasons that I have experienced so much pain is because I did not establish clear boundaries in relationships. What does that mean exactly? It means that you must have non-negotiables in every relationship. When you see boundaries being crossed, then you should hold people accountable. More importantly, when people continue to overstep boundaries then you must have the courage to dismiss them from your life. Any relationship that discounts disparages or dishonors you is a relationship that that needs to be terminated in your life. No person should be given room in your life that does not respect or value you.
- You must be intentional about how you place people in your life. We live in this social media-driven culture. We friend people on Facebook and we follow them on Twitter or Instagram. Sadly, many people believe that simply because they are friends with someone on social media that they are friends in real life. Our natural worlds and digital worlds are so inextricably connected that we cannot separate the two. While I am not saying that you cannot have friends through social media, I am saying that friends are present and active in your life. My best friend has walked with me through some of the darkest moments in my life. I know I can reach out to him at any time and he is always going to have my best interest at heart. The point I am trying to make is that you have to be very intentional about how you place people in your life. Associates are general relationships. On the other hand, authentic relationships challenge you to grow, mature and evolve as a person. Authentic relationships challenge our assumptions, confront our fears, stretch our thinking, empower us with courage and open the heart space. Authentic relationships have a vested interest in your wellbeing and your success. Never confuse associates with authentic connections. When you learn how to properly place people in your life, you will enjoy peace, fulfillment and meaningful relationships.