Do you believe Socrates?
Before you answer… Let’s do a quick experiment.
Take a moment to think about all the things in your relationship that are screaming for change: the constant nagging, lack of intimacy, disagreements over parenting, chronic arguments, you get the picture. Now pick one thing and ask the question, “Why is this not changing?”
Notice where your mental energy is focused.
On the recent argument or nag-fest? The latest emotional disconnection? The history of drinking binges? If you’re like me, you may be experiencing a little deja vu right now. Kind of like being stuck on a mental not-so-merry-go-round with no way off, unless we….
Find a way to get unstuck.
Enter Socrates. To get off the mental merry-go-round and jump-start change in our relationships, we need to refocus our energy – towards building something new.
That’s what Bob and Karen learned. After several counseling sessions, they seemed stuck. Early progress was forgotten and they were back at square one – facing years of rubble that seemed impossible to overcome. Sitting on separate loveseats, they were positioned like opposing heads of state. Each was armed with a list of charges against the other.
So from square one, we decided to…
Pull out the secret of change.
I asked Bob and Karen the magic question, “What do you want to create in this relationship?” In the silence that followed, the direction of their mental energy shifted. They each focused their attention on building something new together. And their visions were beautifully consistent.
They became more like a team with a common goal when they focused their energy on building something new. And Socrates explains why:
The door of change opens up when we refocus our energy.
The relationship we want to build becomes a lovely beacon. It’s glowing image provides daily motivation to make individual changes that will move the relationship ahead. I do my best because I want our relationship to improve. I keep doing my best because I keep wanting our relationship to improve.
So here’s how to make the secret of change work for your relationship:
- Take turns describing, “What kind of relationship do I want to create?”
- Take turns acknowledging, “What needs to change in me to create that kind of relationship?”
Answers to the first question represent your beacon – the image of the relationship you want to build. Answers to the second question help you each map out a plan of action. And so begins the path to lasting change in your relationship.
With a focus on what you want to create, you learn to improve communication, strengthen connection, and build trust. Day by day.
If you have trouble implementing this process on you own, contact me – I’d love to help you find the change you need to have the relationship you want.
Now over to you. Do you agree with Socrates? Is the secret of change really about focusing our energy on building something new? Leave your answers as a comment below!