We are communicating all the time, either verbally or non-verbally. We each have our own way of communicating things, and how and when we express ourselves. It is the ‘how we communicate’, that influences the most how we are perceived by others, how efficient we are in our communication, and how fulfilling, sincere, and successful are our relationships, either professional, personal, or romantic.
I am constantly exploring my way of communicating and expressing my thoughts, desires, opinions, and feelings and trying to improve them. How I communicate among others reflects my personality, character, skills, the intention of the outcome of certain communication, attitude, and relationship towards the other/s, my current state of being, etc. I also observe people around me and how they communicate. To me, this is an endless resource for possible learning and improvement.
Lately, I have been challenging myself to pay special attention to what I actually do not express or do not express entirely, or I have some issues with expressing it, why I do so, and how this affects my relationships. These are situations, such as: when I communicate issues within me, as an inner self-talk as a reflection to responses from others; or when I am having inner dialogues as a preparation for how to react to some issues; or how to communicate in certain relationships; or situations when I am for some reason afraid, not feeling safe enough or not willing to express and share my true feelings, desires, and opinions with others. Reasons, patterns, and strategies, even tricks that our mind uses in this kind of situation could be very important and beneficial sources of information and acknowledgment for us, especially in relationships and issues that are important to us. Exploring the issue from this more subtle and self-reflective perspective can provide us with hints and possibilities for greater self-awareness, and could make a huge difference in the quality of our relationships, personal and professional.
During one of my recent coaching sessions, when I was working on how I would like to communicate one issue in the professional area to receive the response I was anticipating to achieve, my coach reflected “…don’t create his story, it is not your job to do it, your job is only taking responsibility for your part…”. I have managed to communicate this respective issue like that. I was prepared to communicate my part with positive intentions. I was responsible and controlling only my part of the communication, and I was open and willing to let the other respond in his own way, and we were both just present and co-creating in this mutual exchange. The outcome was rewarding, and fulfilling, and, reflecting back, it went as it was supposed to go.
It made me think afterward about how many situations I am trying to control, not just my part, but the entire outcome, by creating several scenarios and playing roles, overthinking things, and interpreting and projecting thoughts and feelings. And in how many situations the outcome of the communication would be better, or even perfect if I would be more aware, and I would be taking more care of only my part and of co-creating the mutual space where two meet and communicate. This respective situation made me realize the additional dimension of communication and the notion of power within.
We enter different relationships and face different challenges in them. In some, we feel safe to communicate and express ourselves more openly and assertively. And in some, we feel rather different, even afraid to do so, as we imagine the possible outcome or consequences. In some situations, people and relationships offer more potential than others to learn. They are offering a lesson and the potential for growth. In each situation and relationship, we can decide whether to trust and respect ourselves and others enough to enter the communication and relationship as a two-way process, and to be courageous and willing enough to open up our hearts and minds to create a safe space where we can express ourself, share with each other, and let ourselves co-create the relationship. Easier said than done, right? However, it is the only way to do it to have healthy and successful relationships. It takes certain risks, but we can also gain back our power, and feel the wonderful shift of being empowered. It is in a way refreshing to just be ourselves, and let others do the same.
In this way, I am now actively challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone, daily, especially in issues and relationships which are important to me. And I am inviting you to do the same. Bit by bit, daily, however, with a big difference in its impact. Acting this way can bring the feeling of being freer, more powerful, more creative, more responsible, and as such we can make a big difference in our relationships, and in our life in general.
So, release the control, trust, and respect yourself and others, show up as being you, fully and responsibly, and start co-creating.