I’m going to fully admit why I’m writing this blog today, it’s because I had one hell of a fight with my partner. You see, we were both feeling like our needs were not being met within the relationship and it was getting worse and worse as I got busier with building my business. Things finally came to a head, and while we managed to work things out - I think a conversation well in advance of the meltdown would have done us a world of good and saved us a lot of suffering and frustration.
I had just gotten home from leading a 3 day retreat and he had spent the weekend finishing up a renovation project that has been on the “to do” list for almost two years. Needless to say, we were both exhausted and needed support from each other. As we tried to negotiate this support, feelings got hurt and needs were not met and we ended up in a massive argument.
Neither of us really wanted to budge, and for good reason - we were both exhausted. And exhaustion does not make for reasonable conversation. We did eventually work things out, but it could have been so much easier.
Before I dig in much further, I want to establish this: You are an incredible creative force. You are capable, magical and deserving of success. Your hard work is admirable. Your capacity to show up day in and day out to do the work you do deserves to be celebrated! I celebrate you.
And I know. I know what it feels like to put yourself out there, to lay your vulnerability on the line with each blog post, each sales page, every Instagram post. To create things that you love every day to inspire your followers & clients. It’s soul deep work, and it’s not always easy.
In fact, it can be downright exhausting. (You’re doing a great job)
Being an entrepreneur is an epic career choice. It’s simultaneously amazing AND it’ll bring you to your knees. When you’re an entreprenuer, you show up every day and you do the work, for yourself. You are accountable to yourself. There’s no external structure around your creativity, it’s all on you babe. And, that’s fucking amazing. It’s also probably some of the most difficult work you’ll ever do in your life.
I, for one, love it. I find it thrilling, and a true exercise in experiencing my own humanity.
And those moments when I’m feeling low because a program didn’t sell, or a blog post was accidently erased (true story, this is the second time I’ve written this post, so frustrating!), or I’ve worked all weekend facilitating profound transformation for my clients… my nervous system needs some extra support. And, sometimes I really feel like I’m most held when that support comes from my partner.
Circling back to the fight. Here we are, Monday morning after a weekend of facilitating big feelings and my husband and I are mid argument amongst the mess of a nearly there renovation project he’s been working tirelessly to complete. I’m saying things like, “You never support my work” (not true, and also true) he’s saying, “you aren’t even hearing what I’m saying” (also, not true but true). We get through it, mostly. And, it dawns on me. I know how to communicate my needs better than this.
So - I’m going to spend some time with this week’s freebie, and I hope you will too.
You can totally do all of this for yourself, but you don’t have to. AND, I’m a full believer that in order to truly get the support we desire AND deserve, we first need to know how to offer that same support to ourselves. Like all self development work, it’s gotta start from the inside before you’ll be able to truly manifest it externally. Expecting others to do our own healing work is just never gonna work.
Once you’ve established what you could do to support an inner ecology of support (stick around here, my work is all about supporting you in doing this) you can begin to look for ways in which you can confidently ask for external support when you need it. This support could come in many forms. You could hire a coach or a mentor, or ask your family, friends or partner to give you the support you deserve. If you are asking your loved ones for support, this worksheet and audio follow along will help you get clear on what you desire for support and offer you some strategies for how to go about asking for it.
There are three parts to this work, and you can follow along using the freebie worksheet while listening to the audio recording that will guide you so it feels like you are receiving a 1:1 coaching session while you work through the material.
Phase 1: Get Clear
- Set up your ritual space. Light a candle, pour your favourite tea, dance to your favourite song.
- Describe the narrative. What’s happening in your relationship and what are you making this mean?
- The trigger. What is it that your partner is doing to trigger you?
- Take a moment and imagine your partner triggering you and describe how that feels in your body. Having language around YOUR feelings is powerful medicine, and can really facilitate communicating your needs to your partner.
- The meaning. What are you making this situation mean for you and about you?
Phase 2: What do you want?
- Do you want this relationship? This is an important question about your relationship because if you are repeatedly not getting support AND you are not sure you want to be in the relationship, you might want to make some decisions about the relationship before moving forward with this work.
- Do you need to change the boundaries of your relationship? Consider how you’ve been asking for, receiving and giving support up to this point and then decide if this is something you need to renegotiate with your partner.
- What do you desire? What is it that you truly want from your partner? What is your partner already offering you?
Phase 3: Communicate your needs.
- Book a time to connect with your partner to have a conversation about what you’ve discovered by doing your worksheet.
- Make sure that you’ve got lots of time and you won’t be interuppted.
- Start positive. Tell your partner all the ways they’ve already been supporting you letting them know how much you appreciate them.
- Tell your partner what you’d like and lay out CLEAR action steps for them to follow and then be willing to listen and negotiate taking your partner’s needs and desires into account. Your clarity and willingness to clearly communicate what you need will go a long way in this conversation.
- Generate pleasure in your body. With your partner (cuddles, making love, massages) or alone (stroking, a warm bath, dancing, self pleasure).
I’m sure you’ve already realized that this clarity and communication strategy works for multiple areas of your relationship, and I hope that you’ll make good use of it beyond having this conversation around asking for and receiving support.
And, one final thing - when you determine what you need from your partner in terms of support (loving words, compassion, understanding etc) you will first want to do a check in and make sure that you are also offering those things both to yourself first AND to your partner as well. Relationship is about taking care of ourselves, meeting our own needs and then selflessly offering the same to our partners. Expectations around having our needs met externally can create a lot of suffering inside of relationships. What we have to do is get clear on what we want and then ask for what we want with extraordinary specificity having already done our internal work to meet our own needs first. This is relationship gold.
And so, I’m going to spend some time with this and I hope that you will too. You are doing amazing things and the road to your success is definitely going to contain a few speedbumps and potholes along the way. Skillfull navigation will help you suffer less so that you have more time to create amazing things for your clients.
Keep dreaming, keep believing AND make sure you surround yourself with the support structures that will help you move forward feeling held firmly by your loved ones. You deserve this. And so much more. Because, you keep showing up.
Get coached through the process of filling out your relationship by following along on Soundcloud.