Let’s talk about your relationship with yourself, shall we?
Folk spend a lot of time talking about it.
“It’s your most important relationship.”
“Make sure it’s healthy and positive.”
Okay, you got it.
But… how, exactly?
Well, that depends on what your relationship with yourself really is.
Until you understand it, it can’t be healthy.
There are a few ways to think about it. Personally, I think all these are valid. You are everything to you, which means you encompass all these styles of relationship:
You could think of yourself as your own coach and the person you’re coaching. Why not, right? A coach doesn’t know all the answers – just enough to take you to the next level.
That describes you. You know what you need to do next – you just need a little guidance.
And that guidance can come from within.
That assumes you’re a skilled coach, of course. What if you’re the sort who bullies, berates and insults your mentee? Is that the best way to motivate them?
An effective coach is an iron fist in a velvet glove. You won’t tolerate laziness or a bad attitude. Genuine mistakes and individual needs, though? You’re all over that.
The coach/mentee relationship doesn’t push it far enough. Sometimes, the power imbalance is more intense – like a parent with a baby.
When you try to improve, you’re like a baby learning to walk. You fall down a lot. You don’t stay there, though. Whether from curiosity, frustration or a deep natural instinct, you’re compelled to try again.
And you don’t stop til you master it.
What’s the parent doing this whole time?
Offering support, guidance and love.
They don’t walk for the child, but they might hold their hand. And clear obstacles from the path. And offer love when they fall down yet again.
That’s how you need to be with yourself.
I’ll let your imagination fill in all the ways you’re your lover.
Some are literal.
Others are more metaphoric.
If you want a fun exercise, make a list. (Though maybe keep it private – that might be tough to explain.)
When two business partners come together, they aren’t the same person. Sometimes they don’t even like each other.
That doesn’t matter.
Each knows they win when the other wins.
They complement each other’s skills and lift each other up.
Creating a team that’s more than its parts.
Each becomes essential to the running of the franchise. And the better they specialise and work together, the more profitable it tends to be.
You have different elements in your mind. You have patience and impulsiveness. Discipline and gluttony. Vision and action.
When you bring different pieces of yourself together – and invite them to work together – you begin to transform.
Friendly creative rivalries are fantastic to see.
One throws down a challenge. They create something and share it with the world.
The other sees it, takes it and responds. Maybe they make the same thing, only better. Maybe they take it in a whole new direction. Either way, it wouldn’t have existed without the original.
Then the first person sees the response and creates something new again.
Back and forth it goes.
They aren’t working together – not in the traditional sense.
But they are.
Each is essential to the other. Without their rival, they would be lesser versions of themselves.
You can recreate this in yourself. The next time you create something, don’t dust your hands and walk away.
Can you take it and make it better?
Can you use it in a new way?
Does it inspire anything inside you?
Use it not as a final product but as raw inspiration. With practice, it’ll supercharge your creativity. And suddenly you’re working on something you never would have dreamed of otherwise.