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Do you ever wonder what to do to flip negative patterns into positive ones in your family or workplace? Are you tired of the drama in politics, and sick of poor political leadership? Maybe you come from a fairly healthy family system, but you value continuous growth in regards to emotions, communication, and relationships, and you are eager to learn more? Have you experienced the dramatic difference between leaders who genuinely care about the people they influence versus leaders who take advantage of others, delight in seeing others fail, or maybe they even have crossed into being psychologically abusive? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then read on! I care deeply about these topics, and something I am deeply passionate about is inspiring people to become what I call Relationship Legacy Leaders.
What’s a Relationship Legacy Leader? Relationship Legacy Leaders are people who are committed to healthy relationships and emotional health for themselves, and also for the people around them. These progressive leaders deeply value thriving and resilient relationships, but are also keenly aware of the relational and emotional impact they have on other people: friends, relatives, co-workers, people in their community, kids, etc. These leaders know that in order to collaborate effectively, achieve the greatest growth, and to experience meaning and satisfaction out of life it takes growing our relationship and emotional skills.
5 Reasons You Might Want To Be a Relationship Legacy Leader:
1. You want to set a positive example for your kids.
You want to be a role model yourself and set the bar high, so that your kids have a good example to pull from. In the future you know that relationship skills and emotional intelligence are crucial to your kids’ success.
2. You have personally been the target of abuse and/or neglect.
You know how much pain and suffering that abuse and neglect can cause because you have experienced it yourself, and so you feel driven to learn about healthy communication, thriving relationships, and emotional health. Sometimes when we go through horrible experiences they teach us a lot about our values, how to treat others, and how not to treat people. Thus, you personally know the importance of changing relationship legacies and addressing mental health.
3. You are tired of seeing family, political, or workplace leaders doing harm.
You know that you can’t just sit back and complain, and you know you need to take action if you want the world to be different. This is one of my favorite quotes: "Be the change that you wish to see in the world" by Gandhi. Or, another version, that maybe closer to what Gandhi actually said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”
4. You care about achieving goals in your life.
This could be with your family, friends, in the workplace, in politics, in your place of worship, or in your community. You want to take more control of your relationships, boundaries, and communication skills in order to achieve positive things in life.
5. Healthy relationships in your family, with your relatives, in your workplace, in your community, and in your world are important to you.
You find meaning and joy out of strong relationships. You believe in the importance of emotional and relationship health.
5 Easy Ways To Start Being a Relationship Legacy Leader:
1. Start to view yourself as, and call yourself a Relationship Legacy Leader.
Believe that you can make a difference and make impactful ripples in your own sphere of influence. There is no expectation to be perfect here, because no one is (me included)! I know I make mistakes every day, and that's okay. The key is being open to growing, taking responsibility for your actions, and learning from your mistakes. Being a Relationship Legacy Leader is a lifelong journey of discovery.
2. Start having conversations with people who you trust, and feel safe connecting with, on the topic of relationships and mental health.
This can be on anything of personal interest to you. Conversation ideas: What do you do to encourage relationship health in your family or in your workplace? What has helped you the most in supporting and maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner? What do you do to encourage strong mental health in your kids? Share your own mental health struggles and your story with someone who would understand and be supportive. What have you learned from both bad bosses and good bosses, and how can you personally apply those lessons to your life?
3. Do you not feel ready yet to guide others and be a leader? Feel like you have a lot to learn? Maybe you feel like you haven’t had great examples to learn from? That's OK. And that's also a perfect place to start.
I always think it’s important to have an honest (but kind and supportive) assessment of ourselves in order to start the process of growing. Furthermore, the best leaders do a lot of work on their own personal growth, and continue to do so throughout their lives. If you feel you need to work on yourself first, begin by cultivating a mindset of childlike curiosity. Then, start learning and taking steps at whatever stage you are at. You can read books or blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos from respected leaders about relationships, communication, boundaries, and mental health. You can also seek out counseling, groups, or classes if you so choose. Resource ideas: The Gottman Relationship Blog, Esther Perel: Therapist, Author, & Speaker, Dr. Scott Stanley's Blog (Relationship Researcher and Expert), Psychology Today Blogs, TED Relationships, and KSMU Making a Difference. These resource ideas are just a few that are out there. What's most important is that you find a resource that really resonates with you and is meaningful to you; that way you can connect with the message and get the most out of it in your own life.
4. Write down one easy and small thing you can start today, that would positively impact your relationships or mental health.
Is there something that has been on your mind that you just haven’t started doing? Or something that you have done in the past that was beneficial, but maybe it got dropped due to being busy? Ideas: Implement a regular date night with your partner, implement 5 minutes a day of “Special Play Time” with your kids where you are totally focused on them and have no distractions, (we call it “Alex Special Play Time” at our house – this is one of Alex’s favorite things since she knows the rule is we don’t get distracted, don’t look at our phones, and are totally focused on connecting with her), implement reading a relationship or leadership book at work and discussing it, or write a thank you note to a leader who has positively impacted you and be very specific why.
5. Take mental note, or actual real notes, on observations you have about your relationships. Just level up your awareness of your own relationships and mental health.
Questions to ask yourself: Who do I admire in my family and workplace, and why? How would I assess my overall mental health? Where do I want to improve my mental health? What am I modeling to my kids or coworkers in regards to relationship and mental health? Who can I partner up with in my family or workplace to start making positive relationship and/or mental health changes?
We are lucky to be living in this time period right now.
I personally feel that we are lucky to be living at this point in history because we have access to so much information and research on relationships and mental health. I think that in the past our parents (and their parents, and so on) did not have such easy access to so many resources.
So, now that we have more resources, let’s make the most of it.
We don’t have an excuse to not be informed. I think that if we want to walk the walk, and make changes in this world (and not just sit back and complain about it), we have to educate ourselves and be proactive in making changes. If each of us collectively works on our relationships and emotional intelligence in our own spheres of influence, we can make a huge difference in the world as a whole.
Speaking of resources, a little side note from me about the psychology field.
Psychology is a newer field of science when we look at the entire history and evolution of humans, and I think that the Psychology field as a whole could do a better job in getting the word out to the public about what we know and how we can help. But I think we are getting there, and we are learning every day as a field (this is why I have a feedback page on my website - I really want to know how the field of Psychology can better help people).
One of the reasons why I do counseling and have this blog is to support and serve the public. As my business grows I hope to add classes and workshops in order to reach out to the community and connect with people. Some people need counseling, but others don’t. Counseling is just one modality to serve the public with much needed resources and support. Furthermore, due to the nature of counseling being private and confidential, it blocks the flow of information out to the public. There is a lack of transparency in regards to what we know, and what we do, unless you are actually currently in counseling.
I know just how powerful learning and growing our relationship and mental health muscles can be. Do you?
Humans are realizing that we just can’t take for granted or assume we have expertise in mental health and relationships. In the past, skills in psychology were viewed as not necessary to be taught, and easy to learn. It’s also been assumed that since we all have relationships, we must be good at them, right?! We are sort of going with the Maybelline approach-"Maybe she's born with it?"
Well, just like anything else, if we want to be good, we need to learn and practice. It’s similar to the habits we put in place, and the ongoing practice we do, if we want to be physically healthy. Would you expect that someone, with no experience or training, could just walk out on a basketball court with professional basketball players and play at their level? Of course not! So why have we viewed relationship skills and mental health skills as something we just are born with, and know how to do?
There will always be problems, and we can't change that, but we can change HOW we deal with them.
I believe with all my heart that if each of us takes responsibility, is accountable, learns from our mistakes, and stays open to growing, that we will be able to positively change how we treat each other in the world. When we treat each other better and communicate more effectively, we have the best possible chance of solving the challenges we share. There will always be problems, challenges, difficulties, or whatever you want to call them. It’s just part of life. As humans we cannot remove the fact that we have problems. But we do have control, and we do have a choice in HOW we decide to solve them.
Join the community.
Will you join this community of Relationship Legacy Leaders? Will you make the choice to value healthy relationships and mental health in yourself, and also support others in their journey? You CAN learn, you CAN grow, and you CAN make positive changes in your life and in the lives of others.
Thank you for giving me your time today. I don't take it for granted.
Thank you for joining me today by reading my blog. I hope the information was helpful for you and sparked some ideas. Please comment below to add to the conversation. I would love to hear from you. If my message resonated with you, posting this blog on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter is greatly appreciated. See you next Thursday!
All the best,
Your use of the website, blog, newsletter, and social media accounts does not establish a professional therapeutic relationship between yourself and Holly L. Harrison. By using the website and related accounts, you agree to these terms.
The information on this website and the blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. I am not guaranteeing any results.
Please note that the information on this website is not intended to replace or be a substitute for any professional financial, medical, mental health, legal, or other advice.
If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional or medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. If you follow or use the information on the blog, website, newsletter, and social media accounts, you agree that it is at your own risk and you will not hold Holly L. Harrison or MoxiePsychology, LLC liable or responsible for the outcome.
MoxiePsychology Legacy is an outpatient mental health clinic and not equipped for emergency services. If you are in need of emergency mental or medical services, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Holly L. Harrison, MA, LMFT