Last week, I was at the Results Fitness Business Mastermind with my coaches Rachel & Alwyn Cosgrove, along with about 50 other fitness business owners. It was an intense couple of days, with tons of ideas, break-throughs and as Rachel & Alwyn say, “A-ha!” moments.
Rachel said one phrase during the week that really stuck with me, and that was:
“You need to train people how to treat you.”
One simple phrase, and yet it captured so perfectly everything I felt like I had been trying to verbalize in many more words :) We talk a lot about the “victim mindset” and about how many times, we go around trying to get people on our team when things go wrong–“Can you believe this happened to me??” etc. And of course, when people treat us badly or in a way that does not feel good to us, we want to tell other people so they can agree with us that we got the short end of the stick. And that’s completely understandable. Of course it is. Everyone agrees with you, so it’s not like it’s wrong per se, but what it does is perpetuate inaction. We don’t feel empowered when we feel like people are treating us badly or when our circumstances feel out of our control. And many times they are. However, what is not out of our control is our attitude.
When someone treats us in a way that we don’t like, we have a choice. We can feel bad for ourselves and go find other people to agree with us. OR we can take responsibility for setting the tone of the relationship. Not always the easiest thing to do because emotion gets in the way. And when we are emotional, we are also at our worst in terms of being able to see clearly. Emotions are valid, they are never wrong–but what I would challenge you to do is to RECOGNIZE an emotion as a trigger for YOU to do something differently and take responsibility for the future of the relationship–even in the face of feeling like it’s not your fault. And it’s not…really. And yet it is, because you have not yet established how the relationship should go. Many times we don’t know it even needs establishing UNTIL something happens that throw us. So, there’s really no blame to dish out–instead, it’s more to learn from the experience and move on in a positive way in the future.
Rachel said, “If someone is not treating you the way you want them to, it’s your fault.” Some may find that harsh, but I find it liberating. You mean I get to create the relationship exactly the way I want it? You mean I have a say in how someone treats me? How cool is that??! I am no longer at the mercy of others, I can TAKE ACTION.
In the alternative scenario (victim mindset), I can’t do anything because I am at the mercy of someone else’s ill will toward me. Really? I think if you really reflect on this, you see this is an ATTITUDE issue. You can always choose how to respond to situations. Thoughts and emotions are effortless, we can’t control them–but what we CAN control is how we CHOOSE to respond to a situation or another person.
Try this: Next time you get treated a way that doesn’t sit right with you, claim responsibility for it. Say to yourself: “At some point, I must have given the impression that being treated this way was ok with me.” Once you go there, in your mind, you can take ACTION. There’s a solution to be had, a change to make. It’s liberating! You realize you literally get to create your relationships exactly the way you want.
How do you do it? Try this:
1) Ask what the truth is for you. If that person is not speaking your truth, then find out what is true for you. This is your integrity piece.
2) Take responsibility and verbalize your truth to the other person, not in an accusatory way (remember, they are only doing what you taught them), but in a way that is sincere and non-threatening. You don’t have to get mad or blame them. Instead, speak your truth and apologize for having not verbalized your needs sooner.
3) Be consistent with your interactions from that point on. Set up expectations for the other person. Tell them what they can expect from you and be very clear about it. Outline the relationship for them. TEACH them how to treat you. Don’t blame them. And then practice this new interaction over and over, stay consistent. It’s not a better-than or right-or-wrong thing, it’s only about making the relationship for yourself. Speaking your truth.
I hope this was as helpful for you as it was for me. I know it’s not fitness or nutrition related but this is a key concept for professionals and a big part of mental fitness. Owning your “stuff” is a great place to start, and when you begin creating your life exactly as you want it by using these techniques and introspecting, it frees you up to be able to focus on your nutrition, training, business, relationships, family. career, etc. Best of luck! :) ox Jill