One of my favorite thought provacateurs and life-lived-well role models, Danielle LaPorte, wrote an essay about “Innovating Your Life.” I looked at her list and thought, “Well, how about that, look at all those nudges with my name on them!” I – and just about everyone I work with – would do well to remember these every day. To make sure I do just that, I’m going to share them with you. After all, even as I’m giving support and guidance to folks who are questing for love, I have the opportunity to walk my own talk as well, right? Let’s do it together. Care to join me in innovating your love life?
1. Be willing to start over. No matter how old you are. I have had the privilege of working with several clients in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s who have had the courage to do this and for varied reasons. It’s a reminder that new beginnings are possible at any age and stage of life. Don’t let our ageist culture tell you otherwise. 2. Be willing to make other people uncomfortable. Be willing to be a little bit uncomfortable yourself as you push past obstacles. For me, a coaching program absolutely demands this; dating & relationship coaching just doesn’t let you off the hook or flee to the safety of soft, sweet, shiny, feel-good feelings! As we face fears, dissolve psychic sludge, and do some mental/emotional housecleaning, sometimes we take baby steps, and sometimes we take giant leaps. Then — “ouch!” — we knock heads with a limiting belief or behavior. But on the other side of the discomfort is expanded awareness and greater freedom. And that feels gooood… 3. Be willing to invest money. I can’t think much of anything I’ve valued – aside from LOVE – that was free or easy. An investment in yourself – in the health and happiness of your heart – is the best investment you can make. 4. Be willing to make changes. Adaptation is the key to survival, the basis of evolution. Those who adapt early thrive. You’ve probably heard that a million times in business (and maybe you’ve even repeated it to your employees), but it’s oh-so-true on the dating market as well. (S)he who adapts first, has the maximum number of options and opportunities.
5. Know the rules. Then know which specific ones are worth breaking – and when, and for whom. It’s important to know when to “Screw the Rules” (as my girl Laurel House puts it) as well. There’s a time and a place for following the rules; there’s a time and a place for flipping them the third bird. A dating coach can help you discern the difference. 6. Know WHY you want something the way you want it. (“It just feels right,” may be a sufficient answer. Or Maybe not). At the beginning and end of the day, “Who am I?” and “What do I want?” are the only two questions you really need. Set your compass to that and you’ll rarely get lost. 7. HOWEVER, if you’re like most singles who are seeking to change their relationship status, you’ll undoubtedly have more questions. You’ll have questions about when and how. If you’ve made some relationship choices that left you striking a Homer Simpson pose (“D-oh!”) maybe it’s time tomercilessly question your dating and mating motives. Some good questions to start with are:Who are you trying to please? and Who are you trying to impress?
8. Read. Seek expertise. But don’t over-research. I form a short recommended reading list for every client I work with. (I’ve read hundreds of materials on dating-and-mating subjects over the past 24 years; there’s no reason you should have to read them all as well!) And even if you’re not working with me yet, there’s a lengthy reading list on my website here.
9. Be aware of how dating decisions feel in your body. Icky decisions typically make you feel constricted or contracted. Loving, liberating decisions usually make you feel lighter, warmer, freer, more expansive. Your sympathetic nervous system and para-sympathetic nervous system are always giving clues!
10. Believe that even though you’ve told the same story about yourself and your love life, you can tell it in a unique and useful way. You don’t have to pitch a tent in “Stucksville.”
If you’re looking for more concrete ways to innovate your love life, it’s time to work with a dating coach. Email me at email@example.com and let’s talk details!