R. Scott Gornto, MDIV, LMFT, CST is a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified sex therapist and expert on relationships and personal development. Scott works with individuals, couples, families, groups and businesses. He wrote the book “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” which deals with the debilitating effects of anxiety and the best ways to prevent it.
“A belief is an opinion we develop loyalty to over time” – Rick Carson
1. Never Assume the Worst
Mark Twain once said, “I have lived through many terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
And most of us live our lives the same way.
We worry, stress, and freak out about things that are only assumptions not actually a reality for us.
We immediately assume that the cryptic text from our boss or lover means that the world is ending.
We immediately assume that the little ache or pain we are experiencing is a severe disease.
We immediately assume that if our kids don’t call us at 5:30 on the dot that something terrible has happened.
And sometimes, we are right.
But 99% of the time, these assumptions only damage our emotional states and cause us unnecessary worry and stress.
Learn to curb your assumption habit.
Do not try and predict the future.
Wait until you have all of the facts and evidence, and then make your decision.
2. Get Present in Your Relationships
If you want to experience an immediate acceleration within your romantic relationships (or any relationship for that matter) then you must learn to practice the art of presence.
Turn off the TV, silence your phone, quit thinking about work and get present with your partner.
What are they feeling? What are they really saying? Take time to notice them, to appreciate them, and to experience them in the moment.
When you make this a regular practice you will find that the quality of your interactions with your significant other will skyrocket and you will achieve levels of intimacy that you never thought were possible.
3. Relationships are the Great Accelerator of Experience
As men, we sometimes forget that relationships are what life is all about.
What is the point in having money, being successful, and building a great lifestyle if you have no one to share it with?
Refocus and recalibrate your life to focus on relationships.
When your relationships flourish, every area of your life will be accelerated.
Your work will flow smoother, you will be more motivated to take care of your body, and your sense of connection and purpose will rise.
4. The First Step is Always a conversation
If you have broken your assumption habit and genuinely have reason to believe that someone in your life is in the wrong.
If you have real evidence that backs up your belief that your wife is cheating on you, that your business partner is stealing money, or that your child is heavily involved with drugs, start the interaction with a conversation.
Do not come out of the gates guns ‘a blazing.
Instead, sit down with the party in question, tell them what you have found, what you are worried about, and most of all express your love for them and tell them that you are not trying to make them the bad guy.
Ask them to explain what you have found.
If their explanation is found wanting, then you can move on to taking the appropriate next steps.
But a simple conversation is often all that you need to avert a disaster.
5. Your Narrative Determines Your Reality
The lens through which you view the world will determine the world you see.
If you believe that everyone is out to get you, that the world is trying to screw you over, then even the most benign circumstances can seem like a catastrophe.
Conversely, if you believe that life is happening for you not too you and that every misstep and failure is simply another brick being laid down on your road to success, then even the worst circumstances have a silver lining.
If you really want to elevate your life, then you need to take a moment and really analyze the way that you are viewing the world.
What beliefs do you have? What operating system is your life running on?
As soon as you determine how you view the world, you can find the fallacies and negative assumptions that are not serving you and eradicate them.
This powerful step will change your life forever.
Because as soon as you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.