For sure you’ve heard me say this many times before, Life Designing is not a career development tool!
It’s so much more than this, and once you open up to this new lifestyle, you’ll see how over time all areas of your life start to thrive in ways you’d never expected.
But in some areas of your life, thinking and acting like a Life Designer might come more naturally to you than in others.
Why? Because Life Designing means deliberately working with uncertainty, letting go of strict planning and pre-established rules and frameworks, and choosing to design authentic solutions instead of copy paste solutions from others.
And in some areas this might seem scarier than in others, depending on how much disappointment or rejection we’ve experienced in the past.
For me, honestly speaking, my relationship life was the area where I struggled most to finally adopt the approach of Life Designing. Even though I knew, it would be exactly what I needed to move towards a more fulfilled and less fearful or controlled relationship experience.
But as we all know, when fear takes over, we often prefer to stick to the known struggles and patterns, rather than opening up to new approaches and new opportunities.
Seeing how Life Designing has helped me to build a flourishing professional life, finally convinced me to also give it a try in my love life.
And boy, did this shift matters.
In Life Designing, we pay outmost attention not to drag previous failure experiences, old judgement, negative or biased assumptions into a new design project.
We always pay attention to start from scratch.
Sentences like “It’s always been like this, so I know already the outcome” have no place in Life Designing, as they would greatly limit our future experience.
The same goes for our love relationships. Once we pay attention to our biased mindset and our limiting beliefs, once we pay attention not to drag conclusions or assumptions from previous relationships into a new relationship, we allow this new love design to start from scratch and head towards completely new, and often very surprising, outcomes.
In Life Designing we know, that the final outcome of a design venture rarely looks like what we had in mind when starting out. And that’s a good thing!
Because re-designing and adapting means, shaping something according to our true needs and wishes over time. Our needs change, as do our wishes, and sticking to fix ideas or outcomes will slowly but surely distance our life experience from our true needs.
The same goes for relationships. Sticking to a fix outcome, fearfully controlling the direction things take, or paying more attention to the outer look of our relationship rather than focusing on how it feels on the inside, will prevent our relationship to grow with us as we move along.
In a time where pursuing our individual calling is as strong as our desire to belong and connect, in a time where “happily ever after” is the exception and not the norm, in a time where families bonds are created several times, in these times we can’t approach our love life with one fix outcome in mind. And we can’t look for a “one-size-fits-all” solution or answer.
We need to do the work of designing, and re-designing, and re-designing again.
We need to do the work of empathizing with the current state of the relationship, the work of not being afraid to speak out a new design challenges, the work of developing ideas together, unbiased and judgement free. And we need to prototype. Just giving things a try rather than overthink them into infinity.
And please keep in mind, re-designing is not a sign of failure! Re-designing means, creating and shaping your love life in alignment with your true needs and values and aspirations.
This was a huge one for me. Being able to zoom out, especially when I wanted to do exactly the opposite.
In Life Designing we never lose sight of the big picture, of making all areas of our life a thriving and fulfilling experience.
But of course, nothing is always rainbows and unicorns. Especially in relationships, because we have to co-design with each other.
There might be times where our relationship goes through a rough patch because our loved one took on a new professional venture and is, for a good reason, less present or engaged for a while. Or needs some space and time to reflect over his own Life Design.
It’s scary, when someone takes some space to focus and maybe even adjust their part in the design. And our default behaviour is often to give all our attention to this shift, trying to control the situation. And trying to anticipate the outcome.
But in Life Designing we learn, that it’s important to never lose sight of the big picture. And to take action in areas, where we can immediately create a positive shift.
In those rocky times, zooming out and re-directing our focus to what’s in our personal realm is working wonders. And is giving the other one the necessary space.
So your own professional aspirations, your own wellbeing, your friendships and leisure time should be the place where your focus should go. To take action, where things are truly in your hands and to remind yourself, that a thriving life has to take place in all areas of your life design.
No matter how mindful we are about designing our relationships, we’re also just human beings and no design robots. We can have all these insights in mind and still get triggered, scared, controlling and judgemental over a certain situation.
So when this happens to me, instead of condemning myself for temporarily falling off the Life Designing path, I remind myself that it’s truly not about being or acting perfect all the time. It’s about being mindful how I aspire to be, and re-adjust my course, in case needed.