Quiz: “Should I Leave My Partner?”

I feel most of my clients who come to me for relationship advice, are individuals pondering this very question: should I leave my partner?

Based on my experience as a relationship coach, I put this simple quiz together to help you better understand your motivations, and gain insight as to why you may be feeling this way.

THE ‘QUIZ’

Simply Answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the following questions, in order, according to the descriptions below them.

Please read through all the questions first, then answer as honestly as you can.

Question 1: Do you Want to Leave Your Partner?

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When thinking about want, think about your personal desires and how you want to live your life. Think about your personal goals and aspirations in life, and decipher if you feel they’re restricted or constrained because of your commitment to your relationship. If you find yourself feeling restricted, then you likely want to leave your partner.

Question 2: Do you Need to Leave Your Partner?

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When thinking about needs, think about your most basic level needs, such as your physiological needs: food, water, warmth, shelter, sex and so on. And your safety and security needs such as emotional security, personal safety and security and in this day and age, financial security. If your basic needs aren’t fulfilled satisfactorily because of your relationship, then you likely need to leave your partner, for your life and well-being has become dependant on your relationship.

Question 3: Can you Afford to Leave Your Partner?

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This question is all about if you feel you can afford the opportunity to leave your partner. Basically weighing up the cost and gain or the pros and cons. For example, if you have little to none mutual investments (such as children, business, property, friends/networks), you yourself are financially independent or can be, your partner is emotionally secure, and you have a strong support network, then you’re likely to feel that you can afford to leave your partner. If, on the other hand, you have many shared mutual investments, are financially unstable, you or your partner is emotionally dependant, and you have a weak support network, then you’re likely to feel like you can’t afford to leave your partner. So think about this answer very carefully.

YOUR ANSWERS

Here’s what your results may suggest, though please keep in mind that this quiz should not be substituted for professional advice. Consider it a useful evaluation tool.

1.Yes / 2.Yes / 3.Yes – Absolutely Positive

You probably should leave your partner or at least consider temporary separation. Your relationship no longer serves any real purpose or value, and the longer you hold on to it, the more resentment you’ll develop. You will likely consider cheating if you haven’t cheated already.

1.No / 2.No / 3. No – Absolute Negative

You probably shouldn’t leave your partner because your relationship is healthy for you, and you’re not likely to cheat. However, if you are pondering this question, then perhaps it’s your partner who should be taking this quiz, for it could be your partner who may have you feeling a little insecure.

1.Yes / 2.Yes / 2.No – Out of Love.

It’s a lack of independence and confidence that is holding you back. Therefore, I suggest you place priority on developing your confidence and gaining independent control in areas of your life, where you’re most insecure. For example, learn to develop your own financial security, improve your self-perception and learn how to live life on your own terms. When you feel more confident re-visit this question, as you may change your mind about how you feel. A physical and emotional affair is likely if left unresolved, so discuss deeply your personal aspirations and desires with your partner.

1.Yes / 2.No / 2.No – Identity Crisis

Your relationship draws too much focus and I think want to feel like an individual again. Start developing your identity by investing in independent hobbies and interests, generally things you’re curious about. You’re likely to get involved in an emotional affair over a physical one, because what you desire is connected more to the mind than the body. Education would be a good route for you or perhaps starting a new career, but don’t make any more mutual investments with your partner, until you feel like you again. Discuss the redistribution of responsibilities with your partner, so that you can have the opportunity to develop a sense of self.

1.No / 2.Yes / 3.Yes – Feeling Guilty.

The lack of spiritual and/or physical fulfillment is motivating this thought. Your compassion and concern for your partners well-being is a contender keeping you from leaving. You can afford to leave and you need to leave, but whatever attachment is keeping you from leaving stems from your very own humanity. You may already be sabotaging your relationship, perhaps not knowingly, because you may be looking for an excuse or blame or exit strategy where you don’t feel guilt or shame. Either way, it’s not fair on you nor your partner to prolong an unfulfilling relationship. Your relationship is unhealthy, so break-up or be prepared to talk brutally honest about how you feel. A physical affair is likely, temptations are probably high.

1.No / 2.No / 3.Yes – Complacency

You need a bit of excitement in your life, book a vacation and/or explore new ways to spice up your relationship. Maybe a good opportunity to invest in something, or indulge yourself. Maybe think about having children if you want them/another. You probably don’t want to cheat, but if you don’t do something you enjoy soon, you probably will have an affair out of boredom. People who often find themselves here may cause unnecessary drama in a relationship, because they lack stimulation. Maybe develop a creative outlet, better that than to take your frustrations out on your relationship.

1.No / 2.Yes / 3.No – Oppression

Are you oppressed? Your identity is probably sewn into your relationship, and perhaps you fear the consequences of leaving. Who are you without your partner and what are you worth? You need to conquer some fears and discover/reveal who you really are and what you’re really capable of. You need personal aspirations and independent goals, you need to be able to take care of yourself. So I suggest you start making a list of personal fears and start conquering them, maybe start with the easiest one. Personal triumphs can go a long way for you, however small they may seem. Start regaining control over your life, but to do that, you need some confidence, so investigate your curiosities.

1.Yes / 2.No / 3.Yes – Convenience

It’s like you’re hanging around because the sex is good, or whatever other basic need is abundantly fulfilled. I think that maybe you like being taken care of, or maybe you just like the comfort/convenience of having a partner, either way, you’re probably compromising your identity and personal development for it. I suggest having an open and honest conversation about your intentions for the relationship, and see if you’re both willing to continue until the relationships no longer serves a purpose. There’s not much psychological fulfillment in this relationship, but there is a lot of physiological fulfillment. It’s a relationship not a spa, please tread on your partners heart carefully, or better yet, be honest.

Want to improve communication in your relationship? Discover 5 Alternative ways to improve communication in your relationship…

 

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How to Tame the Ego

Success is like a drug, and like drugs it comes in many forms: a return on investment, a fulfilling experience, or even reaching a higher state of consciousness. And just like drugs, success can develop into an addiction, and the only way to sustain the addiction is to feed the ego. The ego is the only thing that can convince you that the success (the drug) is all you need to live for.

My ego has fought for dominion over my conscious experience my entire life, and with each success, my self-awareness weakens and becomes a window of opportunity for my ego to reign.

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This week has been a series of wins and with each ‘hit’, I could feel my identity escaping me. When you succeed, in the very traditional sense of the word, the world starts to take notice and sort of validates your self-worth with every like, comment, congratulatory call or text. Each validation enhances the ‘high’, and it’s a difficult feeling to escape. I mean, who doesn’t like being validated by someone else?

Over the past few years, I feel my biggest accomplishment has been developing my self-awareness, and when my behaviours started mimicking that of my ego, it was time to put it back in its place. I found myself constantly checking my phone for red notifications, replying “thank you”, to comments from people who don’t really give a sh*t, and allowing myself to believe that only I can do what I do, which I know for a fact isn’t true. That’s not the life I want to build, that’s not the life experience I want live, and nor is it the life I want to share.

Praise is like positive reinforcement, the behaviours (the successes) I was being rewarded for (praised for), we’re reinforcing the idea that if I repeat these same behaviours, I can expect to be rewarded again. Soon, my purpose is replaced with the desire for more praise and validation. This entices the ego to come out and play, and to take control over my life in order to sustain this rewards based system.

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If I let this happen I restrict my potential, because it’ll only motivate me to do enough to keep others happy and keep my ego satisfied. It also places an overwhelming expectation, an unnecessary pressure which’ll distract me from being able to just, be. It’s a difficult behaviour to undo, a difficult behaviour to defeat, when this is what we’re taught from a young age. That the only reason to do anything, is for the reward.

We rarely praise each other for feeling completely content with where we are in our lives. Rarely are we impressed with people who are just happy on their journey, wherever it’s headed. It’s always a sort of “that’s nice” or “good luck” or “you’ll go far”- a compliment that suggests we should be doing more for a reward/better reward. I remember these praises, because I got them a lot when I started blogging. It was only when success grows, do people feel compelled to reach out and say “well done” and “Congratulations!”

Where’s the appreciation for just existing and being you? Why does being you and doing what you do naturally, have to be worth something in terms of “success”, before you’re appreciated at all?

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This is what years of feeling insignificant does to us, when we grow up feeling insignificant any experience of validation becomes a high, just like a drug, because the experience is so surreal to us. We want more of this unreal experience. We’re rarely taught that who we are is enough, so a lot of us spend a lifetime chasing the high for no other reason than to just feel worth something. Forever trying to prove our worth, and less time developing and learning from it.

We all have a reason to exist, we all have worth from the moment we’re born, and I think the ego is tamed when we accept that. When we accept ourselves life becomes this wonderful journey of discovery, instead of a mission to know and have things just to justify what we think we know, which is often very far from the truth.

When we equate validation to acceptance, to love, and to appreciation, we lose sight of our own capacity to accept, love, appreciate, so we blindly validate ego.

Without the attachment to traditional affirmations of success: the nice house, the flashy cars, the perfect relationship and all the other trimmings sold to us on social media, who are we? I think it’s a reason why so many relationships tank, why so many great ideas fail, and so many of us give up on things we’re passionate about so quickly. It seems if we don’t get the validation it’s not worth the experience, so we give up or do the minimum to sustain whatever we’ve built.

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All I did was start expressing my truth and once I got comfortable with it, I navigated my truth to different experiences, and the experiences taught me how to share it. Living more authentically gave me the courage to explore the things that truly interested me, and the more I learned, the more I invested my life into it. I was developing my passion and as my passion grew I identified my purpose, all because it just felt right, natural even.

This is why I wrote this post today, to save me and the future me from my own ego. It may not be well written, nor will it ever be perfect, but it’s me, and so long as I continue to express myself honestly, I’ll continue to develop and grow me into the best version of me I can ever be.

I think if we all work hard to develop self-awareness and actively help each other keep our egos in check, relationships will inspire, passions will be pursued and life will become a freer experience to live.

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Why are you afraid?

Imitation = Fear

Imitation is an expression of fear, because we imitate to blend in, to be accepted by society, and for others to notice that we fit in and that we belong. We imitate because we’re afraid of being rejected should we ever reveal our truest selves.

Many of us, predominately in the West I feel, are searching for that sense of belonging from a very early age. Think about how a toddler behaves, they walk around confidently, wearing the rawest version of themselves. Forever curious, they’re always in search of answers. Although it may not last too long, toddlers are also very compassionate, incredibly loving and confidently expressive.

I think as conscious awareness develops, there comes a time when we become curious about ourselves and our place in this world, and I think it’s at this crucial point when fear of expression starts to develop. It’s like we spend most of our lives slowly breaking free from a cocoon and once free, we’re very quickly misguided.

As we develop some independence we turn to the world around us for guidance on this human experience. However, the world is still very much an unequal place and as we receive its messages, predominantly through mass media, the majority of us feel underrepresented. When we do not see ourselves being represented, we quickly learn to feel that this is a world in which we do not belong, so what do we do? We imitate.

We buy into popular trends, we follow false idols, and we mimic those who are presented as most-self-actualized. We often do this so blindly that it becomes normal, until the distance between who we really are and who we’ve presented ourselves to be is so wide, that we become afraid to face the truth, and/or unsure of it.

It develops an anxiety of sorts, an uncertainty about the future and thus the quest for happiness continues to be a trivial pursuit. We feed fear each time we deny ourselves the opportunity to be liberated.

What are you afraid of?

I suppose we can measure fear by how much of our lives we spend imitating others. The world accepting us for how well we imitate it, is not the world accepting us. We’re merely helping the powers at be, reinforce their egos. If we want to be represented then we must show the world who it is that needs representation. However, chances are we’re all one of a kind and when we accept this we probably won’t care for representation, because instead we’ll be seeking only inspiration.

Remember the key to fulfillment, in any aspect of life, is a strong and affirmed identity.

Be you. Be inspired. Be Inspiring.

Read the full post here.

How to Cope With Isolation

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You may notice that I tend to disappear for a while and I hope that the message in this post will help you understand why.

I grew up feeling segregated because I didn’t feel connected to the world the same way my peers did. I remember my insecurities developing because of an eagerness to fit in and become like everyone else. I would find myself trying to adopt trends I didn’t agree with and personas I didn’t I identify with, just to associate myself with what felt like a herd heading towards their own slaughter. Each day I denied myself the opportunity to be me and do the things I wanted to do, I restricted my potential and kept my aspirations at bay.

Although I found success through traditional pursuits, the success never felt genuine. It felt more manufactured and less actualized because it lacked authenticity; it lacked me and my presence. As I followed the rules and marched on like a good corporate soldier, I could feel my identity slipping away.

Living a life I was unhappy with, I began feeling the negative burden of isolation quite quickly. Mentally, my thoughts would always wander into a depressive abyss. Always reasoning with negative thought, I would convince myself that I was alone in feeling this way and that I should feel more grateful and fortunate for my situation, even though I felt like crap.

Physically, I’d become incredibly aware of my isolation. When we’re physically alone it’s hard not to face the emotions we shy away from, so naturally I filled my time with as many distractions as possible: going out and connecting with the wrong type of people, binging on alcohol, fueling my body on the worst kinds of food and indulging on unimaginative TV and media. These were the vices I funneled my misery into.

Needless to say I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the way I was living my life and decided to neglect many aspects of it. From my health through to my relationships, I felt like there wasn’t a reason to take care of any of it. When we face struggles like this in life, awareness and acceptance of the truth is what we must face.

I remember being offered a promotion, or at least the option was on the table and I thought to myself “This is it. This is what my life is going to represent.” There was no excitement, just expectation. There was no passion, just resistance and I’d never felt more disconnected from the aspirations I once held for myself. I’ve always wanted my life to mean something, I believe we all do, and I just felt like I couldn’t dishonor my own existence anymore.

What turned my life around and helped me nurture the confidence to make the bold decisions that drastically altered my destiny, was my relationship with isolation. I figured, if the world I’m living in doesn’t understand the way I’m feeling, and I’m feeling like I don’t fit in, then my isolation will be the safe haven to exercise my identity.

Rather than reason with my negative thoughts I embraced them, I lifted up the rug and faced the emotions I had swept under it. At first, trying to cope with them internally felt crippling so I started to externalize my thoughts by writing them down. I would end up writing thousands of words about how I felt and without really noticing, I was developing and facing an awareness I had long spent avoiding. Upon reflection it was like writing a tragic novel and it was about my life! Seeing my misery displayed back to me was incredibly awakening, and I could foresee where my life would end up if I continued to perpetuate a life I was unhappy with. Whenever I would return to my life and exit moments of, what I started to call ‘therapeutic isolation’, I’d feel uplifted.

Slowly I started feeling like myself again and although I wasn’t ready, rather unsure about the next step I should take, I knew I wanted to continue down this path I had embarked on. I started to make use of my isolation to research and construct my next move and change the course of my story. The first step was quite simple and it was to stop fueling my own misery, first thing to really change were the people I surrounded myself with.

In my isolation I felt empowered and excited. I was always exercising my own identity and connecting with stimulus that encouraged me to think freely and openly. I felt my isolation also acted as a form of measurement, of who I am against the reality of who I was becoming. Eventually I began falling in love with the freedom I felt when alone, so I began gravitating towards a life that felt the same way.

I felt encouraged to connect with people who allowed me to think and live as freely as I could on my own. Anything less than acceptance and understanding wasn’t enough for me. I eventually started to move into places I connected with and in these places I seized opportunities that truly spoke to me. Through honest challenges, I eventually found success that did feel genuine.

Today my isolation is my sanctuary: a mental and physical space to explore the depths of my identity and engage a state of flow. Moments to set myself free and exercise my own potential. A time and space to explore and develop my ideas so that I fully understand them first, then prepare myself to confidently present them to the world.

You don’t need to feel trapped when you feel isolated, nor do you have to view isolation as a negative aspect of your life. Use moments of isolation to refuel your identity and realize that you can develop a life worth living.

Post by Vancouver Life Coach:

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Let’s talk about race.

Racism

Let’s talk about race.

I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a long time now, because I’m tired of seeing so many people, myself included, being judged and defined by skin colour. It’s just a colour, it has no meaning and it’s unwise to define our lives by it.

I was exposed to the same education and environments alongside peers with all different shades of skin colour, yet we all had different ideas of where we’d all end up in life. Our upbringings differed from home to home, our own decisions and our own motivations encouraged our individual paths in life, and it’s our individual experiences that influence these decisions and motivations. Unfortunately, when we accept messages that define us by the colour of our skin, we lose sight of our individual freedom and rights as we conform to stereotype and ideology. Enough is enough, we’re all worth so much more than the labels that define us.

Why are we so foolish to associate ourselves with untrue stereotypes? Why shape our lives based on the representation of our skin colours? It’s an issue that’s irritated me my entire life. Personally, I grew tired of feeling stuck in-between what felt like, a rock and a hard place; never feeling completely embraced as an individual because “he’s so white-washed” or “he’s so brown” were phrases that echoed through my entire existence.

Just like all of us, I am a product of my environment and a slave to the nature I inherited and as a result, I’ve become who I am… and it has very little to do with pigment. It’s just a colour, it has no meaning other than the clues it leads to my ancestry. With that said, we innately have more in common to unite us, compared to the differences we’re taught to separate us.

Who I am and who you are cannot be defined by any single label, prejudice or idea. Yes, there may be traits and traditions I share with others of similar cultural heritage, as do we all, but no, it’s not specific to the colour of my skin. Nor does my cultural heritage completely represent my identity, I’m much more than that too.

So, to the officer that profiled me, the employer that overlooked me, the group that rejected me and the politicians frightened of me. Generally to the people that choose to judge me because of my skin colour or any other prejudice for that matter, I will not continue to perpetuate hate by getting angry, nor will I hide away in shame or embarrassment. Instead, I’ll use the avenues I’ve embraced that showcase my identity in order to educate and inform. Although I may have to work a little harder in prejudice environments, I will not allow them to restrict my potential. It’s just the colour of my skin, just like the colour of my hair or the colour of my eyes, it doesn’t mean anything.

Vancouver Life Coach

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How to Make Decisions

Post by, Vancouver Life Coach

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Life is full of choices, and it’s the choices we make that shape our lives. Therefore the question remains, how do we make the right choices?

I’ve been asked this question over and over again. At first, I couldn’t give anyone a definitive answer because mindful-decision-making stems from the root of your identity. To know if you’re making the right choices in life, you must first evaluate your own identity:

  • Do you feel liberated and free to be yourself?
  • Are you restricting your identity just to fit in?
  • Are you struggling to open up about your problems and restricting yourself from seeking support?
  • Are you making meaningful connections with others?
  • If you’re in a relationship, does your partner see you for who you are?

In summary, are you yourself completely?

Before making a decision in your life, reconnect with yourself. Become self-realized and aware, and establish how much of your life is being experienced by you, versus a version of you that appeals more to your influencers. Think of influencers as things in your life that restrict, or have the potential to restrict, who you are and the great things you’re capable of. From people through to places – are you a product of your environment, or is your environment an extension of your identity?

Work to understand and unleash your identity and you’ll realize how to make the right choices. Whatever decision you’re faced with, you must always side with the choice that keeps your identity intact.

For those that have a responsibility to others such as children, ask yourself if a positive impact on your own life will strengthen your relationship to those you’re responsible for. You shouldn’t make your decisions out of obligation, but rather so that you can fulfill your obligations happily.

Many people come across this blog seeking answers, but the answers readers seek are buried within themselves. Hence its purpose is to encourage readers to be themselves; tune in to who you are, and you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for. Tune into your identity and you’ll begin to recognize happiness as an emotion waiting to be set free, rather than an aspiration to work towards.

Vancouver Life Coach