In this post you are going to learn that love is not some mysterious thing that happens to you, it is actually a very concrete thing that you can choose to practice anytime.
Last year I took an excellent marriage coaching training class at the Institute for Life Coach Training for continuing education (and because I am a nerd, so there is that…) During this class our teacher taught us the concept of Choice Based Love.
What was fun was she applied this concept to marriages and coaches with their clients.
As a Life Coach, you make the decision to love your client whether they are loveable or not.
As a wife, you make the decision to love your husband whether he is loveable or not.
As it turns out, when you are coaching, one of the most important factors in the client’s success is the relationship and rapport they build with their coach. Several studies have been done with teachers and therapists to the effect that we impact the outcome based on how we see the student or client.
But applying it to your marriage or any relationship, like your boss or that co-worker that wish you could get along better with…would mean that if you choose to love them whether they are loveable or not, they would react differently to you and thus whatever outcome you are experiencing now would shift.
Confession. I have heard versions of this idea before and I was highly skeptical something like this was possible. In fact, the first time I tried it, I didn’t think it would work. I thought, “Well that’s a nice theory, but I don’t think so…” However, my adventurous and studious nature made me try it out anyway, just to see what would happen.
Here is how it went. I tried it out at work with a colleague who was very moody. We had a lot of projects together at the time and I never knew if I was going to get Nice Nelly or Negative Nelly – so to speak.
Back then I was working in HR and got an email about an issue that would have normally triggered an immediate response from me, not a bad one, but probably, to be honest, a defensive one.
Have you ever gotten an email where you felt like you were being attacked? Maybe the person was asking an innocent question but you felt your fight or flight kick in immediately? This was one of those times.
However, I had just learned this idea and furthermore, my experience was not only to practice choice based love, but to pretend…wait for it…that this person loved everything I did.
Yup, I had to act as if this person loved everything I did and then from that idea, respond to the pesky email.
So I paused and instead of replying, I thought, “okay, if this person loves everything I do, how would I handle this?”
And then I realized, I would handle it totally differently. Instead of replying, I would gather the files involved, ask for an in person meeting to review and discuss, and then take it from there.
So that’s what I did.
When we had the meeting, we talked about the issue I had felt so attacked on for like 2 minutes. Then we went on to discuss who my colleague was dating, other things happening in the office, and a bunch of other completely-unrelated-to-me topics.
I was sitting in that chair in shock. I looked calm and totally relaxed on the outside, but on the inside, I thought, “Well how about that? This coaching stuff actually works. In real life, with potentially annoying people, including me, and I could be the annoying person if I am in reactive mode.”
What was different? I didn’t jump to reply. I didn’t immediately launch into my own defense. And because I acted differently, the person I was in relationship with reacted differently too.
My mind was blown wide open to all the different ways I could use my newfound knowledge.
The most important way is this, which I want to share with you today, at any given moment you can choose to come from love or to come from defense or fear or any other nonconstructive emotion.
Coming from love will always produce a better outcome for you. Every single time. Because regardless of the exterior situation, you will be calmer, more anchored in your own power and that alone is a better outcome than being reactive and fearful (and probably annoying because people living in fear aren’t the jolliest jelly beans around if you know what I mean).
How do you practice this idea of Choice Based Love or Leading From Love as I like to call it?
You make a decision that at any given moment you can choose to come from love and ask yourself what would that look like right now?
You take the lead. You decide first, that you will come from a space of empathy, kindness, and generosity and then take action. That’s what leading from love looks like.
You can do this at work, at home, and anywhere in your life that doesn’t feel good now and would feel better if there was more love there.
Stop waiting for other people to show you the love you crave. Start generating that love for yourself by planting it first, by expressing it first, by giving it first and then watch what happens.
Do not take my word on this, I really don’t want you to believe me and think, “Oh that sounds good,” and leave this post and move on, I want you to TRY IT, EXPERIENCE IT and see what results you get.
The best way to create a life you love with the love of your life is to choose to do it. This is how. Lead from love. Start there. And then see what happens.
I have 2 spots for private coaching opening in March, if one of them is yours, please visit my Coaching Page for details on how to work with me.
If you found this article useful, please share it. We help heal the world one loving heart at a time. Thank you!