I didn’t feel like working out. That’s not unusual for me.
But when I turned on the video, I knew Ally Love would likely have some motivating words that just might set my day off on a good note. So, while I didn’t look forward to the exertion, I did look forward to the inspiration I’d get from Ally.
“The Power of One,” she said as I pedaled my heart out. (Yup, I was on the Peloton). I don’t even remember what exactly she said after that.
But it made me think of YOU.
“Can my relationship(s) get any better if I’m the only one doing the work?” That’s one of the most common questions I’m asked.
I get it. If you are the only one focusing on changing, is it worth the effort? Why should you bother if it won’t get you anywhere?
You may feel powerless and overwhelmed. You’re not in crisis, but you wish things were different…at home, with friends, colleagues.
That’s where the Power of One comes in.
One minute can change your life.
One kind word can heal a relationship.
One penny multiplied daily can build your bank account.
One person can make a difference.
YOU are the Power of One.
YOU can create change. Change how you see yourself, how others experience you, and how you relate to others.
When you respond with curiosity instead of criticism, that creates change.
When you laugh instead of getting angry, that creates change.
When you say you’re sorry instead of defending yourself, that makes a change.
These changes influence how the other person responds. If you laugh, maybe they’ll laugh.
If you apologize, maybe they will soften toward you and be less angry.
If you are curious instead of critical, perhaps they will share more about their feelings with you.
You live in an ecosystem, and when one part of that system changes, the other parts are impacted by your shift.
Here’s a great example of how it works in the wild…
Lisa carried a lot of “Mom guilt” around. She constantly felt like she had to make life magical for everyone at her own expense. She packed super nutritious lunches for her kids, included an inspirational note daily, and pressured herself not to make the same lunch twice. When they went on vacations, she asked everyone what they wanted to do and planned the days accordingly, never considering what SHE wanted to do. If everyone else was happy, she was happy…and exhausted.
And she was angry. She was angry that she never got to sit by the pool and relax like the other adults. Angry that she didn’t have time for herself in the evenings because she was busy packing lunches, choosing outfits for the kids to wear, and anything else she thought would make life magical for the rest of the family.
The change happened while on vacation. Her 5-year-old daughter was tired of playing in the pool and wanted to go inside. Lisa desperately wanted to relax at the pool, so that is exactly what she did.
Five minutes later, her daughter came back out, fully dressed. Lisa was in shock. She had no idea that her daughter was able to dress herself! She felt a flood of emotions, including relief. Relief that quieted the voice in her head. You know, the script that says, “You are the only one who can do it. If you don’t do it, no one else will”.
Would she do this for every situation with her daughter going forward? No, but she now knew that her daughter was more capable of independent action than she had given her credit.
Lisa regained some of her independence just as her daughter discovered her own. And that wouldn’t have occurred if Lisa hadn’t made one small change. Lisa was excited about this and realized that she often cast herself as “the only one who can do it” far too often. She plans to be more discerning going forward. And she is less angry because she realizes her chains were of her own making, which is powerful.
Yes, you can make a difference, ONE interaction at a time. Be the ONE.
Take our Conflict Quiz to learn your conflict style and get tips for how to boost your relationship intelligence.
P.S. I turned up the resistance on the bike only ONE notch at a time on my ride this morning, and that made all the difference in my day. One is a very powerful number.