How to Make Big Changes in Your Relationships

Every week in the Self Mastery Community, we post about our wins, successes, and progress. It’s intended to celebrate the small changes so we can build on them and accelerate our growth. It also has real benefits in strengthening neural pathways necessary for change and reinforces habits. However, it’s not always small changes.  There are some massive changes people are having in their relationships and their life. 

Jane posted what she was doing, and it’s indicative of making a huge change in her relationship with her mother. Her example is a good one to follow if you want to make massive changes. What is important to note about these massive changes is that they are made up of small changes. Those small changes are made by implementing skillful shifts. And you can learn the skills to make those shifts, so they become a habit. 

I’ve copied Jane’s write up of her change. Below that, I’ve outlined each skill she is using for the small shifts and which lesson in the Self Mastery Course teaches you that skill. You don’t have to leave these changes in your relationship to chance. They don’t have to “just happen” somehow. You can consciously create the skills and apply them.  Read through and see what skills Jane is using, and evaluate your understanding of what is happening with my assessment below. 

Jane on her changes.

My success this week came after an argument with my Mum about something stupid. Before it got too emotional, I went for a two-hour walk and let my parasympathetic nervous system come back online. When I get triggered by my mum, it can take a long while to calm down because I go into a way younger victim part of myself that is still very angry with her.

During the walk, I started to imagine what it must be like for her as a mum. I saw her trying to do her best and feeling like it’s not enough. She worried that I didn’t have as much fun with her as I did with my Dad and his wife. I could sense feeling guilty about the past – knowing how much their divorce hurt me and not being able to do anything about it. Her worrying that I come home to her for some relaxation and then we have a fight and thinking I’ll not want to come and see her again. I see all her anger was just a symptom of feeling not enough. 

When my anger faded, I started to feel so compassionately towards her. I don’t know what it’s like to be a mum. I imagine it’s heart-wrenching when you feel you can never make up for the lost time. You weren’t in the right place to be a good parent when your child needed it, and now they’re all grown up. 

I went back home and just focused on the underlying hurt rather than the particulars of the fight, and the conversation became lots more constructive. I feel I’ve come such a long way – a few years ago, I’d never have been able to see it all so clearly and without ego. We’re now on better terms than before, and it was definitely a brick out of the wall between us. 

The step backward if you try to do it in one step without skills.

Jane is on the cusp of a completely different relationship with her mom. The old pattern has been there since childhood. That can be a big emotional habit to turn around. The relationships we formed with our parents are the first ones. They imprint us with emotional blueprints for how relationships are done. They train us in habits of emotional cycles, perceptions, limiting beliefs, and a false sense of identity. When you take charge of your own belief system and change the relationship with your parents, you are changing the blueprint you use for all your relationships. 

Jane’s major change isn’t a single step. Yes, it happened in a two-hour walk and looked like a single shift into empathy. But there are learned skills to make those empathetic shifts happen. You can’t just tell yourself to be more empathetic and have it happen. 

What is more likely to happen in this scenario is that your Inner Judge tells you that you “should be more empathetic.”  If we don’t have the skills (described below), we are not able to. We then feel guilty or like a failure because we couldn’t do what the Inner Judge voice in our head told us we should. This is how we take steps backward or spiral downward.

I see massive change happen when you combine many smalls steps.  Maybe you see all the little steps in Jane’s story, but I’ll break down the small steps that I see just in case. I’ll add references to the Self Mastery Course lessons. If you see these massive changes as several small skills, then you will begin to feel your goal of change is achievable. 

  1. Jane moves out of the victim’s perspective and into the conscious observer (Lesson 3 on Attention and 5 on Perspective)
  2. Going for a walk alone to reset the nervous system so the brain can think more clearly. (Lesson 1 on Relaxation)
  3. Awareness she has moved into a hurt child character perspective that is the habit from childhood with her mom. Awareness to see this and shift perspectives out of that emotional perspective.  (lesson 5 and 7 on Observing and Perspective)
  4. Let’s go of the emotions of anger and hurt. ( Lesson 9 on Emotions)
  5. Shifts perspective to view things from her Mom’s point of view. ( Lesson 12 on Illusions of Power)
  1. Recapitulates the relationship from when she was a child from her mom’s perspective. ( Recapitulation)
  2. Perceives the multiple layers of emotions and characters of her mom’s experience. ( Lesson 20 on Viewpoint)
  3. Empathy and understanding naturally invoke forgiveness/compassion.  (Lesson 13 on Forgiveness)
  4. Releases the belief in the expectation that her mom “should” have been, or “should” now be, different than she is. (Lesson 11 on Core Beliefs)
  5. Goes back to mom and begins a new communication and a new relationship. (Lesson 3 on Attention and 14 on Presence )

When you put 10 small steps together over 2 hours or two days, you can change the relationship’s emotion and direction. That’s the formula to make a massive change in your life. 

Do you have the skills to make smalls changes?  Are you expecting and hoping to make big changes but lacking the skills at different points along the way?  There is an answer, and it doesn’t lie in the hope of change. 

To make real changes in yourself, your emotions, perceptions, limiting beliefs, and connection with others is a matter of making many small changes. The key to making many small changes is practicing the exercises that will develop the skills you need. You can find those practices in the Self Mastery Course. 

Learn the skills you need to make massive changes to your life by practicing the Self Mastery Course exercises.