Every once in a while, we need to do a relationship inventory.
This type of inventory depends on what we want to measure, and today I invite you to measure your feeling of choice vs. obligation. Technically, we are the ones deciding to be in every single one of our relationships. It just doesn’t always feel that way. But choice is much more empowering than a sense that something’s been thrust on you, so let’s get to it.

Grab some paper and a pencil and read on.

Make a list of every major relationship in your life.
Who do you interact with or think about an hour or more a week? Write down family members, friends, coworkers, clients, etc…

Write one of the following letters next to each relationship.
“C” for choice if you know beyond a doubt that you are choosing to be in this relationship. You WANT to show up for it.

“O” for obligation if you feel like you have to show up to this relationship but it feels more like a chore. Don’t hem and haw about it. Just make the first choice that comes to mind.

The goal isn’t to focus on what’s wrong but rather to think about how you can make some energetic shifts in your life. First, I want you to give a happy little thank you to the universe for every one of those “C”s. You attracted those circumstances and you deserve to enjoy them.

Now, I want you to look at each of the “O” relationships and ask yourself this question.

What would have to change for me to move this into the “C” list?

Actually, that’s not exactly the question I want you to ask. You might start to think of all the ways the other person could change that would make the relationship more comfortable or pleasant. But our job here is not to change other people. All we really have control over are our own behaviors and actions.

Here’s the real question.
What can you do right now to make this relationship feel more like a choice than an obligation?

What do you need to say “no” to? What boundary do you need to put in place? What do you need to stop tolerating going forward?

You 100% have control over this, but I’m not going to tell you it’s easy. Disappointing people, having hard conversations, and challenging the “way it’s always been done” are nobody’s favorite thing to do. It’s just that we only have so many hours in a week and not all hours are created equal. That hour snort-laughing with your girlfriend is worth a lot more than an hour listening to your coworker complain about her life.

Let’s not leave the exercise here though, where it only happened on paper.
Awareness without action is just painful. Commit to that action, my friend.

And if you get really ambitious, you can go to the next tier. Who are all the other people in your life? The ones you may not spend time with on a weekly basis but still have an impact on your energy? Are they “C”s or “O”s? What can you do to shift that?

This can be hard but powerful work, so I’m going to give you a little silver lining. The people who love us can be surprisingly adaptable. They can feel your energy and feeling like a “C” feels way better than feeling like an “O.” Give them the chance to create something new with you that makes you feel excited about the connection.

If you want some support, come join our Facebook group here. If you need a coach to help you make a massive shift or even an exit when termination is the healthiest option, I’m always a direct message away.


Come say hi! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For resources and inspiration delivered right to your inbox sign up for Love Even Though, my biweekly newsletter.