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Stephan Speaks

Forgiveness, Finding Real Love & Setting Expectations

Stop setting expectations for your relationships.

Mike Murdock said, “Each relationship nurtures a strength or weakness within you.” And Mr. Rogers said, “Love is at the root of everything. All learning, all parenting, all relationships, love or lack thereof.”

This is the second installment of a massive two-part series with my friend Stephan Speaks, a certified relationship coach, speaker, and author. He helps both men and women overcome the challenges that hinder their relationships, empowers millions to take charge of the difficult situation standing in their way of the life and love they seek and make impactful changes on a daily basis.

Stephan’s written a book called Love After Heartbreak: Volume I which is all about helping you self-heal and find inner peace and true happiness. I’m so excited to have him back on the show! Our conversation was so powerful that we had to split it up into two parts, so make sure to check out part one after this if you haven’t listened to it already.

In this episode, we discuss the importance of forgiveness in our relationships and why people find it so hard to do so. The three things you should do to know if you have a connection with someone that you’re dating, how to know if you’re staying in the wrong relationship and Stephan discusses why he doesn’t believe in setting expectations in relationships and so much more. 

Who Is Stephan Speaks?

Stephan Speaks — also known by his given name, Stephan Labossiere — is a certified relationship coach, speaker, and author. From understanding the opposite sex to navigating the paths and avoiding the pitfalls of relationships and self-growth, Stephan’s relationship advice and insight help countless individuals achieve an authentically amazing life.

Dedicated to helping and devoted to keeping it real, Stephan’s straightforward yet compassionate delivery style attracts a varied clientele, including notable celebrities, civic and social organizations, academic institutions, singles, and couples alike, who can and are ready to handle the truth!

Stephan has been seen, heard, and chronicled in national and international media outlets, including the Tom Joyner Morning Show, The Examiner, ABC, and Huffington Post Live, to name a few. To coin a phrase by an individual who attended one of his speaking engagements, “He’s definitely the relationship guy — all relationships, all the time.” With an international following of singles and couples alike, the name Stephan Labossiere is synonymous with breaking down relationship barriers, pushing past common facades, and exposing the truth. It is this understanding of REAL relationships that he brings to everyone he encounters.

He’s got some great books out there, and after listening to this podcast episode with Stephan Labossiere, you’re going to want to hear more of his stuff. His most recent publications are Find Love After Heartbreak, He Who Finds a Wife, and The Man God Has for You, and they all teach you about how to create healthy relationships with the right people. 

He also has a new coaching program: “How to Manifest the Life & Man God Has for You.” Ladies, I’m speaking to you here — if you are looking for the right man, you definitely want to check out Stephan’s coaching program! He’s a relationship genius and genuinely kind guy, and I know his advice will help you manifest the relationship you’ve been dreaming of.

Let’s get back into it with part two!

Learning to Forgive

We left off the previous episode talking about how to write letters to those who have hurt you in your past. Stephan shares that there is another step to help us complete the process of healing so that we won’t still feel triggered moving forward. 

“Forgiveness is a huge part, but people have to understand forgiveness isn’t a snap-of-a-finger thing. You can say, ‘I forgive them. I’m good. I’m moving forward,’ [but] if something happens and you’re triggered at that moment, you have to stop yourself. When we get triggered, we allow ourselves to dive into it. What you have to do is recognize the moment, say, ‘No, I forgave them — what’s done is done. I’m moving forward.’ Keep practicing it, and as you practice it, you’ll notice you’re triggered less.” – Stephan Speaks

We don’t make a decision and then our hurt evaporates — our decision is to the commitment of recognizing that we’re triggered and reminding ourselves that we’ve moved on. As time rolls on, we’ll notice it’s affecting us less until eventually, it doesn’t bother us at all. 

Sometimes, the biggest hurdle is actually forgiving ourselves. 

“There are people listening to this who will be able to say, ‘I forgave that person,’ but you’re still beating yourself up and holding the mistake over your own head. We all make mistakes. We all fall short — learn from them, grow, move forward, do not dwell on them. Every time you find yourself beating yourself up, [say] ‘No, I forgive myself. I’m done. What’s done is done. I’m moving forward.’ Keep saying it to yourself. You will get to a place where it doesn’t bother you anymore.” – Stephan Speaks

What a powerful thing I think most of us overlook — forgiving ourselves. Not only do we overlook it, but it’s actually harder for us to do too.

Why It’s Harder to Forgive Yourself

This of course varies from situation to situation, especially considering some people can do horrible things to us, but even then, Stephan believes turning forgiveness inward is the tougher challenge.

“Because we live with ourselves. You see, that person can do one thing, and it can be very hurtful, but we may not see them again or face a circumstance like that. When we make our mistake, we have to live with that — we have to face ourselves in the mirror, and then there may be other mistakes we make that pile onto that. That person may have one offense we have to forgive them for, but we could end up having several offenses against ourselves — and now it becomes a harder journey for a lot of people to just accept that we’re all flawed.” – Stephan Speaks

It’s important to understand that we all fall short and none of us gets it perfect. All of us make mistakes. Even in business, everyone who’s successful has failed. Life is the same thing — anyone who’s successful in life has made mistakes. We either learn from them or do what too many people are doing: dwell on them. 

There are so many layers to building our capacity for quality relationships. Even if we have healed everything from our past, we can still fall short in how we show up in relationships. A big one that Stephan dives into is our expectations.

“Anyone who’s successful at life has made mistakes. You’re either gonna learn from them or you’re gonna dwell on them. Too many people are dwelling on their mistakes.” @StephanSpeaks  

How Expectations Kill Appreciation

There are multiple discussions around the type of expectations someone should have going into a relationship — should they have the highest level of expectations, or keep them low?

“I don’t believe in expectations at all. I believe expectation kills appreciation. I simply set the standard of what I desire, and you either meet the standard or you don’t, [and] if you meet the standard, I appreciate your efforts. Express what we need [and] get things on the table quickly. What do you need in the relationship? What’s going to make you happy? What are you hoping to receive from me? It’s about the mindset, when it’s viewed as an expectation you’re supposed to do this, and when you’re supposed to do this — why would I appreciate what you do? When it’s something that I desire and you’re willing to fulfill that — I can appreciate that.” – Stephan Speaks

I love this distinction, in particular, that appreciation happens through our own communication of what we need. This, of course, is a two-way street! The mindset is different, but it produces far greater results in the long run, especially when appreciation is returned. However, if someone doesn’t show they appreciate it — that’s a problem too.

Stephan is dropping some serious truth bombs on us here. It’s one thing to have information though, it’s another to turn it into reality — I dove a little deeper into what makes Stephan so successful in helping others in their relationship journey.

What’s Behind Stephan’s Success in Coaching Men & Women

I asked Stephan a tough question that I can hear ringing in my audience’s ears: “Why should we trust and respect your opinion when you’re not in a long-term committed relationship?” Stephan shares three wise points to help us look for when we look for a coach to help us.

“Being in a relationship does not determine the wisdom or knowledge [about] relationships. If it did, then more people who are in one could give you wise counsel, and they cannot. We have to understand that at the foundation of relationships is understanding men and women and how the two can coexist in a romantic, committed, long-term environment.” – Stephan Speaks

The foundation of Stephan’s success is understanding people first, getting to the crux of what makes men and women tick — things most people don’t know — to make a relationship work. 

“Number two, I don’t expect anyone to listen to me — I always tell people, ‘Pray about it. Trust your intuition. If this resonates with you, take it, or take what resonates and leave what doesn’t.’ I have to speak the truth that needs to be spoken. I have to walk in what I know is my purpose. I’m not here to convince anyone. I don’t think I could have gotten this far unless what I was saying had truth to it. I’m practicing what I preach because I’m not in an unhealthy relationship. I’m doing the things I tell everybody else to do. The point is not to just get in a relationship — [it] is to be in the right one.” – Stephan Speaks 

I admire Stephan’s commitment to practicing what he preaches because it requires patience. It’s a willingness to make sacrifices but ultimately know you’re doing what’s best. Just like getting in shape, your body doesn’t become what you want it to be overnight. 

And the last point, I do feel that I’m held to a higher standard, the reason being if I’m going to be a speaker in this area, I cannot come with some [toxic] relationship or something that does not inspire people. I want you to feel the energy and spirit of my relationship when I’m in it.” – Stephan Speaks 

The quality of Stephan’s coaching is not in his current relationship status but in the consistency of how he practices what he teaches. 

I commend Stephan for living his truth, something we all grapple with, in a world that continuously projects perfection. 

Why You Should Listen to This Stephan Speaks Podcast Episode Right Now…

Guys, part two was as inspiring as part one and filled with practical tips to implement now. To get the full benefit of Stephan’s wisdom, listen to the full episode for all the information he shared, and don’t forget to share with a friend who might be going through a tough time right now.

Head over to Stephan’s website www.stephanspeaks.com, where you can find out more details about him, and be sure to check out his book, Finding Love After Heartbreak: Volume I. Stephan also has a fantastic YouTube channel that I recommend paying a visit to as well.  

If you enjoyed this conversation, please make sure to spread the message of greatness and inspire someone else in your life. It would be really great if you could also tag Stephan, @stephanspeaks, and me, @lewis howes, on Instagram with a screenshot of this episode and your greatest takeaways from it. 

This is part two, so if you missed part one, you can click here to listen and hear our discussion on the secrets behind real love and connection. I want to acknowledge Stephan for always showing up — I’ve had him on four times now, and every time there’s always something new. I appreciate him for constantly diving in and doing the healing work and showing up to coach other people.

At the end of every episode it’s become custom to ask each guest what their definition of greatness is:

“Living life to your fullest.” – Stephan Speaks

Thank you so much for listening to this conversation. If you enjoyed it and want to dive into another similar school of greatness episode, then check out episode 994 where we spoke about the secrets of attraction, or on episode 730 where we chatted about love, intimacy, and relationships. You won’t be disappointed! 

I’ll leave you with this quote from author Leo Christopher who said, “There’s only one thing more precious than our time. And that’s who we spend it on.” 

Think about your time and the people in your life that you give the most time to. Are they elevating you as well as you elevating them? Are they supporting you on your journey? Are they supporting you with your goals?

I want to remind you — if no one’s told you lately, you are loved, you are worthy, and you matter. And you know what time it is — it’s time to go out there and do something great.

To Greatness,   

Lewis Howes - Signature

“Expectation kills appreciation.” @StephanSpeaks  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Is it harder to forgive someone that was horrible to you or harder to forgive yourself?
  • Is there anything in your life that you haven’t healed today?
  • Why is writing a letter more powerful than texts or voice messages?
  • What percentage of couples who date over a year are actually happy?
  • Why do people stay in relationships when there isn’t a connection?
  • How hard is it to find real connection after getting out of a relationship?
  • Why would you go on dates if you’re not looking for real connection?
  • What type of expectations should someone have going into a relationship with their partner?
  • What are a few ways to know if your partner truly loves you?

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The importance of forgiveness in our relationships.
  • The 3 things you should do to know if you have a connection with someone.
  • How to know if you’re staying in the wrong relationship.
  • Why Stephan doesn’t believe in setting expectations for relationships.
  • Plus much more…

Show Notes:

Connect with
Stephan Speaks

Transcript of this Episode

Music Credits:

Music Credit:

Kaibu by Killercats

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