We’ve all heard the saying, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” There’s no doubt that the people in our lives impact and influence us.
But what can you do when the people in your life don’t share your emerging values, goals, and desires?
Is it possible to continue to grow and develop in the direction of your dreams – without cutting ties with old relationships?
It’s extremely important to build connections with people who make you feel inspired, empowered, and who encourage you to go for what you want in life. And yet, the idea that you need to let go of people who aren’t perfectly aligned to your current goals or visions is outdated.
In truth, although we are deeply influenced by the people we spend the most time with, there is also incredible value in having diverse relationships and connections.
You don’t actually need to eliminate anyone from your life – unless the relationship has become unhealthy.
Sometimes though, when you’re on a path of personal development, it can feel like you need to stretch your wings and find a social and/or business community that truly supports and empowers you.
So how do you branch out of your relationships with the people you’ve known forever and begin to build a broader community that feels aligned with where you are now?
The key is in growing and expanding your network. In seeking out new friendships, connections, and communities. In finding more opportunities to engage with people who share your values and who can relate to what you’re going through.
When you begin to expand your connections, it takes the pressure off of feeling like you need to change anything about the people in your life, or the relationships you already have.
Instead, you can accept and love the people in your life for exactly who they are, while turning to your newer relationships to fulfill other aspects of what you are looking for.
When you’re ready to begin expanding your network and finding a community that empowers you, here are some steps to help you get started:
Step 1: Get Involved!
The people you desire to connect with can often be found pursuing the interests you have in common. If you want connections with fellow entrepreneurs, look for groups and events around this topic. If you love personal development, find a workshop or course to attend. If you love fitness, look for local gyms or wellness centers with a community vibe.
In some cases this might mean investing in an event, program, or membership. Other times, you can find free events, meetups, or even online communities like facebook groups to join.
The women in our programs often share that the connections and friendships they form are one of the most valuable aspects of the work we do together. More often than not, they come in seeking the business results and clarity our programs offer, and they walk away with the unexpected joy of deep, meaningful connections with other women.
Many of our clients have formed lifelong friendships, and beyond coming together at our retreats and events, they fly across the world to spend time together, get to know each other’s families, send each other referrals, and become one another’s biggest supporters.
(We actually led a retreat for our Wealthy World Changers mastermind last week, with women attending from four countries. See a few behind-the-scenes pictures below! And we just announced our first public event in 3 years – The Aliveness Experience – which will be taking place in Greece this September. This will be an amazing opportunity to connect with other open-hearted, impact-driven women from around the world. Click here to learn more and register now.)
Step 2: Become a Community Builder
Not finding the kind of events or communities you’re looking for in your area? Chances are if you’re craving it, other people are too! Why not organize your own event or opportunity for like-minded people to connect?
This can be something super simple, like a women’s night at your house. Invite people you’re curious about getting to know better, and set some simple ground rules to give the gathering the feeling you want. (For example: “No gossip.” Or, “Come with an open heart.”)
You might also introduce some questions to spark intentional conversation. This is a great way to give people an opportunity to share, to go beyond “small talk,” and to connect on a deeper level.
Step 3: Get Clear on Your Core Values in Community
Sometimes the biggest hurdle in finding the right people is knowing exactly what you’re looking for. If you aren’t clear on the kinds of connections you want to make, look no further than your core values.
What values would you like your friends and the people in your community to share? With this clarity, it becomes easier to find the right places to look for these connections.
For example, if spirituality is important to you, then you might look for groups or organize events around this topic. If you growth & development is a core value, there are many groups dedicated to personal development and coaching.
If you’re organizing your own event, try weaving your core values into your event description to help attract the right people.
Expanding your network can take time and energy. And after a long period of a lot more isolation than most of us are used to, it may feel like you are starting from scratch.
The best way to approach community building is to take it slow and steady.
Each month, pick one new thing – an event you’ll attend or host, intentionally setting up a weekly coffee date, etc. – and before you know it, you’ll be amazed at how many people you have in your life who support and empower you!
And when it comes to those old relationships that feel like they aren’t 100% aligned anymore? Keep your connection, but practice discernment about the parts of your life you share with those people. (You may want to wait to share your visions & dreams with those who are more open and supportive.)
Remember: You don’t have to choose. You can have many different relationships that fulfill all of the different parts of you.
Curious about our Greece retreat? Click here to learn more and sign up.