Our first November flakes of snow here in the midwest. As the weather starts to turn my thoughts are on warmth and connection. We talk a lot about the importance of self-care and awareness. But in addition to our relationships with ourselves it is important to also build healthy relationships with others. People who encourage us to be our best selves. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn believes that we become most like the five people we spend the most time with.
When we look at our circle of friends often we build relationships by proximity. The kids we went to school with, people we meet at the office, or neighborhood friends become our closest confidants. Building relationships based on physical proximity makes sense. Your coworkers or neighbors are most likely to be there when you need help. However we also want to practice the first rule of improv – yes and.
Yes, we want to build friendly relationships with the people who live and work nearest us. AND we want to build bonds with people who support us to be our best selves. With whom do you connect most deeply? When we surround ourselves with people who live nearby it’s important to asses if we share their opinions and values. When we spend time with people who don’t share our beliefs we may be tempted to, “Fit in.”
Finding people whose values we agree with and whose attitudes we admire may be challenging. But it is important to seek those relationships out so that we might become the best version of ourselves. We become our most authentic selves not by constantly having to prune back our opinions. We come our best selves by being surrounded by people who encourage us to dig deeper. Nourishing relationships fill our days with opportunities to enhance our lives and our interests rather than distract from them. We want to spend time with people who have our best interest at heart and who embrace and accept us exactly as we are. Within these relationships we find opportunities to grow and develop into the fullest, most beautiful and authentic versions of ourselves.
If the relationships you are in do not meet these criteria, it may be time to consider where you last felt seen, valued, and supported. Then circle back to those people and relationships that felt the truest and best. Self-care is surrounding ourselves with loving people who encourage our growth and support us in our times of need. Give yourself the gift of being surrounded by nurturing connections and see how it transforms your life.