No one changes or realizes their blind spots alone, so it’s a huge benefit to have a nurturing support system, as you walk through your life experiences. Taking down your guard and sharing yourself is a wonderful experience, and the release you’ll feel can be life changing. But of course, you will want to be discriminating with respect to the level of depth you choose to share with any given person or group. Developing or enhancing your circle of support requires some action on your part, and there are several ways to do that:
— Support groups. Encouragement can be found in 12-step support groups, if that’s appropriate for your situation; or meetings facilitated by a coach or therapist. Attending groups with individuals who are going through the same challenges can be very healing. In such forums, you’ll be able to openly share your feelings in a supportive environment and move past those areas where you feel stuck. It’s helpful to learn how others handle issues similar to yours; and to feel a sense of camaraderie, strength, and encouragement from such like-minded individuals. This type of support helps you confront your fears and take the action needed to move forward in a life-enhancing direction.
— Self-improvement seminars, retreats, and workshops. These types of groups will motivate you, and fill you with positive emotional sustenance. What distinguishes one from the other is often the length of time involved, and the degree of commitment expected. For example:
- A seminar may be several hours and have a lecture format.
- A retreat is often an entire weekend of a more intensive nature.
- A workshop is usually a mixture of lecture and group participation for 3-4 hours.
— Recreational groups. You may have a hobby that lends itself to joining a group such as a cycling or book club. Engaging in entertaining activities of this nature puts you in contact with people who share the same interests you do, which can create special bonds, leading to both friendship and fun. Being a part of this type of community can ignite creativity, joy, and a sense of teamwork with those who share the same goals, as well as the exhilaration of participating and interacting with others.
— Family and friends. It’s important to make every effort to connect with, and strengthen your bonds with, the special people in your life, such as family and friends. This connection is extremely important for your emotional health, as it brings out the best in you. You’ll want to take some action in this area by actively and consistently keeping in contact with your loved ones and spending quality time with them.
Take the time to connect with your support system by contacting them regularly and seek to make some new connections as well.
Check out www.helpwithyourlife.com/workshop for information on my upcoming event in Phoenix, AZ.