Optimistic Tips to Surround Yourself with People Who Challenge You to Grow
June means that Summer is officially underway – and with summer comes vacation and holidays, weddings and summer camps, exploring new cities and the outdoors, and time with friends and family. It’s a natural time to evaluate our relationships and the people that we surround ourselves with – especially because these summer activities usually mean more time with others. This is why our theme this month is about surrounding ourselves with people who encourage us to grow. Are the people – be it friends and family, community groups, travelers we meet along the way – encouraging us to grow and improve? Are they building us up?
Summertime’s natural default to more time with others is a great opportunity to consider surrounding ourselves with people who encourage us to grow, and think about ways that we can encourage others to grow. It’s a great time to focus on sharing light and optimism with those around us, and gleaning lessons and wisdom and encouragement from the people we’re surrounded by.
Below is a reminder of our top 3 tips for how to surround yourself with people who challenge you to grow – as well as practical tips on how to make it a more intentional focus this summer.
Don’t be the smartest, bravest, kindest, most creative, compassionate, faithful person in the room. Our practical application for this: Find a teacher. Think of an area where you are wanting or working to grow – this could be a skill or a hobby or a mindset – and someone in your “room,” circle of friends, or community who would be willing to help encourage and instruct you in this. Share with that teacher what it is you admire, respect, or appreciate about them and the key points you’re looking to develop. Ask them to share with you more about their process or journey with that skill or mindset, and keep you accountable to growing that within yourself.
Find people who speak the truth, and listen. Practically speaking: Make room for the truth. Identify someone in your life who always speaks the truth to you – no matter how hard that truth might be – and make a conscious effort to give them a larger role in your life. Let them know that you value their opinion and advice and seek out their input when you need it most. Ask them questions that prompt opportunities for them to share truths with you. Some of our favorite questions in this regard: “Are there any areas of my life where you don’t see me living up to my full potential?” or “Are there choices I’m making that you would recommend I reevalutate or consider from a different perspective?”
Learn from everyone. As for applying this over the summer: Learn from someone unexpected. We all have that person in our life who drives us crazy for some small reason, or someone who we can’t stand (and maybe don’t really want to try). Even that person has something to teach us- be it the quirky cousin at the family gathering, the neighbor in your softball league who really gets under your skin, or the colleague who seems to make extra work for you when you really want to be enjoying an early summer Friday. Work to change your point of view on that person in your life, and approach them with curiosity. Everyone knows something that we don’t, or is better at something in their life than we are. Figure out what it is and make it your mission to learn from them… who knows, it might make your time with them this summer more enjoyable and lead to a better relationship overall.
The Davine Team