I have been reflecting on the idea of community this week. In our Empowerment Mentoring Tribe, we held a “Let’s Get To Know Each Other” Facebook Live and Sharing Call this week, and I got to spend 3 hours talking to people from all around the world, hearing about what’s going on in their lives, what their goals are, what challenges they’re facing… so many interesting and incredible people in this community.
As I think on this, a famous quote that comes to mind is the one by Eric Hoffer:
“No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.”
It was so good to hear people talking about themselves in a genuine and authentic way! Isn’t it true that, by and large, we are programmed that it is wrong or bad to talk about ourselves, that by doing so, we are somehow bragging or showing off?
I believe that one of the most important things we can do for ourselves, is to acknowledge our accomplishments and to celebrate our own greatness. And the truth is, we need others to help us to remember to do that.
This train of thought came to me after our “get to know each other” call on Tuesday, even though the original intent of that call was just as the title suggests – to get to know each other. I realized as we were partway through the call, that the greater benefit to everyone was in the celebration of our own greatness, giving space to each other and ourselves to celebrate who we are, and from there, what we have created in our lives. And sometimes the celebration of who we are is not just in the acknowledgement of the apparent “successes” we have had – sometimes it’s in the recognition of the struggles through which we persist.
I remember back 25+ years ago when I was starting out in my cleaning business, I was so full of self-judgement. Up to that point in my life, I had never had a community like we have here at Empowerment Mentoring, to stand behind me and cheer me on. I didn’t know what that felt like, and so that inner voice of “the judge” had free reign over the territory of my mind.
And it could be about anything – the self-judgement and belittlement of who I am, what I’m doing, what people are saying about me. I might have a client make a complaint about the quality of work of one of my employees, and immediately that inner critic would speak up and tell me what a terrible person I am and how I’ll never be successful in business, and so on and so forth. I would equate a customer complaint to me being a “bad person.” It sounds nonsensical to say it now, but I know I’m not the only one prone to go down the slippery slope of self-judgement much more quickly than it takes to climb back up.
It happens so fast doesn’t it. That voice takes charge of your mind, and before you even realize what’s happened, you’ve completely berated yourself to the core of your identity.
Back in my early twenties, I had never experienced the value and the pure relief that comes when you are surrounded by key people in your life who lift you up and who give you the space to recognize your own greatness! And we all need that. We all need a little reminder from time to time. Maybe not every day… maybe you just need the reminder once a week… or maybe you do need it every day – that’s okay too. The most important thing is that you recognize when and where you need the help and support and encouragement of others in order to keep pursuing your greater work in the world, in order to keep living out an ever-expanding expression of your purpose.
The truth is, you, me, Roddy, Daniela, Gerson, Ezequiel, Susan, Heather, Holly, Lane, Andrew… all of us… we all need it. We all need those reminders from the people closest to us in our inner circle that “we are not as bad as we think we are.”
So that leads me to my next question. Who have you allowed to be a part of your inner circle? The inner circle of each individual is a sacred space and should only be filled with people who have earned the right to sit in that seat. Period. End of story.
Just because you have the same genetics as someone doesn’t mean they get a spot. Just because you said “I do” to someone doesn’t mean they get a spot. Just because you gave birth to someone doesn’t mean they get a spot. Just because you were childhood friends with someone doesn’t mean they get a spot.
Who have you allowed to be in your inner circle? And have they rightfully earned that spot? Because here’s the thing. If you have given that role to them, to be in your inner circle, then like it or not, regardless of how positive or negative they may be, you have indeed handed over to them great power to influence the molding of your own self-image, according to what they say to you, about you, about what you do, and to other people.
Who have you given this power to? You see, what I have come to learn is that I have to be extremely “choosy” about who I allow into my inner circle. There are so many critics, so many negative people in this world, and if I want to live to my fullest potential, and I want to be an agent for change in this world to the highest degree, then I cannot afford the luxury of a single negative thought. And I must surround myself with people who champion my dreams and who believe in me as much as, and even more than, I do for myself.
I believe this is one of the things that make the Empowerment Mentoring Community so powerful and significant… because we are each other’s advocates, we really do care for one another, and we believe and see the potential in each other. And even more so, we take time to express and celebrate that!
So as you enter into your weekend, and you’re spending time with the various people in your life, take notice of who you’re listening to, who you’re allowing to speak into you, and whose opinion is shaping what you choose to do and who you choose to be.
You are worthy of only the best – and that includes the best voices of encouragement and support in your life. Make your inner circle the safest place for you that it can be, where your greatness is celebrated and not scorned, and where your abilities and achievements are recognized to the fullest degree.
I believe in you and I believe in your dream!!
Hold Your Image!!
We were born to BE, DO and HAVE more.