“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”–Jim Rohn
The past nine months have been lonely. Many of us have been separated from friends, family members and loved ones. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to meet new people and form new relationships. But if there’s any sort of silver lining, it‘s this: we’ve been given a rare opportunity to meet ourselves.
Two years ago, I was sitting behind a desk as a data analyst. Coding, being a repetitive process, allowed my mind to wander; I started listening to the philosopher and lecturer, Alan Watts via YouTube. His talks changed the way I look at life and my surroundings.
He famously states “Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.” It’s near impossible. He follows this up by saying “We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.”
Read that again.
It is challenging to truly understand who you are. And all too often we let others decide who we should be. The first step is understanding who we’re not. Find more Alan Watts quotes here.
Two weeks ago, we published an article about the power of community. In it, I wrote about how building a community has to start with yourself. It’s important to have a support network of people around you but it has to start with internal affirmations. After that, you’ll find the people you surround yourself with are more in line with who you are and they will become your strongest supporters if they’re not already.
The pandemic has been tough and quarantine has been lonely but we’ve been gifted with a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about who we are and build ourselves anew. It’s also an opportunity to build our communities anew.
Here are three things you can do to build a positive community:
- Reach Out
- Be Genuine
- Build Connections
It’s easy to forget how amazing receiving a random text or phone call can be. Reach out to people both with whom you’ve had long relationships, and just budding relationships as well. A simple text of “Hey, hope all is well. Just wanted to check in. Have a great rest of your day!” goes a long way.
For those serendipitous conversations, a phone call is an awesome way to catch up. And even if it goes to voicemail, remember to leave a message; the other person will be appreciative that you did. Reaching out will reaffirm that you think of them as a part of your community. Even if they don’t reciprocate the same energy, never fear! You’ll have a better understanding of who you can count on.
Just be yourself! People can often sense when someone is inauthentic and it can be off-putting. By being genuine, you’ll feel less anxiety for pretending to be someone or something you’re not and your relationships will flourish as a result.
Furthermore, being genuinely excited or happy for another person’s success will bring you joy too. Their success indirectly becomes your success as well.
One of the most important steps in building your community is making sure you’re adding new members. One of the best ways to do this is by connecting members from your network that might have similar interests and goals or can otherwise help each other. And through connecting others, they’ll connect you as well. By doing so, you’ll watch your community continually grow.
With Presence, you can add some of your closest connections to your Hive and anytime Presence detects that a Hive member may be struggling, the Hive group will be alerted and encouraged to reach out. A Hive can be a great tool for parents wanting to safeguard their children from the dangerous corners of the web.
For more suggestions on building a strong and positive community, Inc. Magazine has a great article linked here.