We interact with people daily. In fact, we interact with people almost every hour, every minute, every second. Every interaction has an impact on us – mentally, physically, emotionally and energetically. We give and take and we take and give in each encounter.
Some people make us energised whereas some others may leave us feeling drained. Did you ever notice that? How we are, how we carry ourselves, internally and externally, with or without awareness, affect how we come across. It’s the same with other people. Some people just seem to suck the life out of you even when it’s a mere 5 min conversation whilst others may leave you feeling charged up and energised after a half a day long intense conversation.
When life is going well, when we are in the driver’s seat, we may not feel the impact as much and we probably don’t mind the negative ones as much. When there is a change in our life, every little thing can impact and its magnitude can suddenly multiply.
When we cross path with changes in life, we feel challenged. We feel being pulled out from where we are. We feel uncomfortable, being the creatures of habit as we are. We feel unstable and ungrounded. All that is normal. We all feel that way. But how we choose to deal with it and with whom we surround ourselves with makes a huge impact on our attitude, our energy, our ability as well as our strategies in handling those changes.
So who are the right people?
I separate them into two categories: 1) Personal and Emotional Support (PES), and 2) Technical and Experience Support (TES).
Personal and Emotional Support (PES) is the close friends who really understand you as who you are and what you are. They are the ones who know what you want to say even before you say it. Usually, they have been your friends for a long time and you have gone through a lot together in life. You share similar values in life and you have a lot of respect and time for each other. These friends may not be those you see regularly but whenever you are in touch with each other, there is no time lapse or gap. You pick it up just like yesterday even when it could have been a year, or even longer, since you last spoke with each other.
PES understands your feelings and the internal turmoils. Regardless of what you are going through, they understand you and support you. You can, and will willingly, share your true feelings with them even though they may not be able to offer any actual and practical advice to you, nor will they be able to completely understand the technicality of your situation. PES are here to stay no matter what changes you go through and they will be by your side change after change.
With PES, we talk and feel. We talk so that we can release our emotion and feel supported emotionally.
Technical and Experience Support (TES) is the people you may or may not know. They are usually business contacts, from a group with specific skill sets or background or a network that you belong to or about to get yourself into. Basically, they can be anyone. They are the people who have gone through, overcome and achieved what you are going through so they know and understand exactly what you are dealing with. They can empathise your feelings in a technical way and they are the ones who can support you in a step by step solution driven method. Not only can they provide you with the technical know-how but also other possible connections that may help you line up all the dots of your situation.
There are two types of TES: 1) those who Include you (TESI), and 2) those who Exclude you (TESE).
TESI are the people who are willing to share their keys of success, to help others and see them succeed, too. They see that we can empower each other even when we are in the same industry. They thrive for collective prosperity, knowing there is enough pie to be shared by everyone. They include you in their circle of network and are happy to collaborate and co-ordinate to make a win-win situation.
TESE are the people who hold onto their success on their own. They see everyone as competition. Prosperity is a sole proprietorship. They want to exclude as many people as possible so that less people are sharing the same pie. They see that if they win, you lose. If you win, they lose. The less people prosper in the industry, the more prosperous they can be.
TESI are the ones you want and will sit down with to talk about the actual issues, finding solutions or connections to solutions. TESI can change from one challenge to another, depending on the subject matter you are dealing with. TESI, sometime, can become our PES if a mutual personal connection is established.
With TESI, we talk and action. We talk so that we can find out what needs to, and can be actioned upon.
PES and TES are of equal importance and impact. Whilst we need to get the matter on hand addressed, we also need to address our feelings. If we only address the physicality of the change but not the emotional side of it, eventually we will lose ourselves in the process and become a human machine. Changes need drive and passion from within. Drive and passion comes from feelings. When we address our emotions, we are supplying and refueling ourselves with unlimited drive and passion going forward.
Flip the coin to the other side, if we only address our emotion without getting the change handled properly, we are setting ourselves up in a downward spiral trend. We talk and feel and slowly it will turn into we talk and moan and complain. Addressing emotion is good but it is only effective when action is taken to address the matter on hand.
Now we know what type of people to surround ourselves with, why is it so important to have them around us especially in life changes?
1. Grounding and Confidence
Every change comes with its own set of challenges. Whenever there is a challenge, we feel stretched. Not everyone is comfortable being stretched and pushed out from her comfort zone. We feel uncomfortable in the unfamiliar ground. The longer we stay there, the more uncomfortable we get. Eventually, we will lose our ground and then our confidence in who we are and our ability to achieve.
Having the right supporting people around is crucial. PES and TES can address our emotional as well as the technical needs. When our emotional needs are addressed, we feel grounded. When we are assured of who we are and know that we are supported and equipped to meet the challenges, we can be confident. We can choose to deal with our changes alone for sure but it is always better when we are and feel supported. Feeling grounded and confident is the foundation in dealing with every change, let alone mastering them.
2. Motivation and Inspiration
Dealing with changes is not just about solving the matter on hand. Changes require a lot of drive and determination within us. Having motivation and inspiration as our constant fuel is part of being and feeling vital. Vitality is key in mastering changes in life. No matter how many times we try and fail, having the vitality to bounce back again and again, change after change is one key element in mastering changes.
The right people always want us to achieve and excel. They want the best for us and they want to bring out the best in us. Knowing that we are emotionally supported in whatever changes we choose to take on, knowing that we have the technical know how and with people who have achieved and excelled in what we are going through give us a tremendous amount of assurance, motivation and inspiration to tackle ours, knowing that it can be and has been done and achieved. When we are motivated and inspired, we further fuel our drive and passion from within. When we are fueled with drive and passion within, we feel even more motivated and inspired!
3. Resources to Resourcefulness
Resources are always out there somewhere but we don’t always feel resourceful enough when we are in need of resources. Having the right TES around is a good way to become resourceful hence the differentiation in TES1 and TES2.
The skills and the knowledge that we need may not be within our reach but it doesn’t mean it’s not within reach at all. When we don’t know, somebody else may know. The beauty of having Google, Bing, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, networking group is to pull resources together so that we can be resourceful.
There is no good to sit on top of all the available resources. Resources have no use until we reach out and become resourceful.
4. Unlimited Limit
No one likes being stretched, let alone being stretched to the limit. Very few people will push themselves to the maximum limit given the chance. We often just stretch ourselves enough to do what is required in order to achieve. Our limit, our potential, is very rarely tested.
With the right people around us, with the help and their genuine support, we don’t want to disappoint them. We want to “pay back” by doing our best. We become accountable, not only to ourselves and our changes but also to those who are there being our emotional pillars, cheerleaders, coaches as well as buddies. We want to achieve and, more importantly, we want to excel. We are more willing and driven to push ourselves to the limit and beyond to excel. And guess what? When we push ourselves to the very limit and beyond, our potential automatically and immediately expands! That means, next time, we have more capacity and ability in excelling and mastering changes, and yet, we have another potential we can expand to. The limit is unlimited!
Life changes occur more often than we would like. But there is nothing we can do to stop changes. Changes are constant. Changes are imminent. Changes are certain.
Now we know that we are all in this for the long haul, having the unlimited fuel and unconditional support is the way to keep us going and driven. We cannot afford to have our tank go zero.
A client of mine once said to me she always goes for a short holiday when her tank is empty. To me, that’s suicidal.
Whilst it is true that our fuel is constantly being used and it is hard to keep our tank 100% full at all time, we need to ensure that we have a drip somewhere to keep our tank as full as possible. A 5 minute break every hour, an hour every evening just to chill (without TV, phone, ipad…), an hour walk in nature every weekend, whatever works to let your mind and well being rest and dis-engaged from anything. This is a way to maintain our optimal platform to function whilst we are in between a proper break.
If we let out tank go close to zero most of the time, if we only refuel when we have the time, we are making a big mistake. We are not a machine. Machine functions the same way all the way along regardless of how much fuel there is as long as there is some. We, human, function best when we are fully charged up. Need an example? Simple. Imagine you need to go to work this morning and you had a terrible sleep last night. Then imagine you need to go to work this morning and you had a very good night sleep. How do you think you are going to perform today in these 2 different scenarios.
With the right people, we know that we can be supported and fueled at all time. This allow us be on top of our game in the long run. Life is not just about achieving and excelling, life is also about enjoying the moments. There is no good climbing to the mountain top without enjoying the view along the way and a few parties with our friends.
Both PES and TES are like yin and yang. They are of equal importance but the way they play out in our lives changes largely depends on what we are going through and what we need more at a time. It’s a fluid and dynamic combination.
Mastering life changes and being the flow in our life is key. The impacts and benefits of having the right people around us play one very crucial part.
So, are you surrounding yourself with the right people?