We all like to feel as though we’re part of a group, that we have a tribe of people who get us and who are truly rooting for us. We need our people often times to support us through the tough times and to celebrate with us when the good stuff happens too. These are the obvious reasons to connect with others, but what about the hidden reason we need our peeps?
Like it or not there is a shadow side to belonging to groups that we may not always like, but in order to grow, must embrace and actually welcome that side, even if it does cause us to squirm. The following are four ways the power of groups can help you get beyond your own self-limiting beliefs, not so positive habits, and enjoy greater success both personally and professionally.
Groups force you to get real
Though it sometimes hurts, your true friends telling the truth. You need these truth telling friends to feed you this tough love because if it comes from them, you know it comes from a place of building up, not tearing down. By learning to listen to honest feedback and by taking it constructively, you know it is meant to help you, not harm you, even if you still really didn’t want to hear it.
Groups challenge your internal status quo
Being able to have a conversation with someone else and calmly consider their opinions, even if those opinions run opposite of your own, can bring up some pretty strong feelings. When this happens to me, I try (and try is the operative word here) to be impartial. Being impartial doesn’t mean you’re abandoning your own beliefs or opinions, it just means you’re able to see things from another perspective. Having your internal status quo challenged can actually be a good thing because it forces you to get clear on what you value and why. Reflecting on why you actually believe what you do can challenge some of your current limitations and you may start to come up with alternative ways of thinking.
Groups lead you to some major aha moments
Being around positive group energy can not only lead to fun in the moment, but can also leave you with a lot of food for thought. How often do you walk away from time spent with friends and then continue to feel the afterglow of that energy? Allow it to work for you and see what kind of ideas you have and how you may have changed your mind about something. Did you confirm your beliefs? Come up with new ideas about something? Notice how the power of group energy can lead you to breakthroughs that you wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Groups help you polish your multifaceted self
We are all shaped in a never ending process by the company we keep. By keeping it real and telling the truth, by challenging us to grow, and by providing food for thought that can lead to breakthrough moments, they encourage us to be more of who we truly are and influence how we experience life. And even though some of this can be uncomfortable or downright angst filled, it’s important to know that they mean it for our own good. So make the choice to harness the power of your groups, and watch how they can help you succeed, both in work and in life.