How Strong Is Your Community?

 In Better Life

How strong is your community? No, I’m not talking about your neighborhood. I’m talking about the community of people with whom you can be yourself; where you share common values, interests, and goals. Where you feel like you belong.

So often, people can feel “different,” like an outsider, or even like something is wrong with them because they don’t fit in. This is extremely common in high school but can linger for many into adulthood. The people in our lives, in our work, in our family just don’t understand us.

I was reminded of this while reading a Facebook post from a person who I think is amazing, and I have the utmost respect for their brilliance. Yet, she was sharing how throughout her life, she wanted to be someone that everyone liked but felt she just couldn’t be herself. She felt like she persistently had to fight to prove that different is not always bad. The quote included in her touching and heartfelt story was –

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” Alexander Den Heijer

She has since found her tribe and is blossoming while fulfilling her purpose.

Another friend was recently sharing with me how she doesn’t connect with the people at her work and how she needs a community outside of work that shares her interests and passions.

How can you find your people? I was lucky to discover so many wonderful friends when I joined the National Speakers Association. Other networking groups for entrepreneurs proved to be great places for connecting, too. Then, as people got to know me, they would connect me with other people that they thought I should meet. Even the pandemic seemed to make it easier for me to connect to people via video meetings.

Here’s my advice, and this is coming from an introvert. Make sure your friends and family know the areas and topics that interest you. You never know who they know or might meet. Talk about your favorite topics on social media. Look for social media groups related to that interest. Look for associations, networks, and meetings that focus on them. See if you can get involved or attend a conference. Offer to help.

Feeling isolated, different, or misunderstood drains our energy, our happiness, and hurts our overall wellbeing. Finding a community of people that “get” you can help you bloom.

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