If you’re anything like me, your environment has an incredible impact on you. Some people are more resistant to the outside influence, others less. Still, all of us are connected on some deeper level and can’t escape the influence of certain things around us.
The importance of your surroundings is something I heard a lot about when I started to dive into self-development teachings. As with anything else, it was only after I started putting it to practice that I started to truly understand the magnitude of it.
At the beginning, those sudden changes in my environment happened relatively spontaneously. I would somehow meet someone who was on a similar path to mine, who had similar hopes and dreams, we would connect, and the good and nurturing energy exchange would happen.
I couldn’t believe who I would become afterwards. I was so full of hope for the future, could see plenty of opportunities for my creative journey, and most importantly, felt so alive.
But life is a wave and sooner or later I would be back on the path I’ve been walking my whole life – the one filled with doubts, fears, insecurities, victimhood, and the belief I can’t and don’t deserve to have what I dream of. Once again, everything would get black and dull.
Way too often I would criticise myself for not being strong enough to continue being hopeful and positive.
It takes time to replace a certain belief with another one. If we have spent our whole lifetime thinking we don’t deserve to go after our dreams and were focused on the way it could all go wrong, we can’t expect of ourselves to replace it all with hope and opportunity-focused mindset in just few days, weeks, or even months. Especially if we’re still heavily a part of the old environment, the kind of that doesn’t support any of our newly chosen beliefs and values.
Changing our environment takes some time and work to do. In our culture of ‘the more is better’ and scarcity-oriented mindset, it’s incredibly hard to let go of things.
What we need to remind ourselves is that no matter what you choose, you always let go of something. There is a price tag on everything.
If you choose to stay on that job that’s draining your soul for the sake of good and stable salary, you’re paying it with the possibility to explore your soul’s calling and having a fulfilled life. If you choose to continue to people-please everyone around you because it helps you avoid discomfort that comes with being who you are and the possibility of not being liked by those around, know that you’re paying it with your integrity and the feeling of self-betrayal will eventually catch up on you.
There is also a price tag for listening to your body, your intuition, your true needs, for choosing an environment that’s in alignment with who you feel you truly are. You pay it by giving away those outdated beliefs of not being worthy of having what you desire the most, with frustration and stagnation.
What then fills the void that’s left are the feeling of purpose, joy, and a new set of eyes that show you the world you never saw before. A sense of belonging. Like you have a place here and it’s so freaking magical.
What helped me the most on this journey of learning about and experiencing new environments was putting myself out there creatively. It doesn’t matter what you’re into – just express yourself freely, whatever it might be. When you show yourself to the world, you allow the right people to find you. So in a way, the right environment comes to you naturally.
Expecting of yourself to be able to think the thoughts that are in alignment with your dreams, to be hopeful, to see opportunities, to be present and joyful in an environment filled with doubt, fear, scarcity, and survival mode, is a terribly demanding and harsh thing. I’m not saying we’re not capable of it, but I do think there is a gentler way we can take.
Thinking that you should be able to change in the same environment might be an extension of the belief that you need to endure in order to be strong, or just an avoidance to actually make a change.
And I’m not even sure there’s such a thing as changing in the same environment. Because the moment you change something in you – a thought, a feeling, or a different kind of action from what you’d usually do – you immediately become a part of the new environment.
Strength lies in allowing yourself to be as affected and hurt by other things as you really are, in accepting and embracing it. Then you can zoom out, see it for what it is, and do something about it.
So you go on and make the little adjustments. You say no to an invitation for a coffee with the person you feel drained afterwards. You say no to a thought that things are not possible for you. You say no to scrolling on Instagram and instead do that thing you love to do the most. You say no to the fear that you feel when wanting to posting your creations online and do it anyway. You say no to consuming, and yes to creating.
And you slowly create an environment that feeds you with life, instead of taking it away from you.
The more you do it, the more you feed into this new reality where you put your own health at the first place. You intentionally create your environment by choosing every day what feels the best for you.
Reach out to people with similar values. Talk about your dreams. The amount of support that gets exchanged in just few simple messages is unbelievable.
By seeing other people feel it, desire it, do it and have it, you show to yourself that it is possible, and that you are not alone in this. In other words, if other people can do it, so can I.
You get to stand in their own shoes for a moment, feel that beautiful and radiant energy people have when they do what they love, and allow your body to get fully into the state of possibilities.
Environment is everything from the way you think, the people you have around you, the place you spend your time in and its energy, the food you put inside of you, and information you consume.
There is a navigational system inside of you that will show you what’s the right environment for you. Some kind of feeling that’s produced in your body that gives you a sense of lightness, joy and hope. The more you choose to attune to it, the easier you’ll hear it.
Surround yourself with people who either have or strive to have what you also desire in life. Create an environment that supports your craziest dreams and visions about life. Because the right environment shows you the proof that it’s possible, and the more proof you have, the more you can support your dreams.
If you can’t find people with whom you can physically hang out and talk, find them online. The magic is the same. Sure it’s so much better to be able to talk to a person and look them in the eye, feel their energy. But a presence and support don’t demand physical closeness of a person.
What’s more, if you can’t find people with whom you can talk to, online or in person, spend your time reading and listening to inspiring people. Even if they are not talking to you directly, the effect will be the same.
What’s important is that the words you hear, faces you see, and energy that you feel are more frequently those that make you feel motivated, inspired, supported, and empowered, than those who make you shrink down in self-doubt, victimhood, and playing small.
The right environment can so easily and naturally extract the best out of you.
We are such strange and wonderful creatures. Powerful and sensitive. Creative and intuitive. Independent in our uniqueness and purpose, but all alike in the way that we thrive through self-acceptance and connections with others.
So go out there and find your tribe. Be who you want to be, not who others told you to be. And the right things will find you.
No matter how often you go in the opposite direction, you can always get back. The pace by which you move doesn’t matter. Every moment is a new opportunity to choose something else. And every time you choose you, you win.