This is something that has been weighing on me and Beth’s mind as we prepare for our exodus across the country from the beautiful Hudson Valley NY to our new home in WA state. The decision to uproot ourselves was not one made lightly, especially with the abundance of beautiful friends we are surrounded with.
At a surprise going away party that was thrown for us recently (in which I ate more than I thought was physically possible), we were reminded just how vital community is. People from all over came out to say goodbye, and thoughtfully brought primal and low-carb fare to the pot-luck style dinner.
As everyone was milling around and talking a thought popped into my head. I couldn’t conceive the idea of not having all of these people in our life. They all had in some way helped Beth and I get to where we currently are. They supported and influenced my development as a musician and my goals of becoming a health coach. I had a realization that no matter how much you grind on your own time with getting your goals outlined and accomplished, the people that surround you are vital to your happiness and goals.
So this is the topic for today. Having a community of people that are willing to push you in the direction of growth is vitally important. This is something that many are lacking in today’s society. Community is now synonymous with the word “online”. Much of peoples relationships are conducted in a virtual environment. The abandonment of human-to-human contact could explain the rise of internet addiction and depression that comes with it. Social media is designed to draw us in and keep us coming back for more, even if we weren’t planning on checking our phones. Getting that instant approval from people online for posting something triggers a release of dopamine and “feel good” hormones pull us back for more. This can eventually replace or take precedence over vital in-person relationships.
I know that in me and Beth’s path of when we started our business nothing truly seemed real before we started working with people in-person. When we were just plugging away online, trying to reach others through social media, I was definitely affected by the lack of any perceived real world impact. Things will start to become magnified that shouldn’t matter that much. Certain posts did not get as much attention, and because there was no one around to talk to in person it feels like an affront to all the hard work you put in. When I was deep into this phase I focused way to much on each micro decision that was being made online.
The point I’m getting to is that we cannot possibly depend on the internet to be a proxy for a real world community. Steele Back Your Health didn’t seem like a real entity until I started getting feedback and support from people in person. Until the community we rely on or people we meet acknowledge that what we are doing is a good idea it did not seem possible. This has made us passionate about what we are doing. This goes with any interest you may have.
Isolating ourselves in a bubble is never a good idea. This encourages self identification with a set of ideals which is a hard thing to do in the physical world. Being away from the internet and social media we are constantly presented with people that have viewpoints contrary to our own. This is how we learn and grow out of rigid thought patterns. If we limit our exposure to something like politics to the internet, algorithms beyond our control decide what news we are reading, and whom we are interacting with. This is not a real community.
So whatever your interest may be; yoga, reading, sports, or music, get out and meet others in your area. Get some real earnest feedback from people that isn’t filtered by outside forces. These relationships will be the most important you have in your life. Don’t take them for granted, and your growth in both your field and as a person will be exponential. I know that our growth as individuals, as a couple, and as business owners, would not have been possible if not for the supportive people we surrounded ourselves with.
Thanks for reading everyone. To stay in touch head on over to the email signup for weekly updates on coaching, content, and healthy habits you can integrate into your routine.
-Elliot and Beth