The Three Types of People You Should Never Lose Sight Of
Identifying the support systems in your life that expand your soul
As we navigate this wily world, it is not uncommon for us to default to tunnel vision and relegate ourselves to working feverishly in a silo of our own visions and desires, while unintentionally disconnecting from society and reality in a desperation to achieve. During this process, we may experience distance within our current relationships, and even from our true selves. These are the particular times we need to remember that looking to the people closest to us (those right under our nose, those who we may not like to admit we take for granted from time to time) will yield the key to unlocking several areas of discontent, and assist in propelling us forward towards our visions and desires.
There are three types of people in our inner circles, once identified, who will serve as some of our most significant resources. When we take on the powerful responsibility of walking ourselves down the path towards self growth, professional growth or romantic growth, it would bode well for us to watch more rather than reach, to simply listen rather than ascertain, and to appreciate and explore how others are living and thriving, then take our cues from those we respect and value.
While it is necessary for our metal health, growth, and expansion to distance ourselves form those who infect our sacred mental space with toxicity, there are also those — in contrast — whom we should never lose sight of in our lives, given the balance and complementary energy they inject into our lives. Here are those three types of people.
The Teachers in your life, are the ones you should be watching and listening to. This is not to say that you should mimic them in thoughts and behaviors. This is not to say that you should simulate their actions, or align your life with theirs. Your Teachers are people close to you in any realm, who you respect and admire, and who you can see are operating successful lives. You value your relationship with them and respect their intelligence and their mindset.
The Teachers may not have the available time or expendable effort to lend you due to management of their own affairs but, you should keep your eyes and ears open for what they have to say, as they will always offer insight to help you shift your mindset or elevate your perspective. If you pay attention, the Teachers in your life will be the ones to offer the nuggets of wisdom you never you knew you needed, to supplement your efforts in self growth, or growth in any area. You may not lead their lives, or lives anywhere near similar to theirs, and you may not have comparable characteristics possessed by the “Teachers” around you but, the value in their presence and the actions they take, is the way it will cause you to question or reframe your perspective, as theirs will be one unfamiliar to your instinct; and cause you to step out of your own shoes for a moment because their actions/responses reflect an angle that wasn’t visible to you at first.
In one recent instance, I vented to a life-long best friend about the rigors of the dating scene and a particular conversation that really pushed my buttons. Feeling heated, I unloaded my feelings of being disrespected and taken advantage of, anticipating that she would share in my frustrations. When I ran my witty, sarcastic and biting draft response by her, she did not comment on my language nor my feelings. Instead, she merely offered one statement. “Always lead with kindness.” That was her single text message reply back to me. I read her four word text response over three times. Suddenly, I felt my cortisol levels subside, I took a long breath and rather than respond in anger as I would have instinctively, I took a moment to consider why another person’s behavior sparked such a strong emotional response from me, and also considered the emotional consequences that my own response to the circumstance might yield. Rather than fuel any fires in that instance, I chose to diffuse. And I likely would not have come to that conclusion, had I not received the opportunity to pause, question and reframe.
Listen to the words of the “Teachers” in your life. Watch their behaviors, and make a point to apply their strengths to areas where you are weak.
Willing, able, and ready to shake things up — these are the traits that describe the Helpers in your life. These people are willing and able to support you in a very physical way. If they offer this type of support to you, not only would it be beneficial to accept, it would be an unlikely and productive adventure, without doubt. Your Helpers are the people in your life who know that they possess something that allows them to help; they want to help and they intend to help, and even more so, they are ready to take action with you. These are the ones you can lean on, as they will hold your hand through each baby step. Your Helpers are the ones around you who value action and physical hard work to attain a goal so, they won’t hesitate to help you spring into action.
Perhaps this is a like-minded soul you met at the cycling studio, or at Pilates, and they’ve offered to be your gym buddy for the next 90 days, and hold you accountable to help you achieve your fitness goals. Perhaps it’s someone you met at a community networking event who loves to show off their handyman/handywoman skills around the house, and is excited to teach you a few DIY projects that will save you hundreds on your apartment upgrade.
Helpers will teach you things in realms you never would have been able to teach yourself, and they will guide you in physically revamping your world, whether it’s transforming your image, or empowering you to take on what might have seemed like an overwhelming endeavor.
They may not be aligned with your current visions and goals, and they may not understand your current visions and goals. But the great thing is, the Cheerleaders in your life don’t have to. Your Cheerleaders are the people in your life who offer you their unconditional love and support no matter the path you choose. While you may not share in your perspectives on life, and while you may not even have enough in common to trade comparable experiences, your Cheerleaders will be there every step of the way to cheer you on, even if your aspiration is to invent a new way to slice bread.
These are the people in your life that soothe your soul; they lift you up and they help you maintain your “high”. They will never accept a word of doubt from you and will propel you forward, always, with their love and light. My recent years of relentlessly journeying towards self-discovery and purpose has led me down many, many different paths. While still ladder-climbing in the corporate world, I disclosed to my friends that I wanted to take a detour and go to nursing school instead. Later that year, I wanted to leave everything behind and trot the globe selling artisanal cheese. A few months ago, I started researching how one would mill soap, pondering the feasibility of maintaining my New York City lifestyle as a full time soap maker.
The Cheerleaders in my life never skipped a beat. They were happy for me, truly happy for me, no matter what my decision in life was revealed to be. They told me I’d be a wonderful nurse, and that I’d be able to soothe people with the velvety voice I sometimes used to manipulate situations. They said my passion and refined palate would propel me towards success in international cheese sales. One of the Cheerleaders in my life even emailed me a list of most desired herbs in bestselling soap fragrances to entertain my latest whimsy. The point is, the Cheerleaders in your life will fill your doubtful lapses with so much positivity that even if you falter, you won’t be able to do so without a smile.
We all know that it’s important in life to leverage resources and leverage relationships. But sometimes, we might feel we simply don’t have enough resources and relationships to take us in the right direction. And that might be because we aren’t paying close enough attention to those nearest to us; those not often circling in our professional environments. We forget that these people — whether they are our childhood best friends, our gym buddies, our family members — can be our biggest resources and the relationships we should be paying attention to on a daily (or however frequent) basis.
The take-away is this: Take inventory of the true and good people in your life and look to them, and their particular habits, as your guides; or lean on what they voluntarily offer you, given who they are as a person. While some of these people may not have the time to lend towards actively engaging with you, you can still watch them. If they are who you respect, then do as they do. Some of these in your inner circle may not have as much in common with you but, they are always first to offer you their heart and their kindness. And, on some days, that is all you really need to push forward one more step at a time.
So, work on sticking with those who warm your heart, those who cause your soul to expand. You’ll know when you’re in the midst of these types of people, because you’ll be able to feel their positive effects instantaneously. Rather than distribute your time freely and equally to include even those who may be actively draining your spirit, work on paying more attention to, and maximizing, the relationships right under your nose. These are the types of human beings you should prioritize in building solid, resilient foundations with. Upon these foundations, you’ll be able to receive and reciprocate the positive energies of love and light being emitted from your Teachers, your Helpers and your Cheerleaders. Also, it always adds to the positive energies in the Universe to pay it forward. Ask yourself from time to time: Which of these three types of people are you?