As we noted in our introduction, community is a valuable asset in our personal development. Some of the advantages include:
- Allowing the opportunity to articulate your Work. Often in attempting to explain our goals and efforts, we may discover holes in our logic or areas that require more organizing. We often do not realize we are missing something until someone else asks about it. (Additionally teaching or explaining what you are learning is a valuable learning technique.)
- Providing a reality check. When working alone, one runs the risk of self-delusion. Study or intention alone is not enough and in sharing one’s work with others, it can more readily become clear when action has fallen the wayside to talk. Working in a group keeps us honest with ourselves!
- Serving as a motivator and source of positive stress. The pressure of accountability that comes from working with a group can be a great motivator.
- Providing a source of encouragement. Seeing how others are struggling with their Work and applying various skills to further it, can be encouraging and educational.
- Offering fresh perspectives. Sometimes we need to “think outside the box” and what better way to do that than to see how others are working toward similar goals in their own unique ways. Everyone approaches a challenge differently. Sometimes when sharing your work with a group a simple question may open the door to new ideas and possibilities!
This website serves as a beacon to attract those of like mind in order to plant the seeds of our own Community. We have no hierarchy or structure. Rather, we are a collective of individuals, each seeking out ways to further our own Work, ideally with the support of a like-minded community. We are firm believers that when a community cannot be found, we owe it to ourselves to try to create it.
So how do we build this community? As a first step (since we have to start somewhere) we have created two outlets:
- Our Facebook Group, which takes advantage of social media to reach a wider audience.
- The formation of Local Chapters where members can meet and work together in person.
- Offering online events to accommodate those who cannot attend local events.
Perhaps in time we can consider larger gatherings or conferences. We like to think big, but understand we have to start with a realistic plan. As with each of us, this collective will evolve as it grows. For now, our focus is on helping us find each other!
Not Just About Our Groups
While we encourage the formation and use of local chapters, you will often find you need something more focused to a specific need. For example, if you are dealing with social anxiety, a local chapter may offer some great feedback, finding a support group geared specifically for those with social anxiety would be an important part of finding the right community to further your Work. Often such groups can be found on services such as meetup.com or with a simple internet search of your city.
Likewise, if you wanted to improve public speaking skills, sharing your efforts with a local chapter would be a great way to collaborate with others who may be interested in the same and be a good first step in giving a simple presentation on the subject to a small like-minded audience. As you expand you might want to branch out into groups like Toastmasters International to further develop your skills beyond what a local chapter of this collective would be able to accommodate.
However, never be afraid to reach out to us to discuss your needs! We are often working on various programs and the more we know what our members need, the better we know that to put our focus on.
Asking for Help
Asking for help is not a weakness. Many things are simply easier and more effective to do with assistance. I recall trying to assemble a modular shed in my driveway. Trying to hold the walls in place while installing the support braces and the roof alone would have been cumbersome and dangerous. I did not think twice about asking someone to help hold things in place. Why then would I not ask for help when overwhelmed in other areas of my life. Yes, admitting a personal problem can be difficult, but there are people and services designed for various issues. Seeking out the proper help is an aspect of building a supportive community. Maybe I don’t want to share my depression with friends or a local chapter of this collective’s community, therapist or depression support group would be well suited for support. Likewise, there are many cases where a little one-on-one time with a coach can do wonders!
Consider that in order to take the steps of improving oneself, one first has to acknowledge where there is need for improvement. Seeking help allows you to truly acknowledge your need for change.
Just as we seek to develop various skills to serve as tools in furthering our Work, so sometimes do we need to seek out the help of others.
It is empowering, not a sign of weakness, to seek out assistance.