As a child my grandmother used to remind me all the time that I was representative of the people around me. When I got older and worked with Jim Rohn, known as the greatest business philosopher of the 20th century, he repeated this continually. We are a sum of those we surround ourselves with!
In business this is important if we want success and an opportunity to move forward. I have found though that this can be very limiting when it comes to personal relationships.
What this old proverb is really saying is that people of the same sort of background, culture, personality type or with the same tastes and interests will usually be found together.
We gravitate to whatever is familiar and similar until we understand that opening our peripheral vision and understanding of others who have a different perspective on life, we are limiting ourselves and our beliefs from self-awareness and growth.
It is known that the saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’ was first identified around the mid 15th century and in all these years this has not changed. By opening ourselves up to the wider world we are limited!
We are drawn to those who we believe with approve of us and the way we do life. We look also for similar characters or common interests and rarely search for those who would disapprove of us and our way of life.
It is not only humans who do this. If we watch the bird and animal world we see this happen too. If an animal is orphaned we do sometimes see another species take of the mothering and both believe that they are one of the same in a short period of time.
When we watch a flock of birds flying it is unusual to see another species flying with them unless of course, one is alone, off course and in search of company.
In the animal and bird world it appears that it has been proved that they flock together as there is security in numbers. We as humans do tend to do the same too so finding our ‘own tribe’ is important for us to feel safe and secure.
This behaviour started for us as children within our families, then friends and neighbours. We moved into the schooling system and played sports, there was Church and hobbies and the list goes on and on. We continued to gravitate to the things that we enjoyed and loved and thus moved into comfortable places where we felt safe.
This is a natural state for people. Now we live in a multicultural global world where we have access to everything we want. The internet has made such a difference to how we view everything that we are now given the opportunity, if we dare, to go outside our own boundaries to grow, learn and become educated to something greater than ever before.
I wonder if you have ever considered for yourself how you fit into this. Do you find that going outside your comfort zone easy or difficult? I realise that those who are introverted find it more difficult as they do not seem to have the need to socialise as they can create their own energy from within, whereas those who are extraverts, need people around them to energise themselves.
This then bring into play another. Social media plays a big part in how people come together in today’s world through likes and the developing of friendships with those who they have not met via the internet.
Our world is now global. It is easy to not necessarily know the boundaries around those we communicate with until a comment or something arises that creates a questioning of our own beliefs and thoughts. We blindly go into an online relationship with someone without question which in turn gives us the ability and opportunity to grow our own circle of influence.
I love the opportunity to look outside the box! Being able to connect with those who I would once never have had the chance to do so is enlightening and embracing. Online the judgments are limited to what we can perceive initially giving us another chance to open another unfamiliar world.
Jennie is available for one-on-one sessions via Skype or in person.
For more information email her at firstname.lastname@example.org