Your carnivore friends won’t understand when you tell them that you’ve decided to give up eating meat. Or when your drinking buddies find out that you’ve quit drinking. They’ll just see you as weird. Or going through a phase.
But when your actions show them you’re serious, tensions will inevitably rise.
Tension is a force which breaks things. In these scenarios it will either break your commitment to eating only veggies, break your resolve to embrace sobriety, or it will break the Circle which needs you to remain who you are.
Circles. Our own tribal communities built upon common bonds. The influence our Circles have on us is quite strong. Standards, expectations, and compliance. Circles aren’t typically an encouraging place to grow or change. Your Circle wants you to stay in the Circle, gravitationally pulling and pressuring you to remain exactly as you already are. That’s why you’re in the Circle.
The growth you want requires joining a different Circle.
That’s a huge factor as to why many people choose to never grow. They feel safe and even somewhat obligated to their Circle. They fear being ostracized so they stay exactly where they are to maintain exactly who they are. Even if remaining exactly who they are no longer serves them. Because that’s what the Circle demands.
You’d think personal growth and the changes that come with it would be a universally supported ideal. After all, we do want those who matter most to thrive and live their best lives. Don’t we?
Or perhaps our true motives are far more self serving?
Unfortunately personal growth often comes with a healthy dose of raised eye brows and resentment. As if your personal growth is some sort of de facto pronouncement that the life you’ve built within your existing Circle is now somehow not good enough for you. You’ve rejected them, they’d surmise, and rejection is never very well received by the rejected. Their resentment and hostility can even lead us to question our own worthiness of attempting to become anything more than what we already are, which, inevitably, will keep us in the Circle.
At some point you’ll find yourself at a crossroads. Will you remain loyal to who you’ve always been and to your Circle, or has your loyalty shifted toward who it is you know you were created to become?
Leaving stagnant Circles for new growth Circles isn’t easy. We are creatures of habit. We crave the comfort and safety of the familiar, even if the familiar is keeping us from creating the life we know we are capable of living. But finding a Circle to support our growth and evolution is extremely beneficial. We do become more of who it is we surround ourselves with.
Most of the important growth I’ve experienced in my life has come from finding Circles aligned with my vision of what I wanted to create for me. As my vision has evolved, so has my need to find Circles which support my evolution. New people, new situations, new opportunities…all located in unfamiliar places outside of my existing Circles. And as uncomfortable as stepping outside of the familiar can be, staying within the limiting Circles of “What Is” comes with it’s own degree of discomfort. Consciously deciding that comfortable stagnation is preferred over stepping into your own growth is the perfect garden for the seeds of regret to grow in.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve experienced enough regrets to know that I have no intentions of create any new ones.
In our ever-connected world, finding new Circles is significantly easier than at any other point in history. Whatever it is you wish to become or experience there are those who are also walking a similar path, who’ve shared a similar experience, who are willing to support and encourage, to collectively help move their Circle closer to who it is they wish to become.
Is your Circle moving you closer to who it is you want to be?
Moving forward. Staying put.
There’s a circle for each one.
Which Circle will you be a part of?
Photo by Pablo Guerrero on Unsplash