How do we create meaningful relationships with others and ourselves?
The personal development and self-help industry seems to have a common theme. You learn you act upon what you just learnt and then examine what worked and do more of that. Of course, to develop as a human we must learn to evolve, let go, and move forward but what if it’s more than just that? What if it looks more like failure, community, discovery or even vulnerability?
In this post, I’d like to share a little about failing, vulnerable relationships, and being put into a position to lead yourself.
Learning to Ride
I remember when I was young and my parents had bought me a brand new bike. First things first, I tapped hockey cards in the spokes so I sounded like a race car when I pedalled, I made sure I had my helmet on tight and off I went. These were the days before strider bikes so I started like most kids, with training wheels to hold my balance. As I progressed the training wheels came off and in stepped my dad. He would hold onto the back of my seat while I struggled to get my feet on the pedals, find my balance, look forward and try not to crash. It took a while but after many attempts, my dad would let go of the seat and leave me to the open road, I was free, I was in control, and I crashed a lot! Once I kept looking back to see if he had let go and got closed-lined by a car mirror leaving me concussed on the road. But that didn’t stop me. I kept at it and now one of my biggest passions is road cycling.
I tell this story because I believe it speaks of how we as humans grow and come to discover our potential. This type of personal development we are trying to facilitate here at eY. I know it sounds cliche but for us, it’s about the journey, not necessarily the destination.
What is Life If Lived Alone?
From time to time all of us need support to find our balance. These training wheels of life often look like those people in your life you can lean on and truly be yourself around. In your life, who are these people? Perhaps they are friends, family members, professionals such as coaches, therapists or psychologists. Whoever they might be it’s important to know we are not created to live in isolation from others and to not underestimate this form of vulnerable dependency. Vulnerability has often been seen as a form of weakness, but strength is found in knowing the potential you have through supporting one another and allowing others to support you.
To truly succeed as an individual or as a society we must be intentional and normalize these types of relationships. What would that look like if the relationships we had in our life was for the betterment of one another? It’s through these relationships that we find our balance and who we are. We are trying to help frame these types of relationships through eY. Education and normalization are a big part to building a safe place for people to be comfortable with vulnerability. This is why here at eY we believe so much in the human connection. We don’t need more programs we need deeper relationships.
Letting Go and Crashing
Once we find our balance to this ride of life the time will come to let go and discover just how far we can go. We take the training wheels off and get ready for the ride. The wind is in our hair, our feet on grounded firmly on the pedals, we are speeding up and then out of nowhere we hit a car mirror and find ourselves flat on our backs. We may have reached for the starts but now all we see are stars.
Like I said before, it’s all about the journey and we must expect to fail and even more so expect to be ok with failing. We have been taught from a young age that success is binary. In school, you either pass or fail, you either learnt or didn’t. But I think of it a little differently.
Back to the bike riding analogy. My experience of crashing was the very thing that taught me to ride. I would have never known the feeling of balance if I didn’t lose it from time to time. Sure it hurt, and I probably cried a few times, but it wasn’t a failure, it was a necessity. In life, we must expect to have setbacks and know that it’s ok. Its what happens next that makes all the difference.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstine
After the Crash
So we start heading towards something in life and as we are pursuing this meaningful goal we crash. What do we do now? Well, I see a few options. You could cry so loudly that your Dad comes running over and picks you up. You could have people around you to dust you off and get you back on your bike. You could stay down and never try riding again. Whatever you do, eventually there will come a time when you will be alone with no one to lend a hand. It’s at moments like this that we must remind ourselves of who we truly are. Are we failures? Are we products of our circumstances? Or are we the person those closest around see us to be? The power of having life producing relationships stretches far beyond the times we are together, its something we carry into the deepest moments of our lives.
Not Just Another Program
Originally I typed “This will be the true test in finding out just how amazing we truly are” when talking about the moment when you may not have others to help get you back on your feet, but the more I think of this the more I realized it doesn’t just come down to one moment, remember it’s about the journey. For some, it could look like finally taking the courage to ask friends or family for help or support. For others it can be the opposite, not asking for help but digging deep and getting yourself back on the bike. Our experiences of riding life’s bicycles are as unique as we are so I am wary not to prescribe one program, solution, or journey as the only one people must pursue. That would be like saying by only riding my bike and having my Dad can you learn to ride. That’s why at eY we empower you to create wraparounds that support you in what you want to achieve with those who are meaningful in your life. We don’t tell you what to do, we don’t sell you “our program”, we simply enable empowerment through facilitating human connection.
Find Your Superpower
Your superpowers come from the synergy of the life-producing relationships that surround you. This isn’t just about the relationships we have with others, it’s about the relationship we have with ourselves.
Let me ask you a question, what would it mean to you if all the relationships you had produced life?
Or maybe I should ask, what would it look like if you had to learn to ride your bike all by yourself? No very ideal is it.
So how would your life change if the relationships you had were for the betterment of you and others? Would this be a positive change? Would this help you get to where you want to go in life? Would you feel more or less empowered?
Think of this in terms of achieving a meaningful and purposeful goal in life. These types of relationships are so critical for human development and give us the fuel to do incredible things.
So let me encourage you today. Find those superpowers within the relationships you have with others. Cheer on your friends and be the change you want to see. You are more than merely a product of your circumstances. You have purpose, meaning, and value.