Several months ago, Seth Godin wrote a blog post on Association in his trademark style of short posts that pack a punch. (It’ll only take a few seconds to read it, and it’s worth it!)
As a creative, I think his point is particularly true. The people that we choose to associate with will powerfully influence the ideas that we encounter that will feed our own creative work. In addition, their attitudes toward creativity will make a difference in our own confidence (or lack of it) in engaging in creative work ourselves.
This is also true of the blogs I follow, the books I read, the social media platforms I follow, the emails and newsletters that I subscribe to, and the magazines that I read. All of these introduce me to new ideas and resources, they expose me to different kinds of thinking, they influence the topics I think about, and the activities I engage in. Some have positive influence, some have negative influence, some are neutral but add to the overwhelm and noise (and in so doing can be a negative influence).
But people, particularly those that I spend the most time with, are the most powerful influence on my thoughts, my mood, my emotions, and my ideas. Just like with the things I read, some of these people have a greater positive influence than others.
The challenge (for me) is moving out of my comfort zone in order to encounter new ideas and expand the circle of people who are influencing me in order provide the richest selection of sources possible while also making sure that I don’t wind up overwhelmed by all the input. It’s a tricky balance to find sometimes, but it’s one worth pursuing.
As I continue to transform, it means constantly reviewing my circle of associations to keep them in alignment with the direction I want to grow. This involves a constant willingness to prune back the less positive associations (like managing the number of social media accounts I follow) to make sure I keep room open for finding new ones that might bring more benefit and greater creative energy.
How do you choose who is in your circle? Are your associations helping you to change in the direction you wish to grow?
A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.