How would you describe your environment?
When we hear the word environment most of us immediately think in terms of the earth or nature, but what we’re going to focus on today is your personal environment. Your personal environment consists of everything (and everyone) you come in contact with each day, your physical as well as social surroundings, the relationships, sights, sounds, smells and even the words you use on a consistent basis. You see, it is very true, that to a large extent, you are a product of your environment because different types of surroundings affect your behavior and overall life satisfaction in a very real way.
If you make sure that your environment supports your dreams, achieving your dreams becomes radically easier. Whatever you are surrounded by all day – influences you more than you think.
Managing Your Personal Environment
When it comes to striving to achieve goals or any type of meaningful life change most of us focus on such things as self-discipline and willpower, determination and planning. And while these are all important factors, the key to making it possible for you to create sustainable results is an environment designed to not only help you achieve your desired outcome but support the new behavior or circumstances on a daily basis.
If your environment has little or no structure, conflicts with the change you are attempting to create, or you are surrounded by circumstances and people that drain your energy, it’s not only going to be very difficult to stick to any plans you may have to change or grow, you’re going to be susceptible to increased levels of stress, unhappiness, and deconstructive behaviors.
Allow yourself to let go of the people, thoughts, and situations that poison your well-being. Love yourself enough to create an environment in your life that is conducive to the nourishment of your personal growth.
~Dr. Steve Maraboli
If you want to foster an environment that nurtures your well-being, brings out the best in you and leads you to greater life satisfaction then you’re going to need to make some choices about your surroundings.
Adapt vs. Change
When it comes to changing your environment, your options are pretty clear-cut. You can either adapt or change. It’s that simple, and that hard. The first thing you’ll need to do is spend some time reflecting on your life and identifying any areas that need attention and then pick one easy thing to work on and begin slowly redesigning your environment to better suit your needs.
I think most will agree that in general, it’s easier to change your physical environment than your social. It’s one thing to change your decor, move to a new neighborhood or save to buy a new car, quite another to confront your mother-in-law about her habit of telling you how to raise your children or your boss about his/her dictatorial management style. But adapting doesn’t mean settling for less or choosing to be powerless. You may not have control over all of the circumstances in your life, but you always have control over your response to them.
Focusing on managing your thoughts, emotions, and behavior, using immovable objects as stepping stones, and learning to set and maintain healthy personal boundaries can go a long way toward easing the stress of even the most challenging circumstances and relationships.
Again, I want to emphasize starting small, especially when it comes to change. The place to begin is to give some thought to your standards. Whether we’re aware of it or not we have standards for everything and doing the work to begin slowing raising them can change your entire life for the better. It’s amazing how simple things like clearing clutter, re-arranging your furniture, slapping on a new coat of paint or buying a few colorful accessories can improve your surroundings and mood!
One of the most important areas you can focus on for positive change won’t cost you a penny. Of course, I’m talking about you. You can begin by being honest with yourself about where reside on your daily list of priorities.
- Do you set aside time for self-care?
- How about the way in which you talk to yourself, especially when you’re having a bad day?
- Are you harboring self-limiting beliefs that are preventing you from reaching for the things you want and deserve in life?
We may not be consciously aware of these internal issues but they affect your environment and overall outlook on life just the same.
And then there are the other people in your environment. Admittedly, removing someone from your life can be hard, which is why it becomes surprisingly easy to find ways to tolerate toxic relationships. You are the only one who can decide if a relationship is worth the stress it creates, but if you really can’t bring yourself to cut the person out of your life, you can look for ways to minimize your exposure and offset their influence by surrounding yourself with people who are positive and supportive.
So let’s revisit the question I posed at the beginning of this post, how would you describe your environment? Is it nurturing and supportive or are there gaps that could use some attention?
Changing your environment will take time, but it really isn’t all that difficult to do if you are willing to commit to doing one small thing each day that will make your environment more supportive of the life you desire to create for yourself.