Birds of a Feather: Examining your relationships
If you’re an adamant birdwatcher or you just occasionally observe them, you have probably noticed that most of the time when you see a flock of birds, they are of the same type or kind. In fact, the very definition of flock as it pertains to birds is: a number of birds of one kind, feeding, nesting and traveling together. This is more than likely from where the age old saying “Birds of a Feather, Flock together” was derived. If you have heard the saying, you know that it is not simply talking about birds but instead talking about the company you keep. The phrase is drawing attention to the fact that you are either already like or will become like those your surround yourself with.
Have you ever had a best friend and the more you hang around them, you start seeing your nature rub off on them and their nature rub off on you. You may finish each other’s sentences, speak at the same time or even laugh alike. You may even catch yourself using phrases that your best friend uses. It is not that you have intentionally set out to mimic your friend but the more we are around a person, the more like them, we become. This is why it is important to examine your circle and make sure that the people you surround yourself with are like minded and that their trajectory is similar to yours. When a flock of birds travel together, they are on the same course. I know that human beings are a bit more complicated than our avian friends. So when I say that your circle needs to be like minded, that doesn’t mean that you have to agree with all of your friend’s opinions or that you have to have the exact same goal in life. We are referred to as individuals for a reason. When I say “like
minded”, I mean that your friends should have similar values to you. For example, if you are a person who believes in hard and honest work and who believes in doing things lawfully, you may not want to surround yourself with people who lie, cheat and steal.
Your circle, your village, your support system, however you may label it makes up a huge part of who you are. Who you surround yourself with can also impact how you view yourself. Another person’s negative thinking and negative perspective of themselves can alter your perspective if you are not aware and careful. However, it also has the reverse positive effect. If you surround yourself with people who are positive, have a zest for life, and think positively about themselves and others, that energy will become infectious and have a positive effect on you as well.
Amos 3:3 in the bible states, “How can two walk together unless they agree?” If I’m going to North Carolina and you’re going to India, would you agree to travel with me? Probably not, because we are clearly headed in different directions. The same applies to life’s journey. If you’re going to walk with someone (have them in your circle) then you are going to need to be headed in similar directions.
Surround yourself with people who speak positively about you and think highly of you. Surround yourself with those who are able to see and bring out the great qualities in you. Those will be the people who will support you and push you to never give up on yourself or your dreams. Those are the people who make you feel comfortable with being your amazing self. Those are the people who will never ask you to dim your light to make them comfortable.
Examining your circle does not simply mean examining friendships although I used that as an example. It means examining your romantic relationships, familial relationships, relationship with coworkers and even business partnerships. If you are going to “glow”, you’re going to need people in your circle who are willing to “glow” with you and who can embrace your shine.