“And you ask, ‘What if I fall?’ Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” Erin Hanson
Inspirational quotes. They’re everywhere. We’ve all heard them. We’ve double-tapped them on social media, pinned them on our Pinterest boards, and rolled our eyes at them when they didn’t seem to reflect our reality.
As we attempt to dance the complex choreography of our lives that pull us in so many directions at once, we scroll, scroll, scroll. And then we pause to look longingly at the perfect picture of a journal, a cup of cappuccino, and an adorably tiny succulent on a clean, white desk.
The copy reads:
“No one is you, and that is your superpower.” Elyse Santilli
Or maybe, you find yourself scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, while sitting in a beige cubicle with the faint sound of white noise piped in overhead. You see a picture of a group of women engaged in deep conversation. The text overlay says:
“Your environment will become you. Surround yourself with people who have the same dream as you, who have accomplished what you want, and more.” Keshia Chante
“Easy for her to say. That environment doesn’t exist,” you say to yourself.
I beg to differ.
For the past year, I have inhabited that world, and I can say with certainty that it has had a profound impact on who I am.
For the past year, I have been a member of a woman-centered co-working space called ModernWell. It is a beautiful, bright, airy, Instagram-worthy space filled with clean, white desks, comfy chairs, books written by inspiring women, cups of cappuccino, chunks of rose quartz, and yes, a number of adorably tiny succulents.
When I joined ModernWell, I joined so that I would have a place to work outside of my home. I’m an entrepreneur, and I find it harder to motivate myself when a pile of laundry is leering at me from around the corner. I also joined to partner with Julie Burton, the founder of ModernWell, on my weekly podcast that features interviews with inspiring women called Women Inspired.
I joined because I needed a place to work. What I have gotten is so much more than that.
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Oprah
I am not the same person as I was when I joined ModernWell 1 year ago. This is not an exaggeration. The desire for rebirth, transformation, and growth is a strong one, yet so many of us fall short because we don’t have the environment, people, and support system in place to facilitate and sustain change of that magnitude.
As it turns out, growth and transformation are all but inevitable when you surround yourself with the right people in the right environment.
Imagine looking around you and seeing not just one, but dozens of women with the audacity to dream massively, and the bravery to chase those dreams down.
What would that do to the size of your dreams?
Imagine having daily access to a large group of successful, driven, yet supportive women. Women who are genuinely happy to see you every single time you walk in the building. Women who are willing to lend their incredible talents to you, simply because you happened to be sitting at the same table as them that day. The gaps in your knowledge or skillset are suddenly filled in.
What would that do to your confidence?
Imagine having a business idea. One you’re afraid to utter out loud. Imagine quietly telling one woman who introduces you to 12 other women who become your loudest cheerleaders and make you believe that you are actually capable of doing this work. Imagine that those women give you the confidence to push your business out into the world, and as you do so, you find yourself involuntarily jumping up and down out of pure anxiety as you hit the ‘submit’ button. Suddenly a small group of women forms around you as those supportive women jump right along with you, not knowing why they’re jumping, other than to support their friend who is doing something HUGE in that moment.
What would that do to your business?
These little anecdotes have been my experience at ModernWell this past year, but I know for certain that my experience is far from unique. I have both given my talents to the women in this community and have been on the receiving end of theirs. I have both given and received pep talks at critical moments of growth. Given and received support. Words of encouragement. High fives.
As it turns out, Oprah was right, as she so often is. When you surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher…you rise.