Recently I heard someone say "It takes a village to raise an Adult." We have all heard that saying about raising a child. It got me thinking, who are the people we need in our lives to magnify our success. I intentionally use the word "magnify" because I believe that you can be successful by going on your journey alone. However, your success will be greater when you have companions on your journey to support you.
Some of you also refer to your support community as your tribe, squad, friends or colleagues. We are talking about the same people. I have always liked the concept of having friends for different situations. That way, you can go to different people to get support on diverse matters. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of having great people in your court, the types of support groups we need and ways to get the most value from them. For reference, support community and system are used interchangeably in this post.
What is a Support System?
How does your support system help you?
A reliable support system can do the following things for you:
The 5 types of support groups you need
To be successful in your personal and professional life, consider building these types of groups:
#1 - Your emotional support group
Having people you can be entirely vulnerable with is crucial. From time to time you need to bare it all and not feel like you have to hide. Make it a priority to stay connected with your friends. This group will help you stay emotionally balanced through life's ups and downs. Take a moment to be grateful for the great friends you have who have been supporting you emotionally.
#2 - Your personal "board of directors."
Identify a small group of people that you can reach out to when you need to make a major decision. The most significant value that they bring is a different perspective and provide additional data points for your decision that you may not be considering. Take advantage of this great opportunity and discuss those big decisions before you make them. Additionally, you can also benefit from getting honest feedback on your ideas.
#3 - Your mentors & professional sponsors
We all need people who provide guidance, share their knowledge and skills with us. Especially in a professional setting, mentors and sponsors are necessary. You will achieve more and progress further with the help of this group of people. Surround yourself with people who have traits you admire and aspire to develop. To get the most value from this group of people, be prepared, ask good questions and gather their insights.
#4 - Your accountability partners
To achieve the great things you are destined to do, you need people who will hold you accountable to the commitments you make towards your goals. From the Mastermind groups, I started a while ago; this point has been confirmed. When you share your goals with someone, you feel more committed to work towards your goals and show progress.
#5 - Your cheerleaders
Knowing that there is someone who believes in you and cheers you on is priceless. Especially when you feel stuck, hearing that reassuring voice that tells you "you can do this" is the best. Also, sometimes we forget to appreciate and celebrate our achievements. Our cheerleaders are also there to help us celebrate our accomplishments. In recent months, I have come to appreciate the importance of having cheerleaders.
How can you get the most value from your support groups?
Let's wrap up this post with some clever sayings and quotes:
A few months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend; she mentioned how a previous blog post I had written made her think about the importance of having a growth mindset. It reminded me of a class I had taken that introduced me to the concept of a growth mindset. Again, last week in a conversation at work, growth mindset was mentioned. All these conversations highlighted the need for this essential topic to be discussed and explored.
In this blog post, I will share some of the interesting resources I found during my research as well as five keys to developing your growth mindset. There are many great resources on this topic, some of which I have cited and included in the great resources section at the end of this post.
What does it mean to have a growth mindset?
What does it mean NOT to have a growth mindset?
The opposite of having a growth mindset is known as having a fixed mindset
Why do you need to have a growth mindset?
When you have a growth mindset, you take on new opportunities, work harder and more effectively, persevere in the face of challenges and are a more successful learner.
5 keys to developing your growth mindset
Believe you can improve
Good news - you can always improve and grow no matter where you are in life. Knowing that you will never be at a stage where you know or do everything perfectly is crucial. This realization will help take some unnecessary pressure off you. Your mindset should be to continuously learn and develop in all aspects of your life - relationships, career, parenthood, finances and much more.
Questions to consider:
To keep growing, you need not only to believe you can improve; you need to take concrete steps. Personally, I have a development plan that I update monthly. It helps me ensure that I prioritize my growth and not leave it to chance. Make time to develop your interests, skills, and abilities.
Questions to consider:
Keep learning something new
Qualities like intelligence and talent are a starting point. However, greater success comes from the invested effort, learning, and persistence. Develop strategies that help you prioritize continuous learning. Explore new interest areas and make new connections. Learning new skills will open the door to exciting opportunities and growth.
Questions to consider:
Gather input from others
Other people see things that you don't and have a different perspective. There's immense value in gathering feedback from trusted people around you. Often, when you hear “receiving feedback,” you think of negative things. Requesting and getting feedback should not be scary - it helps you grow. See it this way; it provides you with data points that you otherwise would not have. Caution: be careful whom you ask for feedback and how you process it. The objective is for it to be applicable.
Questions to consider:
Surround yourself with learners
This point is a reoccurring theme for me. To be successful, you need to surround yourself with people who are interested in improving and growing. The interactions you have with fellow learners will inspire you and broaden your perspective. In my opinion, you can benefit from the knowledge and experiences of others around you.
Questions to consider:
“Any transition is easier if you believe in yourself and your talent.” - Priyanka Chopra
We all go through different transitions in our lives. If I asked you how you handle transitions, what would you say? Can you confidently say that you thrive during transitions? If your answer is no, you are not alone.
Recently, I shared my journey with a mentor. She highlighted how many transitions I have been through in my life and how I have thrived through them. Hearing someone say it had a substantial effect on me. It was important for me to share my tips with you.
Ladies in my inner circle have been going through different transitions over the last months. Some of which included:
Are you going through any of these types of transitions listed above? Please keep reading.
In this post, we will learn more about transitions, explore its characteristics and discuss ten ways to thrive as you go through life’s changes. Please note that we will use change and transitions interchangeably in this post.
What is a Transition?
5 characteristics of Transitions
Although every transition is unique, there are some common characteristics.
Transitions are difficult
Let's start by acknowledging that changes require a lot of work and emotional strength. Be patient with yourself while you go through transitions. Sometimes we neglect the effect that changes have on us and forget to take care of ourselves.
Transitions are good and required
Growing and evolving are necessary for our lives. Transitions are one of the only ways we can grow. You will experience more success when you change your perspective to see how good and essential transitions are. Appreciate the changes you are going through.
Transitions require planning/managing
Preparing for an upcoming change will provide you the opportunity to anticipate some of the challenges and create solution strategies for them. Be it a career or life transition, make time to evaluate the impact it will have on you and your loved ones. When you start feeling overwhelmed, pick up your plan and take action.
Transitions are constant
Change comes in different sizes and complexities. Also, we will go through transitions repeatedly in our lives. Once we start to feel too comfortable, change knocks on our doors. Accept that it's part of your life.
Transitions mark the beginning of something new
Especially with unplanned transitions, it is hard to imagine that there is something great waiting for you on the other side. It may not look like it, but things will get better after you have gone through the process and change. This marks the start of something new.
10 keys to thriving through your transitions
Now that we know that transitions are a constant part of our lives, how can we be successful through them:
In early 2015, my relocation journey continued with a move to the United States. Specifically, to the Bay area in northern California. I expected that my experience would be similar to my life in Germany. Looking back, I can confirm that no relocation experience is the same. However, we get to apply our learnings from previous journeys.
I have been living in the US for three and a half years now. As with all relocation journeys, there are good, bad and ugly. In this post, I will continue my relocation story. Starting with my first year in the US.
Over the next months as part of the "My Life in the US" series, I will tell my story in the following phases:
What made this relocation different?
The significant differences with my relocation to the US were that I had a Job, a partner and I was older and more mature. Often, I ask myself how I handled the transition to Germany at age fifteen.
Why did I decide to relocate to the US?
My honest answer is that I moved for “Love.” Germany had treated me very well, and I wasn't planning to leave any time soon. Some external factors and my career influenced the exact timing of the move.
Preparing for the move
In November 2014, I began making plans to move. By February I had a project and was relocating to the US. Thinking back, I now know that two months of planning is not enough time. As everything happened so quickly, I didn't have the time to plan out my relocation and settling into my new home.
So many forms to fill
Living in Germany where I had filled a form for every single official transaction, I thought I was prepared for filling my immigration forms for the US. Nothing could have prepared me for the mass forms I would have to fill out. Having to submit the same information repeatedly has become the norm. I feel like I'm an expert now.
Building a new community
My friends and family play a very significant role in my life. I have come to learn the value of also having a small local community. Luckily, I inherited my partner's social network in the beginning. Not having to start from scratch was very helpful. It made my experience in the US great from a social perspective.
Say my full name
I learned very quickly that my name was difficult to remember. People would always ask - what other name do you go by? At the beginning my response was - I only go by Marie-Christin. Often, I got called "Marie-Christian", "Marie-Claire" and many other names. I adapted to the new culture by allowing people to call me "MC" and it works well.
Lack of guidance, structure or efficiencies
Very soon after my relocation, I faced some difficulty understanding how basic needs like health Insurance and banking worked in the US. Every task seemed complex and inefficient. Things took much longer than I expected which caused a lot of disappointment and stress. Here, I definitely know that Germany spoiled me. My solution is to plan a lot of lead time for any tasks and practice patience.
Land of dreams
When I moved to California, I was impressed by how open people were to taking a step into the unknown boldly. Coming from Germany where you only did work you were qualified for, it was liberating to see people try new things. It inspired me to revisit some of my dreams and believe they can become a reality.
I'm very far away
I thought the distance between Germany and Nigeria was a lot until I moved to California. Now every country where I have family and friends is geographically far away. Technology has helped me keep in close contact with my family and friends. I'm now an expert in online communication and staying connected to people that matter.
Professional cultural differences
My assumption that project management is almost the same globally was very wrong. Of course, the fundamental principles are the same. However, I quickly discovered that I would need to adapt my style to the new culture in the US. The way I approached planning and communicating was met with some resistance. I didn't want to change who I was, but I had to learn to find a middle point to make my team and clients happy.
Top 10 Learnings