As you progress on your journey to becoming a parent who glows, you’re going to be doing a lot of inner work along the way – things like building your gratitude habit, treating yourself to good things, and becoming more engaged in the present moment.
And while all of these things will work wonders on transforming you into a ferociously positive parent, I’ll tell you this – there are going to be ups and downs along the way. Life is challenging, and sometimes we can struggle along our journey or need outside assistance to help us do the things that are important to the future that we’re building.
This is why we need people around us who can support us and encourage us as we work towards our goals. So today I’ll walk you through how to begin putting together your own positive support circles of people and groups who can help us accomplish the things we care about.
Once you know how to do this, it’s life changing. (I promise!)
What Is A Positive Support Circle?
A positive support circle is a group of people who help you achieve a specific goal during your parenthood journey. These are people whose values and attitudes match up with your own enough that they can inspire you, empower you and make you feel actively GOOD when you talk to them.
Sometimes these people exist around you already. If you have a partner, friends or family that are excited to support you in your goals, that’s a wonderful stroke of luck.
But sometimes the people currently in our life aren’t aligned with what we care about, or are negative influences. In that case, we need to actively find other people who will function as the support team we need to get where we want to be.
You can create a positive support circle to help you on any number of personal goals, and I’ll give you a few different types of goals you could use to get started.
Goal #1. Giving yourself time and space to do something without your little ones.
Sometimes you want to do something that just won’t be quite as enjoyable with your children around. Perhaps a date night with your partner, an outing with your friends, running errands or even just sitting in bed doing absolutely nothing with your favorite beverage of choice.
All of these activities fill an emotional tank or a practical need in your life – and you want to feel comfortable and safe engaging in them when you need to (or just want to!). Whether it’s an hour a day or an evening once or twice a week, having access to these slices of time and space matter so much.
Having people you can rely on to watch your children for a little bit, and also support you in taking time for yourself is a total game-changer. My parents and husband were essential at providing this support for me, and I am forever grateful.
Goal #2. Receiving consistent emotional support.
We’re all emotional creatures, and we need people we can trust with our emotions as we move through our lives and work towards our personal goals.
On the positive side, we need to surround ourselves with people who will be excited to take part in our good emotions, whether it’s celebrating a win or making a decision to take our lives in a more positive direction. When we have people who are on board with our goals, we experience more freedom and motivation to move towards them.
And when we hit the negative times – the speed bumps and potholes of life, the setbacks and difficulties – we need people who will empathize, encourage and bear witness to what we’re going through. We need these people to be with us while we freak out from time to time and help us get the perspective to get back on track.
You can get this in person – my husband, for example, is so helpful when I’m feeling, say, “a little irritable”. He can crack a joke and break the tension and help me realize it’s all going to be okay. My contacts on social media also are a big part of my positive support circle, so you don’t have to limit yourself to friends and family. It’s a big world out there, and you build your positive support circle there, too.
Goal #3: Parent education and personal development.
When we want to develop a new skill or make a positive change in ourselves, having direct support from other people who can teach us (or take the journey along with us) speeds things up and can make what seems impossible, possible.
This Facebook group was available to me 24/7, helping me solve the challenges I ran into as I learned to use the different EC strategies. They were also there to celebrate my victories, no matter how small.
But the real power here was simply being immersed in a community that was aligned with my values and goals. They were positive, proactive, and empowering – and that helped me continuously move forward. There’s a wonderful resonance that happens when the people you include in your journey are just as excited as you are.
This is why it’s especially important to make sure that any people you’re around – whether it’s in-person or online – are actively positive and won’t drag you down with negativity. So keep an eye out for that as you look for people who can be part of your positive support circle. (It’s in the name!)
Goal #4: Getting support to reach your financial goals.
When one of your overall goals is a financial one – whether it’s building a business or working a job to help support your family, positive support circles are especially important. Making money is an active pursuit that demands a lot from you, and you definitely can’t do it all yourself.
Sometimes the support you’ll want here isn’t related to making money, but in helping shoulder your responsibilities. Friends, family and partners can help you here by making it easier to get time and space to do your work (and encourage you as you do it!).
But your positive support circle can also be professional in nature. Sometimes you’ll need to pay for help or to delegate various pieces of work, and it’s well worth it – this is how you retain your energy, time and sanity.
When you hire people to help you, make sure their values and attitudes are in line with yours so you’ll get a multiplier effect as you work together. The right people – positive people who believe in the work you do – bring an energy to your projects that can make them so much more likely to succeed.
Goal #5 – Health and fitness support.
Our overall health and fitness is a huge factor in how we feel and how we move through our day, and this is an arena in which a positive support circle can make an incredible difference in our lives.
You may be working out solo or cooking your meals by yourself, but these acts are a fundamental, foundational part of your life. Health and fitness goals often involve significant changes and big shifts, and having a team of people to rely on to support you in making those changes opens up possibilities. This is one area where you definitely don’t want to go it alone!
Seek out people who you can communicate with about your health and fitness goals so that you’re not in an echo chamber. Health and fitness goals carry a lot of emotional turmoil with them, and you need people who can support you when you struggle.
You can also get a lot of positive support through online classes and fitness / health-related apps. Sometimes you can directly communicate with people through messaging, forums or online meetings. Other times you can just share your progress and see the successes that your fellow travelers are experiencing. Either way, you’re immersing yourself in a positive environment, which helps you stay on track and keep moving forward.
When your goals change, your positive support circles will change, too.
Over time, our goals, interests and responsibilities will change. So will our need for any particular positive support circle.
I used to be very involved with The Positive Birth Company and their network. Reading their empowering positive birth stories, written by the women who gave birth (and had taken the course) helped support me as I built up my confidence and knowledge.
That support allowed me to reach my goal to achieve an unmediated, at-home waterbirth – for both my children! Now, while I’m still part of the group, I’m not as engaged with it as I was when I was learning. I’m moving on to a new chapter of my life, so I don’t need to rely on that positive support circle as much.
This is going to happen with you, too – as you achieve the various goals you’ve set in your parenting journey, you’ll “graduate” and begin pursuing different goals. Sometimes you’ll include some of your existing personal support circle in your new direction, and other times you’ll seek out brand-new people. That’s just part of the process.
Pick one personal goal you have and start building your personal support circle today.
Your life will immediately start getting better once you begin to create your own positive support circles “on purpose” and tap into the energy and vibe of people who are 100% on board with being part of your success.
I’ll leave you with a little bit of homework today – pick one goal you care about, or one change you’d like to start making happen in your life, and think about who could be part of your personal support circle.
Come up with at least 3 people (or sources, like the Go Diaper Free community I mentioned earlier) who could be good fits for your circle. Then take your first steps in reaching out to them and talking to them about helping support you in your goal!
I promise this will be transformative for you. Once you get your first person or two on board, it takes on a momentum of your own – and then everything starts changing for you.