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Associating Yourself With the Right Groups to Encourage Your Inner Genius

© Krista Stryker 2011
Human beings are pack animals by nature.  Most of us gravitate toward groups of some sort, whether they revolve around family, church, education, work, partying, sports, etc.  

Some people stay in the same groups their entire lives, while others move around, eager to discover and be a part of many social crowds.

The groups you choose to associate yourself with can have a profound effect on your life, and may either prove to be the main advocate of your inner genius or oppose everything you've ever tried to do, bringing you down and killing your creativity in the process.

Positive vs. negative groups

When groups are good, they're really good.  They can offer all sorts of benefits and change your life for the positive.  For example, they can:
  • Be incredibly supportive.
  • Be a place to bounce off ideas and become a starting point for creative thinking.
  • Create love, friendship, etc.
  • Create healthy competition and collaboration between group members.
  • Challenge you to be the best/most creative/most innovative person you can be.
On the other hand, if you associate yourself with the wrong groups, you may find yourself in a downward spiral of negativity.  These detrimental groups can:
  • Create unwanted peer pressure and make you feel worse about yourself due to unhealthy competition and/or push you in a direction you know isn't right for you.
  • Be unsupportive and bring you down.
  • Take away your creativity by convincing you that you are not a creative person.
  • Lead you down a path that will make you unhappy and unfulfilled, ultimately crushing your dreams.
The danger of dodging groups all together

I've avoided groups most of my life out of fear of being stuck (a recurring fear of mine) and getting pulled into a negative community.  

While this has allowed me to stay away from unfavorable crowds, it has also kept me from getting the full advantages of being part of a positive group, and has left me feeling pretty lonely over the years.

I also believe that straying from the natural congregative nature of human beings has stifled my creativity (since I've had no one to bounce ideas off of) and created a lot of self doubt (since I've had no outside encouragement).  

Lately, I've been thinking I need a group.

The closest I've come in recent years is being part of a gym (before this it was high school sports).  CrossFit offers a place where everyone is extremely supportive - there is friendly competition but little criticism.  As a CrossFitter, you're always wanting to be better because everyone around you is encouraging you to challenge yourself - and that's the best kind of group.  

Yet as much as I love CrossFit and its caveman style workouts, I know I need to find these types of positive groups in all areas of my life so I can continue to challenge myself and push my creativity to the limits.

What group are you part of?  What draws you toward a particular group?

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