Who's on Your Island with You?


I often talk about the importance of having a support network, of ditching the toxic people in your life. I understand that this might be difficult to do and if they are family members, it might be impossible to do but you can choose how much time you spend with them or how much you listen to them. You can move yourself away from them by spending more time with people who have your back, who give you their support with no expectation of anything in return.

This is what a support network is. It consists of people who will call you out when what you're doing goes against both their and your values. They are not afraid to challenge you directly and whilst the truth might hurt, the respect you have for each other means you value their honesty and take on-board what they are saying because you know their intention is positive and from genuine concern. You don't want to be surrounded by people who agree with everything you say; you are not always right, and your way is not only the right way.

Think about if you're stuck on a desert island, who would you want to have on there with you? Who would not only help you survive but would help you thrive? Who would not only give you physical support but be there for you emotionally?

Of course, the support network is not just about you getting support from others but you giving it as well and being there for others that need it. Are you the person you want and need other people to be for you? The support flows both ways when needed.

Now I'm not saying that if you see people floundering in the water you don't go out to help them and bring that on to dry land. But sometimes you'll get people who will keep going back out and don't learn. You'll try to rescue them again and again, but they keep doing their own thing and will keep letting you drag them back in. These are the toxic people I was telling you about, they'll sap all your energy if you let them to the point you'll feel like you are drowning. Sometimes you must accept you've done as much as you can and let them go on their way.

You want people who you can call on no matter what time of day or not. To be there when the person needs it, not just when they want to give it. If you think of your network right now, do you have people like in your life right now? You might have different people you can call upon in different areas of life; a different support network for work or business and one for in life in general.

 Do you feel comfortable going to your network of support and asking for help? If not, then what is preventing you from doing so? When was the last time you did ask for help? What was your outcome? How easy do you make it for others to ask you for help?

If you don't have a support network, then how do you go about creating one? You do it by being there for others, connecting with people, showing up authenticity and integrity. If you know someone struggles to ask for help, then volunteer what you can offer by way of support. Model a way of being and build that trust. It's not all about the money or physical things. Think about what you could offer to the support network of others. Support comes in the form of being there to listen, to hold someone to account, to tell someone they are out of order by what they just did. Support is about encouraging them to go forward, not to hold them back. Behind every successful person, there is a great support network.

So, think about who you have in your corner, who will have your back or who do you want on that island with you? Consider how you might be showing up with the support you are offering, are you the support you'd want to receive and benefit from?