When I was eight, my mom had a really bad idea.
She broke the news to me that she had signed me up for swimming lessons.
To many energetic and adventurous kids, this may sound like a wonderful idea, right.
But to me, I’d rather stick hot pokers in my eyes than swim in the deep end where I was convinced I’d sink to the bottom.
The next thing I knew, I was in my speedo, dangling my limp legs into the highly chlorinated water, my knobby knees knocking.
I was desperately trying to think of a way out … and then she appeared. Her name was Anne and she was my ticket out of this pool.
You see Anne was equally afraid of water. She too was convinced that she would sink and found no joy in the idea of launching herself off the high diving board.
So we stuck together, making a watery pact that we would not succumb to the whims of our swimming instructor.
It wasn’t long before we both succeeded at failing the lap test. Mission accomplished.
The reason I’m telling you this story is because, looking back at my experience with my swimming lessons and my partnership with Anne showed me that …
…the people with whom you surround yourself, have an impact on what you think, what you do, and who you become.
If it weren’t for my partnership with Anne, maybe I’d have stepped beyond my fear and realized the joy of swimming and have felt in my ability to overcome my inner doubts.
Instead, I latched onto someone who reaffirmed all the insecurities within me. Who helped me stay small and remain rooted in my comfort zone.
Happily, I now love swimming … and I’ve replaced those knocking knees with a strong backbone and a determination to always try new things … especially the things that scare me.
And I surround myself with people who cheer me on as I go far beyond my comfort zone.
This is what I want for you too …
So I invite you to consider who you surround yourself with …
Do they lift you higher?
Do they encourage you to try new things especially if it scares you?
Do they empower you to become better?