Do You Ever Think of Money as a Tool for Personal Growth?

On June 26th, I hosted our sixth Comfort Circle™ dinner.  And let me tell you, it never gets old hearing how much people enjoy these experiences of food, fellowship, and fun. My heart giggles with delight each time someone says, “This was great; I can’t wait for the next one.”

But it’s not just the accolades that bring me joy. It’s what happens during each dinner, and recognizing that that’s what people are really digging and thanking me for.

“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” ~ Unknown

The connections and transformations I witness at each dinner are less of a surprise to me, and more of a beautiful affirmation about our nature as humans: We are wired for community.

You appreciate environments and opportunities to meet new people with similar interests and goals. Spaces that invite you to ask questions and share challenges; that allow you to receive and give feedback; and that encourage you to support one another. For the curious-minded striver, what could be better?!

And this is precisely what the Comfort Circle™ dinner series is designed to do –  as we engage in open and honest conversations about the uncomfortable, the untapped and the practical when it comes to money, business and life.

As a result, people who arrived as strangers leave feeling heard and understood. And challenged…in a good way.

Iron Sharpens Iron – aka Top Five

I bet you have heard the adage that says you are the average of the five people with whom you spend time. No, my guests aren’t looking to replace their current posse with people they are meeting for the first or second time. But they do value the benefits that come from intentionally expanding one’s circle – personally and professionally.

Because they know seeking new relationships, connections and insight will help them make a shift or change for the better.

That’s what community can do for you!

Do you have a community that not only greets you where you are, but also invites you to stretch – especially when it comes to matters of money?

The Comfort Circle™ dinners are casual, yet guided discussions that feature question prompts, exercises and time for reflection. While each month has a different theme or focus, there are few things we subtly bump up against at each dinner, which remind me of the connection between money and personal growth: limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging behavior, and a sense of belonging.

Limiting beliefs

The funny thing about life is that often as soon as you declare there is some aspect of it you wish to up-level, the gremlins of limiting beliefs kick in. You know, the voice that says things like: “can I do X;” “do I really deserve what I’m going after; “maybe now isn’t the right time?” These are but a few examples of how you can constrain yourself before you even get out of the gate.

At our dinners, the conversation gives you a chance to acknowledge your limiting beliefs so you can choose a different belief. Ironically, both happen by listening to the questions and stories shared by others.

If you’re not a part of a community where this happens, find a new one.

Self-sabotage

Let’s set aside the obvious, serious ways people do things that are in conflict with what they want. Instead, let’s identify a few insidious behaviors — fear of change; decision paralysis; quitting when the roadblock was really an invitation to shift direction; burying your feelings; conflating busy with being productive; prioritizing creating a plan over taking action on the plan – to name a few.

No one sets out to intentionally sabotage their progress – their growth. It’s just hard, sometimes, to call a spade a spade and recognize and acknowledge when you’re getting in your own way.

Most times, it is easier to recognize when someone else is engaging in self-sabotaging behavior. Our dinners provide a chance for this because, usually, how you react to what someone says also provides clues to what’s going on with you.

In this way, we are all mirrors for each other.

You’re not alone

Personal growth is all about investing in yourself. But investing in yourself and doing the work it entails doesn’t mean you have to do it by yourself – whether that’s learning new skills; completing unfinished projects; or taking care of your health. You don’t have to take on finding out what information, resources, ideas, or tools you need without input, guidance and suggestions of “best practices” from others that could help you save time, effort and money.

In my opinion, pulling yourself up by your boot-straps is a myth. The way I see it, no one achieves success on their efforts alone. That’s what being part of a community and having a sense of belonging reminds you.

This sense of belonging, which we foster at each event, is one of the many things I love most about the dinners. It is my unspoken goal that each guest leaves knowing that as they work to change their world, by default they are helping to change the world. And, we have their back.

Of course, of the three (tackling limiting beliefs, dealing with self-sabotage, and experiencing a sense of belonging) the latter is probably what’s top of the mind when guests RSVP. After all, who doesn’t enjoy being around curious, like-minded people also committed to self-improvement.

The former two, on the other hand, tend to get stirred up during.

Call it the classic case of the things you get aren’t always what you expect.

So keep this in mind as you use the month of July to conduct a mid-year review of your finances and life. Evaluating how far you’ve come (or not) isn’t just about whether the numbers add up. This is also the perfect time to assess what limiting beliefs were kicked up that you tackled and worked through, or that need to be. Likewise, what self-sabotaging habits do you now recognize and are ready to shift.

And if you’ve been working to make changes in your life on your effort alone, stop it! Not only does this approach cost you more time, effort and money, the truth is: You’re not wired that way, anyway!

You’re wired to be actively involved in a community. So, join one or create one and allow your community to help you meet your goals and do whatever you’re looking to do…better!

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