05. Having a supportive Community | Positive Recovery Mindset | Before my recovery, I never questioned what I liked about going out on Friday & Saturday nights (in the heat of my addiction). This association, or belief I had about myself is what was making decisions. It wasn't actually me, it was this belief I had about who I was. As soon as I was able to appreciate (not just recognize) wholeheartedly I can choose to associate myself with something different, did my life change. 

05. Having a supportive Community

Before my recovery, I never questioned what I liked about going out on Friday & Saturday nights (in the heat of my addiction). This association, or belief I had about myself is what was making decisions. It wasn’t actually me, it was this belief I had about who I was. As soon as I was able to appreciate (not just recognize) wholeheartedly I can choose to associate myself with something different, did my life change. 

Many people walk around, they seem half-asleep even when they are busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The best way you can get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to others, devote yourself to your community, devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

Is community important to your success? Is community directly related to your success, as if they are the cause of it? Not really, but there can be an impact that a community has on you, and that impact can trail into your success.

What is community?

Is there such a thing as good communities, or bad communities? There can be quite a bit of different associations we can make. If I associate myself with one type of crowd, I might have a certain outcome. Versus if I associated myself with a different crowd.

Recently I associated myself with a Live Video community, where I’ve been able to raise my game a little bit. It’s had a huge inspiration on me, seeing my new friends grow with me, has been influential on my progress. Before it was just me all by myself, I would still be sitting there with my level one set up (iPhone and a microphone). Now I am able to push myself higher, to aspire to push myself further.

Even today I’m trying something different, with titles. I’m enjoying the process and having fun along the way. I wouldn’t have had that association, I wouldn’t have had the inspiration if I didn’t have such a supportive community.

I try to absorb as much as I can, and I try to give back as much as I can. Earlier we talked about how a Community isn’t a place you go to get something, it’s a place you go to give. Each person has their own take on what Community is.

What are some of the impacts if we surrounded ourselves with a bad community? We’ll talk briefly about associations, in a previous episode we talked about relationships. One of the hardest things, if we think of community as a local neighbourhood. If that neighbourhood has a certain belief system that you were living in the ghetto, or you were in a certain environment. And if you were never inspired to want to go outside of it, and you’re never encouraged to push beyond yourself, the result is – you never believed that you could do it.

Kind of like me with my videos/blogs, I never believed I could do it, but other people encouraged me to go forward with it. Once of the hardest things with negative community, while their intention isn’t to be negative, it can have a negative impact on us. The message and resounding feeling it can give us is this disbelief in ourselves, our potential, or talents… or any of these great things we can go out and conquer.

If we don’t have this belief system at the ground level *in the community*, it’s hard to carry that message forward if you are continually reminded that you can’t do this, you shouldn’t go climb this mountain, you should never try to become a doctor, or start a live video show. If you don’t have that foundation, it’s hard to want to get out of it. It’s harder is what I should say, it’s harder to want to push through it, and get out of it.

There’s great stories out there that inspire us, like Michael Jordan. The message we take away from that inspiration is to not live with that limiting belief. Our community that we associate with, is where it starts *because of their limiting beliefs*. When you have a whole bunch of them all around you, it’s easy to adopt that common beliefs, and run with them, even though it may not be your ideas.

Good natured people can still have a negative impact despite how nice they might be with their ideas.

There are some positive communities too, there’s supportive work environments that can be a huge impact. We’re likely to become a lot more productive, if we have the tools, skillsets in place. If our leadership believes in you, by supporting you. Those are all great ways to get things done, in that community aspect. Whereas if you have a negative work environment that’s a lot harsher to deal with, high tension stress, if you feel like you don’t have the resources, pretty soon you’ll believe that. You’re just going to run with it, and you won’t be able to accomplish as much. It all starts back at the community.

What is the impression your community giving you?

The community is where that part relates from others, to you. There’s a part where we take ownership of that as well. In a previous episode we talked about what are some mindsets we can have as individuals, but when we have a surrounding environment of people continuously. It’s harder to absorb that positive aspect, when you’re surrounded by so much negative. When you’re surrounded by so much positive support and encouragement, it’s easy to absorb all that good stuff because that’s all you ever see.

What are the negative impacts if we continue to associate with bad communities? Earlier we talked about what negative communities are, and what could happen.

Having an honest moment, in the heat of my addiction, before I took my recovery steps. When it was just me holding on to hours of sobriety, white knuckling it through. One of the hardest things for me to grasp was, I knew this wasn’t a life that I wanted to live. I didn’t want to keep living this alcohol, substance abuse life over and over again.

What was holding me back was this fear of what was going to be on the other side. I had associated myself with this community of people so much to the point that I developed an identity, I believed I was this persona. Not that I was the person behind the persona (the one making the decisions). It wasn’t fear of missing out, it was more of a belonging. I had created this idea of myself, that’s where I felt I belonged. I believed I was never going to be better than that.

Breaking free of that idea, breaking free of that mindset was going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I look back now, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to accomplish. The negative impacts of continually believing in that, be it a loved one who tells you -you can’t do something, or if it’s someone telling you, “Don’t climb that mountain, don’t bother to studying to become a doctor, don’t push yourself to run that race.”

You can do anything you want.

The fact that I’m still here after rehab, alcoholism, substance abuse. It all starts with a belief that you can do it. The community I was associating myself with beforehand, it wasn’t all their fault I consumed all those things. Let me own up to my side of the street, I was not in a good mindset, I wasn’t in a good place. I was making very poor decisions.

It definitely wasn’t something that was healthy or conducive to the life I wanted to live.

I knew I wanted to live a better life. I knew I had something greater to achieve, that included a life that was going to be outstanding. This show that I have here. I’ve been through recovery, I’m overcoming addiction, I still fight the good fight. I’m still in the battle, I still do everything I can to help myself, I try to also help others. Part of the message I have in this show, is to get the message out there. To share with others, to say “hey, you know what? There is a better life that’s out there.”

I don’t want this show to be something that convinces someone, this is the life they want. What I want this show to be is for somebody who’s already made the decision that this is the life they want to live. They’ve already made the choice of being sober. They made the choice of not consuming any substances. They made the choice they’re not going to be having that addictive personality anymore. This show will be a tool kit for them, to help them.

This isn’t going to be where I try and sell you sobriety. I don’t think I could sell you sobriety anyways, it’s a really hard thing to do, much less try sell anybody.

We’ve talked about negative and positive communities, we talked about what the negative impacts would be if we stayed in a negative community. Now let’s go forward with the next part.

What would happen if we continue to associate ourselves with good communities?

Currently I am a technical keys to keyboard help desk agent. But when I was applying for the position, I was shot down for the role. They said no, and I applied again. They said no again. I applied a third time, and they said no a third time. I applied for the sixth or seventh time, and they said no. I remember I was venting with someone, he happened to be a pilot.

The pilot, he didn’t really have that much place to go. He opened the conversation by asking, “How’s it going?”

I was so upset, that I poured everything out, “This help desk job, is so impossible to get. You have no idea how difficult this is, the bar is set so high.”

Everything I was holding onto, everything that was built up, came barreling out. I said, “It’s unfair, I tried, I studied, I tried to amp up my game, and it still wasn’t enough.”

After he let me vent for like 10 minutes, he politely asked, “Can I ask you a question?”

I was kind of taken aback, realizing how unfair this was to him, “Sure,” I said. I wondered what a pilot would ask me.

He asked, “How hard do you think it is to become a pilot?”

“I don’t know?! How hard is it? I’m sure it’s pretty hard. Mr. Pilot.” After all he was a pilot, and asking if it’s hard, so of course it has to be hard. I tried to cover up my ego, “I think you have to fly a plane, and you have to go to school for it.”

He was like, “Yeah, yeah! That’s right, I have to go to school, but I also have to pay someone a few hundred dollars so I can fly the plane for an hour.”

I was like, “Oh okay, that’s cool.”

“Guess how many hours I have to fly?”

“Um, a- I’ll say a few hundred hours.”

The pilot corrected me by saying, “Try a few thousand.”

I said, “A few thousand hours, multiplied by a few hundred dollars per hour…” I was trying to do some napkin math on the fly.

He said, “That’s exactly right, what I’m saying Jason, is that before I was a pilot, I was a pilot.”

In this moment I thought he was the coolest thing ever. “That’s awesome,” I said.

“So Jason I’ve got another question for you.”

“Okay go ahead, shoot.”

“Jason, do you need a desk to help?”

It hit me, I was wrong. This entire time I was so very wrong. “No, no I don’t.”

“So what you’re saying Jason, is you can help without actually having a desk.”

Without my ego, I felt 3 feet tall. “That’s true,” I said.

“You can help no matter what.”

I felt a bit better, “That’s right!”

“So Jason, let’s say another thing. Let’s say they called you back (after saying no to you), and let’s say they decided to bring the bar down. They lowered the standards, and because of that they’ll now let you in. And they offered you the job. Would you take the job?”

Immediately I said, “No, I wouldn’t want it then.”

“Why not?” asked the pilot.

“Well because it’s easy then.”

“Exactly Jason, if it’s easy you don’t want it, and you don’t need a desk to help.”

That conversation stuck with me. To this day I know, I don’t need a desk to help. I can do this on my own. I began to wonder what is it that I can do right now, to help better myself, so that I can be an asset to help others. What is the next right thing I can do right now, in the next ten minutes.

The pilot’s message connected with me on more than one level.

“Jason you can be upset that you were shot down, or you can be happy that you’re in the top handful of percent where you’re operating at that level, where the top 1 – 2 % are the one’s who get in.”

Until that moment I had never thought of events that way before. I always thought it was me not getting all these things. But it’s the fact that I’m up against other A+ players shows that I too am an A+ person. That doesn’t mean I needed a desk to help, because I can help no matter what. That for me was an important moment. Because of that conversation, so many years ago, I’ve revamped my entire thought process to how I approach what I do, how I help, how I can action.

The next time I applied, I was successful. The community I associated myself with has been super important, to my recovery, and my ability to help others. It was only a conversation with a pilot, but it meant so much more to me.

For me the impact of associating myself with good people, is yeah I might not get that role, but maybe it was destined for me not to get it. I didn’t get it the first time because my average handle time was too high, the next time, my stats weren’t that good. My sales weren’t good, or my quality maps, every time I went wrong in a new way. I made sure I never went wrong the same way twice. I think as long as you don’t give up, as long as you have that idea of what you want to accomplish, you can actually make it happen.

All you have to do is not give up.

Stick to the plan.

Our safety moment for today’s episode is, it’s okay to not know the answers. What I mean is, it’s okay to identify we have these people that we consider as supportive. It’s okay to know there are people in our lives who don’t as much value as we’d like them to. It’s okay to know that not all supportive people are offering that support in a way that’s received as support.

Just like we shared with those communities that talk their own people down. That never aspire to leave that community. Versus the other kind of community where where everyone is encouraged to achieve, and there’s nothing but growth. Some of the best people in our lives, our closest friends and family, will tell us to play it safe and never push.

But the kind of people I associate with, the people I choose to have in my life, the kind of person who is reading this, is someone who’s an A+ player, who pushes themselves. Who develops themselves and chooses nothing but happiness, growth, prosperity.

We’re all living this outstanding life. Personally it’s just me not consuming alcohol, or substances. I’m living this recovery life, overcoming addiction. It’s crazy how rampant it can get, if left unchecked. That’s the purpose of this show.

If we want to change our situation, changing who we associate with can help.

What do I mean by that? Does it mean your community is directly related to your success? No, but it can certainly have an influence, an impact on your mindset, or on your day to day interactions, or how you show up. If you associate yourself with a negative community, you’ll have a certain set of problems. If you associate yourself with a positive community, you’ll have an entirely different set of problems. The problems aren’t really ever going to go away, but how we approach them can have an impact.

When we need to discuss communities,  who we associate with day to day can have an impact, who we associate week to week, month to month. But where do we start? Where do we begin? How do we change our communities?

Begin with the end in mind. Play the tape to the end. In another episode we talked about, how it’s okay to have a belief of what your outcome is. If you have this mindset of this supportive community, what does that look like?

One of the things I’ve done to help me make decisions, like an action registry. Make a list of all the qualities I want in a community.

When I think of Community, I think of supportive, I think of encouraging, developmental. They’re positive, aspirational, these are nice fluffy things but I also want them action oriented. I want someone to be empathetic, to be there for me when I need them. Sometimes I want someone to vent to, to decompress with. To go for a walk with, or hop on a bike, or go to the gym. There are certain communities that I reach out to, for certain help.

I know there’s not one person, that is able to do all of the things that I want. There’s certain people I reach out to, so we can go to the gym. Certain people I reach out to with my live stream, when my audio craps out. There’s people I reach out to when I need to go to a meeting. I still go to meetings, Alcoholics Anonymous.

There’s over 400 meetings a week in this city every week. If I don’t like one meeting, there’s 400 others I can go to. It’s pretty amazing there’s that many communities available.

Once we have this list of what we’re looking for in a community. Once it’s written down, once you have an idea of what you want to associate yourself with. It’s the first dozen on your list that will be generic, but as you get going, you keep writing, ideas start flowing.

If you have kids, you might want to write down, “I want someone who understands children’s needs.”

Pretty soon the list starts to branch out, with requests. As you articulate those, as you document that fully, you’ll capture everything in List #1.

Once you have that list, start up a second list. With that second list, you document

“What kind of person would I need to become, to attract that kind of community?”

This process doesn’t take place overnight. Once you have that big list, you’ll realize those are heavy hitting things that you want in your life daily, like a ritual. Ok, in order to get that, what do you need to become first? What steps do you need to help shape that outcome you’re after?

Here is where you’re not going to change your community in a weekend. You can’t just hop on a plane and transfer yourself to a different place. When I moved from one province to another, thinking I was going to move away from everything by hopping on a plane. I was going to escape from everything.

The problem with idea of escaping, is when I moved, I took me with me.

I had this idea of what I wanted, but I wasn’t prepared to do any of the hardwork. So what ended up happening? Since I didn’t do any of the heavy lifting, I found myself in the exact same community I had before. None of that was conducive, or supportive, or encouraging. None of that was helpful to what I believed as my positive outcome. It didn’t work out so well. I relapsed. That was one of the hardest things for me to hit.

When you hit those rock bottoms, I don’t know if you watched one of the previous episodes where we talked about this topic in detail. Before that we talked about relationships, before that we talked about stresses, and triggers. We’ve really covered a wide area in the recovery space. In this episode we’re talking about supportive communities.

Before my recovery, I never questioned what I liked about going out on Friday & Saturday nights (in the heat of my addiction). This association, or belief I had about myself is what was making decisions. It wasn’t actually me, it was this belief I had about who I was. As soon as I was able to appreciate (not just recognize) wholeheartedly I can choose to associate myself with something different, did my life change.

I can choose a different path for myself. As soon as I made that choice, pretty soon everything else started to fall into place. That list, that I wanted so bad for so long. Suddenly started to show up. If you told me that beforehand, before all this, I wouldn’t have listened to you. I wouldn’t have believed you.

I would have told you to take a flying jump, at a rolling donut!

What would have happened is, none of that would have made any sense to me then. That’s where this show is not dedicated to people who are not ready to make that choice, it’s dedicated to people who have already made the choice to want to go ahead. Here is where we have the chance, to help shape that. We can choose to help shape our outcome by who we associate with, and who we associate with is our community.

Our vibe attracts our Tribe. If all we have is a negative vibe, then we’re only going to attract negative people. If we only have positive outcomes in mind, we’ll only accept positive people in our lives.

I just removed someone from my life recently, they didn’t fit that mindset, of the list that I made. It was so heartbreaking to follow through with that decision, but I had to do what was right for me. My future self will be thankful for it.

Thank you everyone, Take Care.

Jason

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