Environments that Nurture Success
Julie Fuimano, Personal & Career Coach
In my marketing materials, I promote the 'creation
of environments that nurture success'. Recently,
someone said, "I don't get it. What does
it mean to create environments?" Good question.
What are Environments?
An environment is anything that supports you
to be or to perform a certain way. People often
don't think of these things as environments, but
they most definitely are. Everything around you
has some impact on you and how you do what you
do. If there is something in your life that is
negatively affecting you, evaluate what mechanisms
are in place that are encouraging or reinforcing
Environments include people (friends, family,
coworkers, boss, and other professionals such
as therapists, coaches, physical trainers, etc.),
structures, and/or systems to keep you growing
in the direction you want to go and they are integral
to initiating and sustaining change.
For example, a cluttered physical environment
contributes to your feeling busy and stressed.
And it follows that if your physical environment
is cluttered, other areas of your life are probably
cluttered as well - finances, relationships, etc.
This constant state of commotion is an environment
(a negative one) that keeps your life stressful
To change, you need to focus on creating space
- lots of space. Over time you'll discover that
your energies shift from disorder and accumulating
stuff to keeping things simple and organized,
from turmoil and drama to peace and serenity.
This naturally reduces your stress levels.
At work, if you want to create a workplace that
is positive and collaborative in nature - one
that fosters greatness in individuals and allows
and supports creativity, then you'll stop doing
things that inhibit success, stop tolerating those
things that keep people from being productive,
and design an environment that supports the vision
you have for a great workplace.
Environments are a part of the transformation
process, but let's be clear, they are external.
They will not bring about change itself; rather,
they support change and can assist you in accepting
change. The transformation taking place is within
you; environments are outside of you.
Benefits of Nurturing Environments
Environments make it possible for you to create
momentum around the change that you are initiating.
Without supportive environments, it's easy to
slip back into negative habits, doing things the
way you've always done them. With an environment
designed to support your success, it's easier
for you to initiate changes, translate your vision
into reality, and maintain focus.
Often, in order to achieve your goals, you need
to eliminate toxic relationships or things and
places that do not support you. If you are involved
in relationships that are negatively affecting
you, you may need to get away for a period of
time until you gain the inner fortitude to stand
on your own and find your own voice. Sometimes,
it means identifying and communicating clear boundaries,
such as limiting the amount of time you spend
with someone or limiting the topics of conversation.
Other times, it means building new friendships
or changing jobs because the environment is toxic.
Without the right environment for success, you
create barriers to achieving higher levels of
success. At the very least, you slow your progress.
It's like working out without the right equipment;
you can still work out in a suit and high heels
but you won't be as effective as you would in
sweats and sneakers, and you might even hurt yourself.
The same is true with anything that causes you
negative and unnecessary stress: spending time
with negative and critical people (they influence
your thinking), working at a job where your talents
and skills are not acknowledged or valued (this
diminishes your confidence and self-esteem and
wastes your time, energy and talent), or keeping
busy at work because you haven't yet learned to
shift the focus of your efforts from pleasing
others to focusing on your goals. You want to
create environments and structures that facilitate
more joy and productivity.
Creating Environments that Work
By creating an environment that nurtures your
success, you are making a commitment to achieve
the desired results you want for your life. The
externals you put in place help to support the
changes going on inside you. There are many different
ways to create environments and lots of tools
to assist you. Understanding what environments
are and being clear about what you want to achieve
will help you to identify what type of things
you want to include in your environment.
Hiring a coach, for example, may help your create
an environment that fosters success. Another example
is hiring a professional organizer to get your
office organized, to assist you in creating systems
for the flow of paperwork and 'stuff', and to
teach you ways to keep your space organized.
Depending upon what you want, you'll need to
make changes. If you want to stop screaming at
your kids, you may need to solicit help from your
children. Tell them that you are committed to
speaking to them in a respectful manner and to
let you know if you raise your voice. You might
choose to pay them each one dollar every time
you raise your voice at them. This demonstrates
ownership of your actions and allows them to support
you in your efforts. They will appreciate your
modeling a constructive way to change your behavior
in relationship with others. And when you've accomplished
your goal (for example, not raising your voice
for an entire week), you can celebrate in some
way such as getting a massage or manicure or going
out to dinner.
An environment can be anything that works for
you. If it doesn't work, change it. Don't become
attached to whatever environment you choose. The
fact is that as you evolve and grow, your environments
will also need to evolve and change. As you learn
to develop awareness of your environments and
how they affect you, making constructive changes
where necessary, you will also change your results.
Julie Fuimano, MBA, BSN, RN is a Success
Coach working with executives, leaders and professionals
who want more happiness, more time and less stress.
She is the author of "The Journey Called
YOU: a road map to self-discovery and acceptance,"
the manual for effective living. Learn how to
unleash the greatness within you and create a
life and a career that works for you! To explore
how coaching would work for you or your organization,
call (610) 277-2726. Sign up for our e-newsletter
or purchase your copy of the book at www.nurturingyoursuccess.com
or write to Julie@nurturingyoursuccess.com.