A funny thing happens when you tell people you moved to New Hampshire from New York City. They’ll give you a kind of blankish stare, squint their eyes a bit. Laugh a little. Then, inevitably, ask “what brought you there?” As if you didn’t have a choice in the matter.
Sure it’s a jump, but I don’t really understand why it’s that big of a deal. I guess we put places into categories and it’s hard to understand why someone who lived in a thriving metropolis might want a little space.
What I realize people could be referring to though, is the community. Not to say the people here in Portsmouth aren’t lovely, intelligent, interesting, compassionate, and cultured. They are.
But I still find myself craving connection. Specifically around the areas that interest me.
In New York I could find a wellness or business related event to attend every week and call up a friend to join me without batting an eyelash.
Here, it’s different. That might just be a consequence of being new in town. But I’ve really been missing a sense of community that was so accessible in my last chapter. Simultaneously, I’ve been struggling the past few months with big career questions. Why doesn’t this feel good anymore? This isn’t why I started. Is this it?
I’ve always known about the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are doing what you really want to be doing. We hear it all the time: you’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with. But it took until recently to truly understand this and put it into action.
Dana and I talk all the time and I’m part of a few random meet ups and Facebook groups. But there’s a difference between immersing yourself in a squad of like-minded, supportive, incredible people who are mirroring what you want to do in the world, and engaging with others on a surface level.
Do you ever meet someone, or come across a person on Instagram that you feel magnetically pulled to?
These people are called expanders. And identifying them is one of the best manifestation tips out there.
When we get entranced by someone, it’s no coincidence. Turns out we’re actually recognizing aspects of ourselves and a potential that we have yet to grow into. I learned about the official term for this concept in Lacey Phillip’s course on manifestation, Formula & Magnetism.
Isn’t that empowering? Someone you admire, or maybe even that you’re envious of, is simply a mirror of your unmet self. Yowza.
Here’s the other thing about expanders. You have to be around them in order to manifest what it is you desire. They quite literally expand your belief systems.
So say for instance, you want to start your own business. You think you can do it, and you have the skills, but something’s holding you back and you’re not sure what. You don’t know what the next step is. And with every passing doubt you feel more and more inclined to just forget it. So you tell yourself you’ll stick it out at your 9-5.
But have you ever stopped to consider who you’re surrounded by on a regular basis? Who you’re talking to everyday? Who you’re listening to (whether consciously or subconsciously)? Who you’re living with, eating with, sitting in silence with? Because those people really matter.
Your subconscious mind needs to see to believe, in order to manifest your desires. So the amount of expanders you’ll need will be proportional to how limited your self worth is, and how strong or weak your ability to believe in what’s possible is.
This isn’t just a woo woo thing my friend. There’s some solid, scientific logic behind it. By incorporating expanders into our lives, we can literally show our brains what’s possible. The neurological impact is incredible.
Brendon Burchard speaks to this point in his book, High Performance Habits. He discusses research around a dynamic dubbed “clustering,” which suggests that positive things such as happiness seem to spread within social groups. For example, if you are often around a friend who is happy, your chances of feeling happy go up by 25%. And the social contagion effect is relevant up to three degrees of separation, which means your friend’s friend could have an influence on you too. This is why it’s so important to be strategic about who’s in your squad.
- You want an amazing relationship? Great. Surround yourself with people who have one (specifically the qualities you’re looking for).
- Want to be more creative? When’s the last time you went to a gallery or a museum exhibit and spoke to other artists?
- Want a thriving business? Join a mastermind or get a coach you can relate to.
But the thing is you have to make the move. You have to go out and find the expanders. And sometimes you have to make highly uncomfortable decisions, whether that’s letting go of relationships that don’t serve you (a.k.a., negative anti expanders), or actively investing in expanders.
More on my own decision to join a mastermind here.
If you want to make things real weird, and test just how supportive your new crew is, you can do what I did and faint during a group dinner at the mastermind retreat. Yep. Literally passed out in my coach’s living room. That’s one way to make a cool impression as the new girl huh? Would not recommend.
One thing to note here is that you don’t have to personally know your expanders. It’s powerful to have concrete examples, in real life for sure. It has helped me immensely. But if that’s not something that’s accessible to you, no problemo (and not an excuse). Think in terms of books you read, videos you watch, people you follow on social media, podcasts you listen to. Oooo podcasts are such a good way to connect with expanders.
Anyone who is doing what you want to do, or has what you want to have can be an expander for you.
The great news is that we get to choose who we surround ourselves with. I mean, I’m still trying to figure out how to unsubscribe from my mom’s emails, but for the most part that’s true.
So who are your expanders? You can think of them like a panel in your mind! It’s fun to imagine a handful of peeps you really admire sitting in front of you, ready to guide you.
If you don’t have any, start thinking about it. You probably have some, you just haven’t identified them as such in your mind yet.
I’d love to hear what you think about this. Tell me below!