Creating an Echo Chamber of Positivity & Encouragement

Marlena Musselman Fox is a good friend and past client of Pace Success Coaching.  She is excited to be sharing her story as a guest blogger for this community! 

I think we can all agree that the current political climate is, well, tense. But this post isn’t about politics — I just want to steal a term that has gained popularity since the last election. That word is echo chamber. Traditionally, this is understood as an enclosed space that encourages the reverberation and reproduction of sound. Lately, it has come to mean something different. It’s more a space, either virtual or in real life, where people of the same viewpoint or mindset can get together, share and reinforce their opinions, and do so on a regular, consistent basis. It really has a negative connotation, but I’m hoping to spin that. Because I live in an echo chamber of my own creation. An echo chamber of positivity and encouragement. Without it, I’d still be in an unhealthy relationship, an unfulfilling career, and without hope.

With whom are you surrounding yourself? Where do you spend most of your free time, and what are you doing? What kind of thoughts — both those from within and those from others — are you listening to daily?

Here are three areas where I would encourage you to take a look regarding your own personal echo chamber.

1) AT WORK

This is probably a no-brainer, but creating a positive environment where you spend the majority of your day is easier said than done. It’s hard not to get sucked into the negativity and “water-cooler talk” at work. There’s always something to complain about, but stepping away from that can have a huge impact on your state of mind. Let me use my working experience as an example. In a school environment, with students, teachers, and administration, there’s always complaining and finger pointing. Sometimes you vent, and then other times you VENT. Admittedly, some days I know I stayed on the positivity train, but there were also many prep periods and after school chat sessions loaded with negativity. If it weren’t for my coworkers, I wouldn’t have lasted as long as I did. And because everyone was bogged down by the same “stuff” in education, we rode our highs and lows out together.

Just over three years ago, I started a side-hobby (now a true side-hustle) with Arbonne. Slowly but surely, the men and women I was working with poured into me. Everything about the Arbonne community is pure, safe, and beneficial — not just the products! I am surrounded by people who A) have BIG dreams and B) truly believe they can achieve them. It’s encouraging, refreshing, and challenges me to be the best version of myself. I feel so blessed to be a part of this business and to have made so many friends who are on the same path. To be honest, I believe it was my involvement with Arbonne that first planted the seed and opened me up to the possibility of living a much different life.

2) IN LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK

This one can be tricky, because every family dynamic and friend group is different. But my point here is to surround yourself with people who support you. My husband and my parents were the first people I told about the job opportunity to become an Event Manager. My parents have always been supportive of everything my brother and I have done, which I think in part stems from some limitations set by their own parents. So whatever our dreams were, they encouraged us to pursue them. My dad, from the get-go, was all about taking the risk and encouraged me to do so. My mom is a little more skeptical, but she quickly came on board considering the years of stress and struggles and stories she heard while I was teaching. Andrew wanted me to be happy and to be able to unwind more, so he was also super supportive. I know I wouldn’t have been able to make such a leap without the backing of these three. Everyone else — friends, family, colleagues — have also been so amazing and loving throughout this journey. I have some really great friends, all of whom are on different paths and tracks and have supported me in my teaching career and then also, while surprised, continued that support in the transition to my new position. Create a physical echo chamber of people who lift you up and bring out the best in you, and spend more of your time with them! It can mean the difference between staying stuck and moving forward to live the life you want.

3) ON SOCIAL MEDIA

This part of my echo chamber argument is huge! What you fill your brain with influences just about everything — from your thoughts to what you watch and read and follow. Social media is a powerful tool, and it can fuel your mind or break you down. It can be a happy place or it can amplify your FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out). I’m in the process of cultivating an Instagram feed that is filled with inspirational quotes and people, places I dream of traveling to, and things that are pretty (fashion, flowers, interior design, and wedding tablescapes to name a few).  I’ve even joined a Facebook group community of like-minded, encouraging women to interact with regularly. Let me tell you — it is okay to unfollow someone or something if it doesn’t bring you joy to look at and/or read! I encourage you to follow what makes your heart happy and unfollow what brings you feelings of negativity (or even indifference)! If it doesn’t move you or inspire you, why are you looking at it?

If you surround yourself with positive people and positive messages, your echo chamber is going to be motivating, challenging, and push you forward to chase your dreams.

I would not have been able to make such a big leap out of education if it weren’t for the positive support of my people — my coworkers, my friends, and my family. Because it is now so normal for me, I forget that not everyone lives in both a physical and online bubble of love, support, and encouragement. It took time to cultivate that bubble, but it has changed everything about my outlook and mindset.

If you are intentional about it, you can live in your own bubble of optimism and inspiration!

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