This week’s edition of the newsletter is on your environment and its impact on your success. This week I am going back in time for a little to share my environment and its effect on me. Many of us take our environment for granted, but you will see it plays an important part in your ability to have success in work. Take a moment this week and reflect on how your environment is and how it may be impacting your success. You are an incredible professional and human being and I am glad I can be of service.

Just in case you aren’t part of my email list, which includes Monday motivational morning emails, weekly videos, and some interesting insights about loving your work and life, sign up here – you’ll get advice about your career, life, and strategies to grow and lead a more fulfilling life.

The environment that you create for yourself has a profound impact on your eventual success. As you grow up, you do not have a choice of your environment; it is provided by your parents/family. Let me share how my environment has impacted my life.

When I was growing up, my environment was very chaotic and unstable. I had very loving parents, but my father was an alcoholic which threw our family life into endless chaos.  We did not know if he was coming home at night, how he would be, and what would happen once he was home. My Mom did an admirable job providing stability and security for us in what was a crazy roller coaster ride as I grew up.  The amazing part of this is that no one knew of the struggles I went through outside of our immediate family. This environment did not provide the best atmosphere for me to thrive and to be successful. Most times in school I was performing at the average range and most days I did not do my homework or study for tests.  I was simply trying to survive and to avoid my father. That atmosphere drained my self-confidence and had me doubting myself and failing to take risks.

Things started to change during my senior year of high school as I started to take more control of who I was as a person and what I was going to accept. I began to change my environment at home, and this led to my being more present in my classes and how I perceived life. I was far from perfect, but I was slowly beginning to change. There were still many things that held me back and did not allow for the success that I could have had, but it was a step in the right direction.

You always hear you take one step forward and then sometimes two steps back. Well, my first year of college was not the best. In some classes, I did well while in others I skipped and only showed up for the midterms and finals, putting myself on academic probation. This came from the social environment I connected with at the college which did not influence me in a positive way. It was after my first semester that I decided I needed to change and move to another college. This would allow me to live away from home so as to have a more stable environment and different social circles that would be allowed me to flourish in school and start to put my life together. After this one-year opportunity, I wanted to switch back to my original school and live at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) to prove myself. I had many doubters including my Mom who thought I could not do it and it would be too difficult for me. But I needed to do it – for me.

Once I was back at UCONN, I was able to start putting my success together – one class, one friend, and one moment at a time. While I was at UCONN, my parents got a divorce which caused more instability. I started working with an outside person to really look at who I was and how my environment was shaping me. This was a beginning where I found that not only my physical environment but also my emotional and social environment had an impact on who I was becoming. It was at this point that I started finding stability in my life and finding compassion for myself and what I went through. It took time to work, but the changes in my environment directly impacted my eventual success.

Since leaving UCONN, I have built a stable environment for myself and my family. I developed a more stable relationship with my Mom and with my Dad who was in recovery. I have gotten married and had children of my own. I have watched my children flourish in their respective academic, athletic, and social aspects, nourished by the environment we have provided. I have done very well in my career and marriage because of the environment my wife and I created that provides support, encouragement, fun, and openness to allow all of us to grow and prosper in our lives.

It is not an easy process to change your environment but it is essential if you are struggling and not doing well. Take small steps that you can control so that you will eventually build the opportunities and success that you want. Sometimes this may require moving, restructuring relationships, or just simply changing the appearance and set up of your room or office to fit the image of the successful person you want to become.

I did it and I know you can do it!  Reach out for a conversation with me if you need assistance. I would love to help!

In the coming weeks, I will be talking about how your environment will impact your eventual success.