BY MAGNUS DAVIES
Week 1 of Evolve commenced last Sunday with a zoom call with all the new Evolve members. The call started with a two-word check in. The response from the members was mainly excited, optimistic, ready. Some members felt overwhelmed and nervous. My two words were excited and positive.
I introduced myself to the new members as their new Relationship Manager. I explained a bit about who I am and why I work for Mantality. I felt nervous leading up to the call because I knew I had to open up to people that I have never met before. But, sharing who I am and hearing the new members check in made me feel connected.
NO HOLDING BACK
Going into the new week, I was shocked with how open some of the new Evolve members were. From opening up about mental health problems to struggles with low self-confidence, new members committed to the programme from the outset.
The more teammates divulged into ‘why’ they signed up to Evolve, the more other members felt able to share intimate details. At first, I thought I could give a brief description about why I applied for the job at Mantality. But after seeing ‘the why’ from new members, Ross and Frankie, I was inspired. Inspired to be vulnerable and leave no stone unturned.
ENVIRONMENT IS KEY
We rise to the level of our environment.
Studies have shown that when a monkey belonging to a tribe with a superior method of cracking nuts becomes estranged from their group and joins a tribe with an inferior method of opening nuts, they adopt the inferior method. They don’t adopt the inferior method because they have forgot the superior method. They do everything they can to follow the spirit of the group.
The same is true with humans. We rise to the culture and standard of our tribe.
The culture of Evolve is one that celebrates 100% honesty and authenticity. This showed in the first week. The more people opened up, the more members followed suit. Mick, an established member of Mantality, introduced himself and ‘his why’ to the new members. Raw honesty. I could tell Mick’s ‘why’ inspired several of the new members and set the tone for the next few weeks of the Evolve course. Only a few days into the programme, members were already supporting each other and celebrating one another. I had a big smile on my face.
I think the reason members have felt so able to be vulnerable in week one is because we all recognise that we are there for the same reason. We all have our own issues and we are all doing the course to attend to beliefs and habits that hold us back.
WE ALL HAVE AN ‘INNER CRITIC’
We know what our inadequacies are. We are reminded by our inner critic everyday what they are. But we don’t always recognise that everyone else has their inner critic playing in their heads. People talking openly about their own insecurities and fears in the community made me realise that I am not the only one who has ‘his struggles’. It gave me the healthy perspective that everyone has their demons and we don’t have to keep them to ourselves. A problem shared is a problem halved.
FIRST TASK OF EVOLVE…
The first task of the week was sharing our why. Why did we decide to join the programme, along with other questions relating to purpose. We had to write down the answers to the five questions in our notebook and share with our team mates what our own ‘why’ for joining is. It took me a good ten minutes of twiddling my fingers and spinning on my chair to work out why I am going through the process.
I could have named a hundred reasons why I am committing to the Evolve process. But the one that stood out for me was to develop self-confidence and feel more secure in myself. I want to be able to speak from an authentic place without tailoring my responses to what I think others in the community want to hear. If I am able to cultivate this ability to speak authentically to other people, then Evolve is the right place to develop this skill. You don’t have to bullshit with Evolve, you can share how you really feel.
The second task we had to complete this week is the Perceived Social Support Audit. Like the previous task I can’t go into detail what the task is and the questions you have to answer. But in a nutshell, the social support audit is acknowledging the support network you have in your life and appreciating the people that support us.
Then the more people I took note of, the more conscious I became of the different roles different people play in my life.
Some friends I can be vulnerable around, some friends give me a degree of accountability and others I can have a good laugh with. I also considered what value I add to some of my friends’ lives. Things that I don’t usually think about.
What I got from the exercise is that one I am extremely lucky to have great people in my life. Secondly, people do care about me, but for different reasons. And finally, I should make more of an effort to call some of my friends.
The final part of the Perceived Social Support Audit is to reach out to someone you care about and let them know you appreciate them. I opted for a mate I haven’t seen since Christmas and gave him a call. He didn’t pick up. He shot me a text and said he was at work and he wasn’t doing great. I am looking forward to catch up with him sometime in the next few days. Was a good reminder to me that I should always check up on people in my circle.
Week 1 showed me the power of a community of individuals who are willing to put themselves in a vulnerable position for huge personal growth. No subject is off bounds. We need that in our society. I can’t wait for next week.
WE'VE SAVED YOU A SPOT
You can join the Evolve waitlist by clicking here so that you will be the first to know when Evolve is reopening. If you join the waitlist you will also have access to exclusive content from Jamie Peacock MBE and Dr Allan Johnston.