For the past 16 years, as a real estate broker and coach, a central theme of my work has been to help others “create space for your best work.”
Our moods, behaviors, attitudes and outlooks are impacted by the energy of the spaces we inhabit, both virtually and physically. This is true even if you don’t understand how “energy” works or if you don’t “believe” in it.
You can see it in animals and children. As adults, we are no different.
Creating Space For Your Best Work
“Creating space” has many layers to it; the most obvious one is the physical environment.
In my real estate business, I’m well-versed in guiding clients through the various criteria they seek in a home or office, such as square footage, location, light, view, and decor.
In my personal experience, I’ve taken note of the criteria that facilitate my best work.
Here’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned:
When it comes to creating space for your best work, the power of a place is not the architecture or the amenities, but the people.
The energy of a space is shaped by the people who occupy it.
How to Create a Space Where People Thrive
The CrossFit gym I go to is a locally-owned stand-alone gym called AltaFit.
Anyone can get a space, fill it with weights, cardio machines, squat racks, and other exercise equipment, and call it a “gym.”
The question is: is that enough to spark your motivation to show up every day and put in the work to get stronger?
And even if you show up daily because you’ve trained yourself to make it a habit or ritual, does that environment on its own facilitate your showing up at your best?
Countless studies and anecdotal evidence would say “no.” Many people join gyms but don’t go regularly.
You need more than a space.
AltaFit is not just a space with squat racks and weights — although it has plenty of those.
What sets this apart is the tribe.
The big lie of our modern era of individualism is that you can do it all on your own; that you don’t — shouldn’t — need anyone else. The myth of solopreneurship is that we are better alone, working to our individual goals, with the freedom to do what we want when we want.
Evolution and science have a different take on this.
We Thrive in Tribes
Human beings evolved to survive in tribes. We thrive in community — when we feel a sense of belonging and acceptance by the community.
At AltaFit, I found an environment where people welcome, accept, and celebrate me for who I am.
In many environments, people tell me I’m too intense, or too loud, or too bossy.
Nobody here tells me that. Perhaps that’s because I’m hardly the most intense or loudest person in the space, but even that is reassuring.
In CrossFit classes, when we do a workout that is scored on time, I’m almost always the last one finished. Nobody tells me I’m too slow, or that I don’t move fast enough.
The coaches and community cheer me on, encouraging me to go as fast and as hard as I can in that moment — whatever that looks like for me.
Competition exists here in its purest form: to seek together.
Everyone recognizes that cheering someone else on to do their best doesn’t come at your own expense. Everyone can hit a PR at the same time, and we excel when we are in it together.
The Lift of Confidence Without The Burden of Expectations
This is a place where people believe in me — sometimes more than I believe in myself.
In this space, I found a community of coaches and peers who see my potential even when I can’t see it in myself.
They express their confidence in my capabilities without weighing me down with expectations on when and how to achieve it.
They don’t let me quit on myself, and they certainly don’t encourage me to quit.
Instead of trying to push me by using force or pressure, they help me embrace myself in the present while still holding the vision of my potential.
Because it’s only when you can accept where you are now that you can begin to grow and expand.