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Posted: 2005-07-19 / Author: Julie Fuimano

Creating Environments That Nurture Success

In my marketing materials, I promote the 'creation of environments that nurture success'. Recently, someone shared, "I don't get it. What does it mean to create environments?" Good question. What are Environments?
An environment is anything that supports you to be or to perform a certain way. People often don't think of these things as environments, but they most definitely are. Everything around you has some impact on you and how you do what you do. If there is something in your life that is not the way you want it to be, look to see what mechanisms are in place that are encouraging or reinforcing this outcome.

Environments include people (friends, family, coworkers, boss, and other professionals such as therapists, coaches, physical trainers, etc.), structures, and/or systems to keep you growing in the direction you want to go and they are integral to initiating and sustaining change.

For example, a cluttered physical environment contributes to your feeling busy and stressed. And it follows that if your physical environment is cluttered, other areas of your life are probably cluttered as well - finances, relationships, etc. This constant state of commotion is an environment (a negative one) that keeps your life stressful and chaotic. To change, you need to focus on creating space - lots of space. Over time you'll discover that your energies shift from disorder and accumulating stuff to keeping things simple and organized, from turmoil and drama to peace and serenity. This naturally reduces your stress and you'll want to protect this new state of being because it feels good. At work, if you want to create a workplace that is positive and collaborative in nature, one that fosters greatness in individuals and allows and supports creativity, then you'll stop doing things that inhibit success, stop tolerating those things that keep people from being productive, and design an environment that supports the vision you have for a great workplace.

Environments are a part of the transformation process, but let's be clear, they are external. They will not bring about change itself; they support change and can assist you in accepting change. The transformation taking place is within you; environments are outside of you.

Benefits of Nurturing Environments
Environments make it possible for you to create momentum around the change that you are initiating. Without supportive environments, it's easy to slip back into doing things the way you've always done them. After all, it's familiar and it's a habit. With an environment designed to support your success, whatever you want to change, it's easier for you to translate your vision into reality, helping to maintain your focus, and it's more likely to lead you to success.

Often, in order to create what you want for yourself in life, you need to eliminate people, things and places that do not support you. Sometimes, this means family. It can mean simply a hiatus, where you break away for a period of time until you gain the inner fortitude to stand on your own and find your own voice. Sometimes, it means identifying and communicating strong boundaries such as limiting the amount of time you spend with someone or limiting the topics of conversation. Other times, it means eliminating friends or changing jobs because the environment is toxic. You need to take yourself seriously and watch how others influence you. Is the relationship positive and uplifting? Or is it inhibiting, negative and discouraging? Do you feel good when you are with them or do you feel bad?

Without the right environment for success, you create barriers to achieving higher levels of success or slow your progress for getting the results you want. It's like working out without the right equipment; you can still work out in a suit and high heels but you won't be as effective as you would in sweats and sneakers and you might even hurt yourself. The same is true with anything that causes you stress: spending time with negative people (they influence your thinking), working at a job where your talents and skills are not acknowledged or valued (this diminishes your confidence and self-esteem and wastes your time, energy and talent), or keeping busy at work because you haven't yet learned to shift the focus of your efforts from pleasing others to pleasing yourself. You want to create environments and structures so that life is easy, effortless, and fun.

Creating Environments that Work
When you create an environment that supports and nurtures your success, you make a commitment to achieve the desired results you want for your life. The externals you put in place help to support the changes going on inside you. There are many different ways to create environments and lots of tools to assist you. Understanding what environments are and being clear about what you want to achieve will help you to identify what kinds of things to include in your environment.

Hiring a coach, for example, is creating an environment that fosters success. Another example is hiring a professional organizer to get your office organized, to assist you in creating systems for the flow of paperwork and 'stuff', and to teach you ways to keep your space organized. Depending upon what you want, you'll need to do different things. If you want to stop screaming at your kids, you may need to solicit help from your children. Tell them that you are committed to speaking to them in a respectful manner and to let you know if you raise your voice. You might choose to pay them each one dollar every time you raise your voice at them. This demonstrates ownership of your actions and allows them to support you in your efforts. They will appreciate your role modeling a way to change your behavior in relationship with others. And when you've accomplished your goal (i.e. no raising your voice for an entire week), you can celebrate in some way such as getting a massage or manicure or going out to dinner.

An environment can be anything that works for you. If it doesn't work, change it. Don't become attached to whatever environment you choose. The fact is that as you evolve and grow, your environments will also evolve and grow.

Whatever you want to have be different in your life, the right environment can help support your efforts. Pay attention to the environments that you have now and you'll see how these environments contribute to the outcomes you are getting. Eliminate things that impede your success and start designing environments that make your life effortless and more joyful. If you change your environments, you change your results.

Julie Fuimano, MBA, BSN, RN is a Success Coach working with executives, leaders and professionals who want more happiness, more time and less stress. She is the author of "The Journey Called YOU: a road map to self-discovery and acceptance," the manual for effective living. Learn how to unleash the greatness within you and create a life and a career that works for you! To explore how coaching would work for you or your organization, call (610) 277-2726. Sign up for our e-newsletter or purchase your copy of the book at or write to

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