I recently heard about a fascinating study in which researchers were investigating human perception of challenge. One of their findings was that when a person stands at the base of a hill that they are about to climb, they perceive the hill to be 10 to 20% larger than if they stand at the base with someone who will be climbing it with them.
This is crazy! We literally, through our perception of the world, can turn molehills into mountains! But even more powerful is the recognition that we can turn mountains into molehills. How? Connection.
There is more and more beautiful research coming out about the importance of human connection. We are literally wired to connect, and when we run counter to this wiring, it takes a toll: our health suffers (physically and psychologically), our productivity suffers, and we feel generally less alive.
This is one of the reasons it feels more important than ever to support our youth to cultivate a deep sense of belonging and to create safe spaces where they can be accepted as they are. Our youth are the future leaders of our world, and if we are to support them in overcoming the challenges they will undoubtedly face, one of the best things we can do is support them to experience and stabilize a deep realization that they are not climbing the mountain alone.
by Albert Strasser, Youth Facilitator at The Circle