“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” – Jim John
Take a minute to think about these people in your life right now. What are they doing at this very moment? What has been their greatest achievement? Biggest downfall? How about their aspirations and goals for their own life? Is it similar to yours or not so much? And most importantly, what are their core values? Now, you may be thinking what all this has to do with you, but believe me when I say that it has everything to do with you.
For most of us, our group of friends have pretty much remained the same for a while. For me personally, 7 out of my 8 bridesmaids are all my high school sweethearts. This is usually the case for most people where they find that as they get older, their high school or college friendships are usually the ones that last a lifetime. Now, is it just me or does it seem like people don’t recognize the vital role that their friends play in their life? If you remember anything from this post, please don’t ever forget this:
“You are a direct representation of the people you surround yourself with.”
In seeing this, something should immediately jerk you. It’s such a simple statement, but our entire life is really shaped by who we call our best friends. Statistics have actually proven that people with good friends have a higher chance of outliving those who don’t. This isn’t to say that you need to have a large network of friends. In contrast, I’m learning the value of simply having a select few in my immediate circle.
I’ve always been the girl with “too many best friends.” This explains my 8 bridesmaids! Lol. I guess you could say that I’ve always been quite the social butterfly both at school and church alike. As I got older however, I realized that there are different levels to friendships. Not everyone who you call your friend should be able to hear about all your secrets. And you know what else? Not all your friends need to know about your dreams and aspirations either. I’ve learned to be content with both the friendships I currently have as well as the ones that didn’t work out the way I thought they would. I could do an entirely different post on this alone, but I will say that it’s okay to let some people walk out of your life. You aren’t meant to fight for every single lost friendship. Some things are broken for a reason and it isn’t your job to fix it. My Dad always told me that there are lifetime friends and then there are seasonal friends.
Sadly to say, there are some people in your life who will divert you from attaining your dreams. They come into your life and cause more chaos than anything else. It’s okay to let them go. There are also people who come in your life that actually impact you in a positive way, but their not meant to stick around forever. This is when it gets tough because nobody wants to release people who have been beneficial to them. But God puts certain people in our lives for a short period of time to simply help us grow in a certain area of our life or achieve a particular goal. When their time is up, don’t try to hold on to them. This will only cause more future damage.
So, getting back to what I started saying earlier– What exactly do your friends say about you?
Now if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in a fantastic group of friends that push you towards greatness then good for you! However, there are many times we unknowingly enter into a toxic friendship that subtracts more than it adds to our lives and because we’re in it, we fail to recognize how much it is affecting us. Now I’m not talking about people who are intentionally vindictive, manipulative, opportunists or just plain hateful, but I mean toxic in terms of being unmotivated, encourages you to remain stagnant and has no clear vision for their own life. Here’s a few qualities to look for in your current friends or possible future friends:
1) Non judgmental
5) Willingness to serve others
9) Good Listener
10) Similar interests, beliefs & core values
Here are some tips on choosing your friends wisely from here on out:
1) Change your inner circle – As tough as it may be, you need to be mindful of who you invite in your immediate space. Find people who are able to allow you to visualize a better life for yourself. Whether you believe it or not, your friends are probably the greatest influences in your life and they have a lot to do with your behavior. So why not pick friends that will have a positive influence?
2) Create your very own advisory board – I had to do this a few years ago when I created my personal development plan as apart of a leadership program I was in at the time. I found it to be extremely helpful because it really got me to think about my future. Basically all you do is put together a list of about three people who you think will be in your life long term who will serve as your personal advisers. This means that you will be able to share with them your goals and plans and they will have the responsibility of keeping you in check and holding you accountable. It’s a very good way to keep motivated as well because they should be able to remind you of certain deadlines you set for yourself and encourage you along the way.
3) Be You – I honestly believe that if we would just be ourselves from the very beginning we would save ourselves from a lot of unnecessary hurt and loss of friendships. I think it’s quite simple. Create for yourself the environment you want by just being who you are– no sugar coating, no pretending, no editing of the real you. This way when you are straightforward in telling people what you stand for, you give them the opportunity to decide whether are not you’d be able to mesh well together.
The best thing you can ever do for yourself is to surround yourself with a handful of phenomenal individuals. Also, ensure that you have a few people who are superior to you in the mix. The fact of the matter is, friendship and relationships in general are all about growth. Therefore, you should always be learning. So if you’re the smartest person in your group of friends, maybe it’s time to branch out a bit. It’s not merely good enough to be the one everyone looks up to when you have nobody to look up to for yourself. Your friends should bring out your best self. Ensure that you choose wisely by making sure your friends make you feel inspired daily!
So what do you look for in your friends? Or how are some ways you choose your inner circle? I’d love to know!
Until Next Time…