“The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are.”
- Stephen R. Covey
Have you ever seen or heard of someone working to get sober from alcohol, clean from a drug, or free of a destructive habit only to have their old “friends” bring them back in by using the substances around them? The power of the people around them and their unwillingness to separate from the influence determined their failure.
Your example may not be as extreme as a chemical addiction, but rest assured, if you spend your time around people who do not actively support your goals, you will fail or be miserable trying.
The people that surround you influence your path, your attitude, your determination, your belief, your inspiration, and the outcome of your success. You should surround yourself with people who share your purposeful vision and desire to achieve. Otherwise, you may be eliminating your success through the power of association.
Associations may mean being around the people who can make your success happen. Donald Trump and many other headline successes did this. They associated with those people whom they wanted to emulate and who could assist their success.
A good test to determine if your associations could be sabotaging your success is this.
- Have you told them of your goals or desires to improve? If not, why not?
- If you have, did they laugh, ridicule, or disregard your aspirations?
Please understand that most people do not hold us back intentionally. They aren’t “bad people” that are trying to hurt us. Most people compare their success, their station in life, with those around them. If someone in their circle (in this case, you), begins to grow and push beyond what is normal for the group, they will begin to get uncomfortable. The easiest way for them to relieve the discomfort is to keep you within the bounds of the group, so they pull you down.
If your goals, dreams, and visions of your best life are important to you, and I’m guessing they are, you have actions to take and choices to make about how to deal with these people.
First of all, deal with them by dealing with you. Huh? Yes. Deal with you first.
By some crazy, societal voodoo, our first instinct when things are hard is blame someone else. THEY are the reason we aren’t happy, successful, blah, blah, blah.
No one else is responsible for you or me. Get your own mind right and do all the work necessary to put yourself in the best possible position for achieving your desires. When you’ve reached that point and have committed to the constant work we all need, then you can deal with the unhealthy relationships.
The biggest thing is to handle it in love. Not IN LOVE, but from a place of understanding and compassion. They aren’t trying to hurt you. Anything they do to cast doubt or belittle your plans is a direct reflection of their own issues.
Talk to them about growth. Let them know how important it is to have supportive people around you and that you would like to support them as well. If they don’t get on board, insulate yourself from their influence on that part of your life. How? Just don’t bring it up around them.
I can’t count on the fact that you’re an overly competitive type A like me, so I’m going to point out that the best way to convince someone of the legitimacy of your goals is to accomplish them. It’s really hard to argue with results.
If it comes down to it and you can’t escape their negativity with love. It’s time to distance yourself. Sounds harsh doesn’t it? Well, it is.
Suppressing your potential, hiding your light under a basket, is no way to live. If you do it to protect the feelings of someone else, you are actually hurting them as well. There is nothing enlightened about your shrinking so that someone else can remain comfortable.
Trust the strength of the relationship and move on. If your relationship is strong enough to matter, they will usually follow along once they see you are serious. Be serious.
You may be surprised that your willingness to move on can actually strengthen a relationship too. Your shining example of greatness (aka: guts to chase your dream) will inspire people you weren’t even aware were watching. Those closest to you will respond to you like a magnet. They’ll be attracted or repelled. It’s up to them and you can’t waste your life wondering which… be your best and the rest will align.
Seriously…be your best,