Seth Godin posted this recently:
Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with.
And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes.
And the changes are what you become.
Change the outcome by changing your circle.
Now, this is not a new idea. Smart people have been saying this since before the flood.
So why is this so hard?
The challenge is choosing your circle wisely. Excitement and thrill and fun are attractive, but they come at a very high cost. Choosing the people who will help lift you up and help you become the person you want to become, that’s hard.
We had an issue recently with one of the girls. For the record, it wasn’t the worst choice anyone could make by far. I’ve made much worse. I was influenced by the people I was choosing to spend time with, too. What we’re trying to teach both of the girls:
There are only two directions: toward your goals or away from them. (you can tweet that…)
I had to get really intentional about this last year when I started to take my writing seriously. I asked myself two questions:
- Do the people in your life encourage you to grow and blossom?
- Is there anyone in your life that gets in the way of your growth?
Here are a few practical things I learned along the way that might help you, too:
- Start with Twitter. This was how I finally fell in love with Twitter. I started following leaders and encouragers…anyone who regularly tweeted things that made my heart smile. Now, anytime I need a little lift, I know I can look at my twitter stream and see at least one or two really good nuggets of encouragement to remind me of who I want to be.
- Be intentional: Think carefully about your specific challenges and goals, and seek out the people who will help you get there. Ask for introductions. Show initiative.
- Be choosy: Just because you met someone in church doesn’t mean they’ll be good for you. They might be a great person, but they might not be great for YOU.
- Encourage others: I have found amazing encouragement and some true friends by attending the Quitter and the Killer Tribes conferences, and staying active in those communities. I found that by giving support and encouragement, I got it back without ever having to ask! (thanks, y’all!!)
- Limit exposure to the negative: If you find that someone is toxic–if you find yourself (even once) making choices around them that are not taking you toward where you want to be in your life–cut them off. Take them out of your facebook newsfeed. Stop texting them. Stop meeting up and going out. This sounds harsh, but if you’re fighting really hard to make a dream come true and become a new person, you have to let go of what holds you back. Non-negotiable.
- Be patient: Forming a new circle of friends and support takes time. Not everyone you approach will click. But keep at it. Show up, be present, bring your A-game every day, and the right people will appear when you need them.
What type of person do you need in your life to help you make changes and become the person you want to be?
How do YOU need encouragement today?
Seriously, y’all, I want to encourage you, and I bet that some of the other awesome encouragers that hang around here will want to know you too. Even if you’ve never commented on a blog ever in your life, click here and leave a comment. Really.