You need to surround yourself with the right people, but the practice starts much closer to home…
Maybe your friends aren’t the problem.
I mean they could be. Always worth checking in. Always worth asking if you’re just too good for these bozo’s.
But your friends aren’t always the problem. There’s a lot of talk out there about how you’ve got to surround yourself with the right people. And if the wrong people are taking up space in your life, then you’ve just got to cut them out, and make space for newer, more awesome friends.
He’s just no good for you girlfriend.
I’ve seen this idea around the place, and I feel I need to throw a bit of a handbrake on it. I mean, it’s certainly an idea I subscribe to. If you want to do amazing things, you need amazing people in your life. No man is an island, though the geological bureau flirted with classifying Clive Palmer as one for a while.
But I think it’s tempting and dangerous to start there. To feel a sense of dissatisfaction with where your life is going, and straight up blame your loser mates for dragging you down.
I’ve was born to shine, Wozza. Stop holding me back.
So before you go cutting people out of your life, it’s worth checking in with what’s really going on.
I’d argue, that often times when we feel dissatisfied with a relationship, it’s the relationship itself that is the problem, not necessarily the people involved.
And by that I mean that relationships are patterns. When we reconnect with someone we know, we’re not starting fresh. All of our history informs the way we relate in the moment. The more time we spend with someone, there more time there is for patterns to form, become ingrained, and eventually, almost immovable.
So when we’re talking about a relationship, we’re really talking about a pattern.
And for whatever reason, sometimes good people fall into bad patterns.
(I’d actually say every drama on earth is a result of good people falling into bad patterns.)
But you might have relationships that are just more comfortable in complaining, whining, judging others, feeling sorry for yourselves, eating too much or drinking to excess.
As you elevate your performance capacity, you’re going to realise that those spaces are ultimately de-energising, and you’re going to want to avoid going there. Complaining and feeling sorry for yourself might feel good in the moment, but the next day you wake up with a hang-over of dis-empowerment and depression.
You will naturally want to get away from these relationships.
This is where a lot of success gurus will say that you need to cut that person out of your life. If they don’t celebrate your sparkle, show them the door.
Maybe, but first it’s worth seeing if you can shift the pattern (that ultimately, you helped create.)
This requires an act of strength.
It requires you brining a new shape to the relationship. A new way of being. It means being energised, empowered and optimistic, and showing up ready to welcome that in the other.
You need to find your own shape first, not let your shape be determined by the relationship. You need to be strong in your energy. Strong in your hope.
This is easier said than done, which is why its often easier just to walk away. And look, some people are attached to these patterns of being because it serves something in them. Some people just can’t be helped.
But often, people want to feel pumped and inspired. I mean, who doesn’t? They just need the excuse / prompt / role model.
This is a practice for life, not just your one-on-ones. As a society, we’ve managed to set up some pretty anti-social patterns. Everyone on the tram in the morning looks so stern. You don’t talk to strangers. You don’t offer random compliments. You don’t pay for other people’s groceries. You don’t wander around David Jones’ blowing bubbles, and this is the third time this week and if we see you in here again we’re calling the police.
So our relationship to society becomes fraught. We expect it to be tense and serious and depressing. The pattern replicates itself. Our teenagers put on eyeliner and stick half the Mitre 10 catalogue in their faces.
And with the great weight of 4 million souls, we’re bent back into a shape that fits. Stressed, serious, judgmental and cynical.
It’s the path of least resistance.
And so going our own way, taking our own shape, requires great strength. To hold to our own truth of hope, energy, excitement and belief in opportunity and abundance takes great effort. It means holding your own form against the great flow of the world.
You need to become an island, complete in your own self-sufficiency, or you need to join forces with like-minded and similarly-shaped souls.
That’s to make it in the world. But our one-on-one relationships give us the perfect training ground – to hold the shape of who we want to be, regardless of what other people call us into.
And often, if you embrace this practice, you will find that, actually, when people see that you are committed to being a force of uplift and sparkle, people want to join you there.
So that’d be my recommendation. Before you go out and ruthlessly start cutting people out of your life, use the relationship to practice your own integrity – your own commitment to who you want to be.
You might be surprised at who will join you there.
Ever had to recalibrate the relationships in your life?