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Choose Your Circle Wisely

by David Stidston 9 months ago in advice

- David Stidston

"Your true friends will be happy for you. There is nothing wrong with thinning out your garden. Keep yourself surrounded by positive energy to help you move forward in your journey." - Denise Hecht

As we continue to get older, we also start to become wiser, well at least most of us anyway. Naturally, as we continue to gain experience in all the ups and downs that life delivers us, that experience helps us to learn, grow, and develop, as a person. Some use it to their advantage to better themselves, others use it to become more bitter towards others, and towards life itself instead. One thing I have learned personally, especially over the past decade or so, is how one cannot rely upon others in life, for anything. I'm talking about support, care, trust, compassion, moral support, financial help, encouragement, loyalty, true friendship, and true love. It's been especially evident to me over these past couple of months, as I have had to deal with what has undoubtedly been the most difficult and painful period of my life, and yet no one has been there to support me, comfort me, help me, or uplift me. Now don't take me the wrong way here, because I refuse to play the victim of circumstance, nor am I in any way looking for sympathy, because today's message isn't about seeking attention whatsoever. Today's message is about increasing awareness about having to deal with adversity on our own, and how we need to prepare for that, whilst it's also about not putting faith in others except ourselves, and ensuring that the people we spend our time with, are actually beneficial to us. When I talk of being beneficial to us, I don't mean that we need to be seeking and spending more time with people who are a convenience to us, and whom we use just to get our own way in life. I mean we need to be spending time with people who are beneficial to us because they are goals driven individuals, they are positive minded, they are encouraging, they are morally supportive, they want to see us succeed, they are motivational, they are compassionate, they are genuinely caring, they are generous, and they are inspirational. It's these type people we should want to be more like, so we can in turn inherit the same characteristics, whilst remaining goals driven and positive ourselves.

The three groups of people we most commonly spend most of our time with are our family, which includes our partner, our friends, and our work colleagues. One of the greatest all time motivational speakers Jim Rohn famously stated that "we are the average of the five people we most spend time with". His statement has been supported by research which has revealed that we are indeed influenced, more than we believe, by the environment and the circle of people we most associate with. Now let's be honest here, people are one of the most important aspects of our life, especially when it comes to the desire of living a more fulfilling life. The thing is, the people we surround ourselves with are the people who have the most influence on our behavior, attitude, and outcomes. As we are in regular contact with these people, without even realizing it, these people impact on what we say, what we do, what we think, and ultimately, what we become. With the time we are spending with those whom we most associate with, naturally there is going to be loads of conversation. It's through that conversation that we can easily be influenced, whether it be through advice given, what we should believe, how we should behave, how we should act, and the like. We are constantly exposed to the beliefs, opinion, behavior, attitude, values, and actions, of these people, because we are obviously spending so much time with them. What's worrying is, this quite often isn't a good thing, because most of us choose to associate with those who are not a good influence on us. I speak often about toxic people, and as most people worldwide operate from a negative mindset, so it's easy to be surrounded by the toxicity. That means that having five like minded, positive, supportive, encouraging, and goals driven individuals as our top five people we spend the most time with, can be challenging to obtain, but not impossible!

Can you believe that up to 95% of the success or failure you obtain in life can be as a result of the people you most associate with? That's a scary thought! Perhaps you don't believe such a statistic, but why not stop and think for a moment about your own circle of friends, and the five people you most spend time with, and then analyze your level of success, happiness, prosperity, and satisfaction, in life? In very rare cases do those who are successful, goals driven, and positive minded, spend most of their time hanging out with people who are negative minded, miserable, and pessimistic. I mean, why would they? You can't expect to achieve positive results associating with negative people. You'd want to be spending time with those who are supportive, uplifting, positive, happy, driven, and optimistic. You'd want to be sharing in the success with those people, and continually building eachother up to strive for greater heights. We can't avoid negativity, we know that. It surrounds us every day, but we can control who we choose to spend our time with. We are going to trek through life encountering those who choose to encourage and support us in striving for greatness and success, but also those who will hold us back from achieving success, and showcasing our full potential. The latter group of people don't necessarily hold us back because they hate us, or they don't want us to succeed, nor do they do it intentionally, but sadly, they may not be on the same wavelength as us in terms of positivity, attitude, and motivation. What's even more upsetting, is that most of those people who will hold us back will indeed be our partner, our family, our friends, and our work colleagues, the people whom we think would most uplift, support, and encourage us instead.

Many different motivational speakers and life coaches have their respective theories on what we should do about exposing ourselves to the constant negativity from our family, such as our parents, our siblings, and our relatives. Some say that because they are family, we just need to accept them, and continue spending quality time with them, whilst others will recommend to get away from them for our own good. It's a tricky one because we don't want to be continually exposed to negative people, and the negativity that they breed, no matter who they are, but they are family after all, and we should be grateful for them and cherish the time we have them. Personally, I believe we just need to completely minimize the time we spend with them, and disengage from any negative conversations with them. The time we spend with them, we need to be driving more positive conversation, and be sidetracking them away from any potential negative talk. It doesn't mean we need to be rude to them, nor do we need to not love them and support them, but we just need to invest more of our time working towards our goals, and spending more time with people who are positive minded, motivational, and supportive. Friends, on the other hand, are an easier category to deal with. Why, you may ask? Because we may not be able to pick and choose our family, but we can pick and choose our friends. Just because you have known someone since school days, and you've always be friends, doesn't mean you need to continue associating with them, unless they are positive minded, goals driven, and supportive individuals.

Over the past decade, not only have I learnt that you can't rely on other people in life, because they fail to show support, care, trust, compassion, moral support, help, encouragement, and loyalty, but I have also learnt about how you just cannot continue to associate with friends who are just constantly negative, not if you want success and happiness in life anyway. My circle of friends has greatly diminished, because I have gathered up the courage to part ways with many of them, all due to their constant negativity and toxicity. It hasn't been nasty, nor has it needed to be, but just a simple open conversation about how I believed they were not helping my mindset, nor were they being encouraging and supportive in any way towards me in striving to achieve my goals. I have even been accused of pushing away the people actually care for me. That may be true in a sense, but the truth is, I'm only pushing those away who may care for me, but aren't truly being supportive or beneficial to me in achieving the success I desire. A bigger problem for me was, my former partner was also pessimistic and negative minded, failing to support and uplift me also, as too my remaining family members. It comes as no surprise that the success I have been chasing, for the past few years, has continued to elude me, because I have been constantly surrounded by people who have been counterproductive to my mindset. As any positive minded person would know, it's near impossible to stay positive and focused, when you are constantly spending time in a negative environment. That's not passing the blame on them as being the reason I haven't achieved the success I have been chasing, but it certainly has been a contributing factor. Again, remembering that 95% of the success or failure you obtain in life can be as a result of the people you most associate with. The simple thing is, we need to be spending time with those who are like minded to us, when it comes to being positive, goals driven, passionate, and determined, because in doing so, we create a better environment for ourselves to thrive in, rather than one in which we are dragged down.

So take a look at your circle of influence! Think about who are the five people you spend the most time with, and then conduct a little experiment by maybe paying more attention to the type of conversations you have with them. Are they constantly whinging and moaning, or do they speak positively? Do they love to engage in gossip, or do they only speak of others highly? Are they truly supportive and caring towards you, proven by their actions, not their words? Are they always complaining about what they don't have in life, rather than being grateful for what they do have? Do they support you, encourage you, motivate you, and uplift you, to be the best version of yourself, and to chase down your goals, or do they mock you, embarrass you in front of others, and criticize you for your decisions and actions? You're not being a bad person by wanting to do what's best for you and your future! If that means parting ways with people who are not supporting, encouraging, and uplifting you, then don't be afraid to do so. Choose your circle wisely! Seek to meet new people, individuals who are like minded, positive, and motivational, and then get proactive in spending more time with them. You will notice a huge difference to your attitude, mindset, and behavior, when you start spending more time with such people, and less time with those who are negative minded, pessimistic, and toxic! Get yourself involved in a circle of positivity, and boost your probability of achieving the success, happiness, satisfaction, prosperity, and fulfillment, in life that you desire.

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David Stidston

My name is David Stidston, and I live in the beautiful city of Hobart, in Tasmania, Australia. My aim is to inspire and motivate as many people as possible, to pursue their goals, and create a future blessed with happiness and fulfillment.

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