Choosing Your Circle
Another component of being extraordinary is taking responsibility for the caliber of people you allow in your life. I am not referring to the people you have to be around such as the people you work with or do business with. I am talking instead about the people you choose to allow access to the deepest parts of your life, your inner circle. I’m referring to the people you spend the most time with, the people who you talk to on the phone, the people you choose to allow access to your leisure time.
There is a saying that the people closest to you are a reflection of you. In my experience I have found this to be absolutely true. When I surrounded myself with people who always complained about work, I found that I was also complaining about work. Conversely, when I surrounded myself with people who were thankful that they had a job, I too demonstrated a more thankful attitude.
Knowing this, we should all make an effort to “reach up” in our relationships. Instead of spending our time around people who are going to bring out negative or unproductive qualities, we should instead opt to spend time with those who are going to bring out the best in us. Whether we like it or not, everyone we choose to spend time with is teaching us something. We would do well to elect to spend our precious moments with those who are going to teach us things like how to believe in ourselves and how to be positive and productive.
When you are striving towards being something more than the norm, you will always be met with naysayers and negative people along the way. These people will attack your self-confidence and sow the seeds of doubt in your spirit if you allow them a foothold in your life. If you are choosing the extraordinary life, you must be rid of these people immediately.
Oftentimes, the naysayers and negative influences will come in the form of family members or long-time friends. I remember my mother always having a positive attitude towards me, always telling me that I was bound to become something special, and always believing that I could do anything I set my mind to doing. My father, on the other hand, told me when I was teenager that I was nothing special. I remember specifically telling him about my dream of becoming a psychologist; he snickered and responded with, “Oh, you’re going to psyche someone out?” The day I told him God had spoken to me, he responded with, “Why would God speak to you when he has so many other people to choose from?” When I started having speaking engagements he never showed up.
As I grew older, I cultivated and nourished my relationship with my mother. My father and I never have been very close. I realized that they both had things to teach me, and although I have never been mean or hostile to my dad, I made it clear that I had no interest in what he had to teach me about myself. I chose early on to embrace and become closer to the parent who taught me to believe in myself and to pull away from the one who was teaching things that I perceived as negative.
We all have the same choice to make. If we are to live an extraordinary life, we must accept responsibility for the people we allow to be closest to us. We must elect to be rid of toxic relationships no matter how comfortable they are to us and learn to embrace relationships that encourage positivity and genuinely want to see you do your best.
Remember, negativity and doubt have no place in the life of the extraordinary.