Finding Friends Who Elevate Your Growth
It was the week of my 25th birthday, an age I imagined becoming since a mere tween under the naive assumption that this was the exact time I would have it all figured out. Yup, that’s right. Little ol’ me will have life begging for mercy in light of all of my accomplishments. But, if there’s one thing life has taught me thus far, it’s that there is no such thing as having it all figured out.
We live an ongoing journey towards progression and self-actualization, and that’s the beauty of life. As long as we are moving forward and not backwards, then we’re heading in the right direction. Thankfully, accepting that takes most of the pressure off.
Five days have passed since my quarter-of-a-century-reawakening and I can’t help but ask myself: how will I utilize this blessing of another year to be better? After all, what is life without growth?
The word evolution quickly pops into my mind. I’m not talking about evolution in the sense of natural selection, but our own personal development, and finding ways to improve ourselves spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically while continuing to develop our crafts. Each step towards improvement takes us a little bit closer to the top of our dream goals, and the light at the end of the tunnel is what keeps our feet moving one in front of the other. Every move matters, and what matters just as much are the people beside us while we are on our climb.
Elevation Requires Separation
Oftentimes we hear or see the meme “Elevation Requires Separation.” After moving to New York and being away from Boston, I understand how separation from one’s comfort zone can increase one’s focus. But, I’ve also come to realize that sometimes separation can lead to self-doubt and feelings of alienation. In times such as these, what always pulls me out of the gutter are the people who understand the ongoing journey to purposeful growth.
You know, those people who you can go to at any hour whenever you’re feeling unsure about whether or not you’re adding any value to the world and all they do is build you up and tell you how powerful you truly are? Well, if you’re one of those people, thank you.
Elevation Requires Positive People In Your Circle
A major, major factor in self-growth is surrounding yourself with fellow positive, creative minds who also seek to push the limits. Those who give you reassurance and act as a reminder that your value doesn’t go unnoticed. Without these people, we are more likely to remain stagnant and uninspired.
Now, ask yourself this question:
Are the people I spend the most time with taking me higher?
Be honest, and listen to your gut. The fact is, people can drain your energy, or add to it. A podcast I’ve recently been binging is called Hashtags and Stillettos, created by Sakita Holley (@MissSuccess) who is the Founder and CEO of House of Success, a NY-based lifestyle PR firm. Along with sharing insights on branding, entrepreneurship and hustling, Ms. Holley also interviews rising influencers.
In last week’s episode 16, Ms. Holley spoke with Founder and Editor-in-Chief of blog xoNecole, Necole Kane, (@iamnecole), and the two touched on the vitality of support systems to your personal growth and energy. Ms. Kane said something that stuck with me:
You just can’t be afraid to shift your circle, and a lot of people don’t because of loyalty.
Necole Kane goes on to express that the people we spend the most time with are just as significant as the food that we eat. It’s crucial to your own energy to ensure that the people around you make you feel encouraged. Be affiliated with people who want to see you prosper, and vice versa. We have to be aware of not only how feel when we are in someone’s presence, but also how we feel after we leave that person, situation or environment:
Do you feel empowered?
Do you feel drained?
Do you feel nothing at all?
Take note of your answers to these questions, and act accordingly. It’s okay to separate yourself from those who don’t add any real value to your life. As for those who do, keep them around and allow that relationship to grow.
Find a Goal-Buddy
My challenge to you this week is to designate a person (or people) to be your goal-buddy and help keep your positivity in check. Accountability starts with self, absolutely, but there’s no harm in having a go-to partner for your goals-to-do list.
One of the biggest obstacles you will first have to overcome on your journey to higher heights is you. You decide what to do with your time, who to spend it with and how to use the time in between. The more you feed yourself positivity and encouragement, the quieter that negative inner voice of self-doubt becomes, until one day you don’t hear it at all. That, beloved, is the ultimate goal.
If you haven’t yet, download this free Mini Motivation Manifesto to keep your thoughts in check for the week as a starter. Then, create your personal mastermind group of the people you want to be your goal-buddies.
Be sure to encompass your life with those who bring out the best in you and support your endeavors. Most of all, trust yourself enough to read in-between the vibes to find out who those people are.