I am not sure who said it first, but there’s a phrase in self-improvement circles about how you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. I don’t know about sum, because I believe we are all unique individuals, and we come to friendships bringing our different strengths and weaknesses. However, I do believe that a close friend with a lack of values alignment, and/or undeniably negative energy can have a horrible effect on your well-being.
I believe that well-being DRIVES success, and that well-being, as our greatest asset, can be leveraged to help us achieve everything we want in life.
And so, yes, you could have a close friend that’s dragging on your well-being and thus your forward movement: your (self-defined) success in your business and your personal life. Take a deep breath and consider this question:
Could stepping back from one of your close friendships improve your well-being this year?
Often the energy of this friend and the effect on your well-being are so back of mind that it’s hard for you to notice sometimes; you’ve been friends with them for years, they have their good qualities, and you have a pattern of discussing things with the ease of someone putting on cozy slippers. Sound familiar?
I “paused” two close friends recently (more on the word pause in a moment) so this is top of mind for me. Could it be your turn?
It’s time for a quick assessment:
1. Start with yourself.
YOU is where everything always starts. Take a deep breath. What parts of YOU do you love, do you aspire to be? Make a quick list of the positive traits about YOU, and describe you at your highest self. These are your anchor words that identify your essence.
For me, as I mention in my new book, my word to describe my deep essence is vibrancy. For as long as I can remember, I have always been vibrant; you’d notice that about me if we met.
My highest values are love and truth. I use these values as a measuring stick to evaluate situations and to guide my daily actions (am I being loving? truthful?).
Lastly, I have always craved living an extraordinary life. I am on the lookout for “extraordinary,” whether it’s opportunities, or people.
2. Think about your “words,” and do a quality comparison against each of your close friends.
Oh god, this can be uncomfortable! I hadn’t really actively used my personal “words” to measure the quality of a friend…until issues with two friends blazed so brightly in front of me, I had to take action.
My smart, highly intuitive, and single friend began to crush on (and speak constantly about) a happily married man we both know. I asked her to stop, explained live and via emails how uncomfortable it made me, but she couldn’t do it. I suddenly couldn’t stand our dynamic.
See, when you are aware of who YOU are, the good core of you, the opposite feels like sandpaper to your soul. I explained that to honor myself and my values of truth and love, I had to “pause” our friendship. I didn’t say anything about the future. I just made it clear that in the present moment, our values weren’t in alignment.
This fall, I could tell a different friend was getting increasingly envious of my upcoming book, which started racking up successes even before the launch date. A fellow writer, I just couldn’t fathom a close friend not being elated for me, but there she was, her energy sour on our daily phone calls. I asked her about the negative vibe; she admitted that my efforts, drive and absolute love for my book made her feel badly about hers. I certainly don’t want to be a trigger for someone, nor did I need negativity at that blissful moment I had worked so hard for, so I hit “pause” on that friendship too.
For sure: we deserve to be surrounded by people who love us, who want to see the best for us, who cheer us on, and believe so much in abundance that they never see you as competition. Period.
3. Fill the gaping hole (where your friend used to be) with a giant sun of positivity.
I learned, and I bet you will too, that when you have the courage to step away, there is an astonishing opening of both energy and time.
Hitting that “pause” button in both cases felt at first like open space (I caught myself reaching to call them a few times out of habit) and then suddenly, I felt a giant “whoosh” of positive energy. Something entirely better rushed in.
At first, it was my OWN values of love and truth—love for myself, and for being honest. It almost felt like a sunny day shined on my soul. I felt so proud of myself. I felt up-leveled. Much closer to extraordinary.
Hitting the “pause” button also opened literally hours of more time in my week for me to focus on myself, on my two businesses, and my beloved girls. This also has created space for new, higher vibration friends to show up; I had coffee this past week with an incredible, fellow professional speaker and we are off to the races.
You and I are on a path toward our highest calling, our ultimate ability to serve humanity. Don’t be held back.
Interested in reading more? I have an entire chapter called Create Intimacy: Inspiration for Love in my new book, Reinvent the Wheel: How Top Leaders Leverage Well-Being for Success. You can learn more about how to create more love for yourself, your family, your partner and your friends.
Did you know my book was named in “The Top 20 Must-Reads of 2019” by Forbes? Yippee!!