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Iron Sharpens Iron - The Golden Rule of Friendships



"I’m very selective about who I allow to influence me, because at one point I wasn’t so careful. The fact of the matter is we become who we surround ourselves with. Those people need to call forth our best. Their thought processes, habits, and attitudes need to exude positivity and excellence. Don’t allow fear of change to prevent you from taking inventory."

This is a quote taken from a Facebook post I wrote three years ago, and it’s just as true today as it was then.

 

I want to challenge you today in a new way. I want you to take an honest look at the people closest to you. 


Who are they? What are their values? Where are they going? Why are they in your inner circle? I know that asking these questions about the people closest to you can make you feel uneasy, awkward even. But would you believe me if I told you it was necessary?


Your circle of influence consists of the people who have the most access to you. These are the people who you take advice from, and spend the most time with. They will either motivate you or discourage you. Focus you or distract you. Push you forward or hold you back. 


What if I told you your circle of influence can be the difference between your success or failure? What if I told you that friend with no goals who you keep around for laughs and entertainment may be the reason you don’t reach your full potential? Some of you think I’m being dramatic, but the proof is in the pudding. Birds of a feather really do flock together.

 

So how do you tighten your circle of influence, and surround yourself with winners? Here’s the secret. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. 


Be selective. 


If you think you’re already selective, then be more selective. 


Don’t hang out with people who are where you don’t want to be. Read it again. 


If you just escaped a past filled with drugs and alcohol, then your circle of influence shouldn’t have people still living that lifestyle. Maybe you cut the habit of gossiping about others. Your circle should reflect that change. 


This is going to be hard for many of you, so I’m going to hit you with the heavy truth. 


Some of you are afraid of being selective because you don’t know your value. You don’t know what you bring to the table so you let anyone eat with you. 

The friends you choose are a direct reflection of what you feel about yourself. I know way too many people who claim to want to live a life of success and abundance, yet they are surrounded by whiners and complainers. 


When you’re striving for greatness you need to be in an environment that encourages growth. You won’t find that amongst the helpless and hopeless. 


Pay attention to the way you feel after you finish speaking to some of your friends. Do you notice your energy is always depleted after your conversations? Time to make a change. 


I’ve had to be intentional about guarding my circle of influence. It took me a long time to learn this lesson, and truthfully I still have to check myself on the matter from time to time. 

I’m selective with who I allow to influence me. Not because I’m arrogant. Not because I think I’m better than anybody, but because I know my value. I know who I am and where I want to go, and you would be wise to know the same. 


Trust me, as hard as it is, it’s so worth it. You can’t hold yourself back because of what you’re not willing to change.


Make the hard decision. Your future self is depending on you!

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© 2019 by Taneka Rubin