Yes, there are people you’re stuck with for life, like it or not, but that is a subject for another hack (read Hack #17: Love the One You’re With for help on that topic…). This hack is all about the importance of building a network of people that you WANT to be around, people who are uplifting, make you feel attractive, encourage you to push past your limits, and who are there for you when you need some solid, honest advice.
Just remember - what you feed, grows. So how do you want to feel every day? And then how does your circle of friends reflect that?
If you are wanting to feel more joy in your life, and yet you are surrounded by people who are negative, can’t seem to find the happy in anything, and always seem to be the victim of an unfortunate circumstance, then it might be time to take out the trash.
If you are wanting more abundance and prosperity in your life ‘cuz you’re over being broke all the time, then how does your circle of friends reflect your true desires? If you took an honest look at the 5-10 people you spend the most amount of time with, what would you say about their mindsets? Are they also broke all the time, with no change in sight? Are they all penny-pinchers, just barely scraping by? Is there anyone in your life who has a mindset that you admire, someone who seems to always have more than what they need, is able to travel, go on adventures, and generally seems to attract the things you want more of in your life? Can you align yourself more closely with that person? And if there is no one like that in your life, then start reading, listening to podcasts, going meeting ups or networking events where you might meet some cool people that emulate the life and mindset you desire.
If you’re just sitting on the couch eating a tub of ice cream. dreaming about the trip you really wanna take and feeling sorry for yourself because it ain’t never gonna happen, then guess what!? IT WON’T! Get out of your jammies, put on your big boy pants or your power heels and get your ass out the door. Start talking to people while your in line at the coffee shop, waiting for the next yoga class, or at your kid’s sporting event. You want to make some changes in your life? Then you seriously gotta look at the people around you.
Have you ever done a “spring cleaning” on your contacts, friends, and followers? The first time I cleaned out the contacts in my phone, I was playing this stupid mental game, feeling overwhelmed by guilt and thinking I shouldn’t let them go. I was having this internal debate over a person I hadn’t talked to in 5 years. And on the other hand, I was struggling to release someone who, when I really took a thoughtful minute, I actually didn’t want to be in contact with. When I could put the guilt aside and be honest with that truth, I was able to do a lot of letting go. Now when I scroll through my contact list, I feel a lot of love for all the people in there - whether they are family, friends, clients, or really great acquaintances or business contacts. I’ve narrowed it down to the people who really matter - to ME. It’s my phone, after all, isn’t it? Shouldn’t the people in there be the ones I love, not the ones that guilt tells me I should keep around?
If you haven’t taken a good look at your contact list in a while, set aside some time to do so. If you can delete some quantity, you leave room for quality. You might even be making room for some extra special people to fill in those spots.
You can try the same thing with your friends and followers on social!
I’m going to give you a heads up here…I’m about to get brutally honest and super real about something that drove me f-ing CRAZY when I was a classroom teacher: my colleagues. Although I’ve made some of the dearest friends through my profession as an educator, some of the educators I’ve worked with were the most toxic, most judgmental, inconsiderate people I’ve ever met. Teachers who talked about wanting to punch kids in the face, who flat out said they only there to teach content NOT build relationships, who talked through every single staff meeting, and never participated in any kind of community building activity or event. Toxic. Flat out toxic. Why the hell they became teachers in the first place, I have no idea. If you feel like you are stuck in hell between Misery Mary and Grumpy Gary, then find some allies within your staff. Make your way to them. Ask him or her to join you for lunch, maybe somewhere other than the staff lounge - which can sometimes be a breading ground for gossip and toxicity. Our jobs are hard enough so finding good people to be around is critical for your sanity and success!
Along with tons of other great strategies, Jen Sincero’s You are a Badass books often dive into the topic of surrounding yourself with people that will help elevate your mindset. I highly recommend these books!
I absolutely LOVE this article from GQ because it takes a raw look at why you should spring clean your contacts. You don’t wanna be calling the Stacy from 2003 when you met to call the Stacy from the other night, do you?