Tuesdays with MOJO / Surround yourself with champions of you
Last week I had the pleasure of reconnecting with a cherished friend who I worked with back in my ad agency days. Ever notice how with old friends you can pick up right where you left off, even if it has been years? Well that’s the way it was with her! We chatted about old times at the agency and shenanigans on business trips; old gossip and where those folks are now; rolled our eyes at the neediness of some of our seemingly helpless senior colleagues (especially during travel!); and saluted some of the amazing accomplishments many have achieved since then (opening agencies, starting successful fashion lines, authors). We also talked about our love for Montauk and the good times we shared there. The conversation flowed and could have lasted for hours -- the reason we initially became friends was apparent and our history felt deep.
As one of my friends used to say, “I was full of love”!
I am lucky to have many such wonderful relationships. A childhood best friend who I shared K – 12 schooling, parental divorces and first loves with. A friend and former colleague who became a travel buddy, reaching the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro together. A college best friend who I would go to the end of the earth for. Early career friends who have been everything from softball teammates to mentors to the best friends they are today. A friend turned sister-in-law who always makes me smile. The list goes on.
All are people whom I may not speak with for weeks or longer, but when we do connect it’s like a breath of fresh air. No guilt for being out of touch. No awkwardness until we get into a groove. They are family.
In my MOJO Maker™ workshop I talk about the importance of surrounding yourself with a supportive circle. People who will be positive and want you to succeed. How having “champions of you” who encourage and inflate you (as opposed to deflate you) impacts your confidence, contentment and life. Studies show that strong personal relationships are a key ingredient to happiness and success, and I’m not surprised.
I’m also lucky to have a family who has always been my advocates. My parents always told me I was “the best” and could do anything, and I’m grateful for that.
Certainly we can’t choose the family we are born into and not everyone is as lucky as I. In addition, bosses, colleagues and clients selections are often made for us.
What we can do, however, is decide how to handle any negativity thrown our way. We can be deliberate about spending time with positive forces.
Who do you surround yourself with and how do you determine if a relationship is working for YOU?
Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate whom you spend time with and consider “crowding out” those who don’t quite fit anymore?
So if you’re going to a family dinner and although you’re a successful, attractive, financially secure individual, all Aunt Bessie can ask you about is why you don’t have a significant other, you may want to choose to sit next to cousin Barb instead.
If that old high school buddy is no longer serving any purpose beyond discussing old times and in fact focuses on your faults since then, perhaps it’s time to limit your time together.
I had a friend who would ask me a question and before I could even answer, she would start talking about herself and all the negative things going on in her life. It was a real drain on my energy. So I made the decision to stop socializing with her. I still see her out and about sometimes and I’m happy to say hi and chat, but I no longer expose myself to her negativity on an ongoing basis.
You have the power to choose where, when and/or how you expose yourself to both positive and negative factions in your life. Use it!
It just makes sense that you will evolve as life goes on and the activities that you take part in will grow along with that. Relationships can evolve too, so nurture yourself with ones who support what you do and whom you are now.
So if you used to like to go out 7 nights a week, but no longer take pleasure in that, it just makes sense for your well-being to spend less time with those buddies. It doesn’t mean you can’t hang with them once in awhile if you reap other things out of the relationship, but if not, don’t feel bad about moving on.
Certainly you want to be kind about it, but you can slowly start spending time with those who are more positive in your life, which leaves little time for those who bring you down.
Take a moment and write a down a list of those in your life who are your champions. Also list those who aren’t. What could you do today to spend more time with the people on the “champions” list? The ones who make you feel like the star you are, and encourage you in the direction you want to go.
What can you do today to better surround yourself with “champions of you”? Please share!
It’s also important to consider what kind of supporter you are, as studies show that giving good support will add to your happiness level as well.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
xoMarjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
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