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How many friends do you have — not the Facebook kind, but the real ones? It matters, because friends are not optional to our growth — they are mandatory! Our core relationships are either building or breaking us…there’s no neutral ground. To have our best year ever, it’s critical that we learn to “Fail Forward,” “Forgive” and “Friend Wisely” and determine if we are investing our time in “Friends” or “Frenemies.”
How do I know the difference? “Friends” fuel us with optimism and make deposits into our growth and well-being. They awaken our inner giants and inspire us to be the best we can be by encouraging us to walk in reality, while nurturing our dreams. “Friends” are emotionally invested in our success. They care enough to confront us and tell us the truth about our “mess” in a way that inspires us to clean it up.
Conversely, “Frenemies” deflate our spirits by unnecessarily honing in on the negatives. They touch everything with what I call “soul Velcro”— negative words that attach to our fears and weaknesses. Left unchecked, they will pull us apart, piece-by-piece, one conversation at a time. The difference between a “Frenemy” and a “Friend” that tells the hard truths is that a “Frenemy” will never celebrate you because they haven’t developed that capacity.
How should I deal with “Frenemies?” It depends on their motivations and intents. Some people are “unintentional Frenemies.” They don’t have a problem with you personally. They just tend to project their issues on to you. One of my girlfriends used to fall into this category. I would always feel disheartened after spending time with her. When I examined why, I realized the things she didn’t like about herself were things she assumed I didn’t like about myself. From that point on, I corrected her and ultimately rejected her soul Velcro. Doing so freed me from the weight of her negativity.
The only responsible thing to do with an intentional “Frenemy” is cut them out of your life, or remove them from your inner circle. Your pain is their intent. Being vulnerable with a “Frenemy” is emotional suicide.
How do I connect with “Friends?” Spending time with them is an investment in self. They help us achieve our goals and become the people we want to be, while lovingly holding us accountable for our lives. A “Friend” inspires action by modeling the behaviors that spark transformation. Create room for them in your life by connecting with them as often as possible.
It is also important to note that we can be built or broken by things in our environment, not just people. Make sure you are investing time in reading the books, watching the programs and discovering the resources that will empower you with the knowledge for lasting change.
1. List the most influential relationships in the different spheres of your life—physical, financial, social and professional.
2. Analyze their impact. Are they “Friends” or “Frenemies?”
3. Take the necessary actions to maximize or minimize their influence.
4. Ask your inner circle whether you act more like a “Friend” or a “Frenemy” to them. Their response will let you know what you need to work on.
Join me next week as we discuss the importance of focus on our journey to our best year ever!
Recently named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who shares transformational truths that change lives. Follow her on Twitter for updates regarding her soon to be released seminar THRIVE! 7 Strategies for Extraordinary Living and more.