Who is in Your Circle?

Sometimes when we think of the people we should be keeping in our circles of influence we think of those who are….

  • our cheerleaders
  • encouragers
  • protectors
  • back patters
  • collaborators

and while those things are important in friendships, I think there are things, a little more uncomfortable, that we should be looking for in our circles.

What do I mean?

Well I believe that if we are truly going to be the best we can be, not only for ourselves but also for others, we have to make sure our circle is well rounded.

First, we have to be ok with putting people in our circles who will tell us “no”. You read that correctly. It has always frustrated me when people have said things like “we should be the people of YES! The people who always say go for it!”……I don’t believe that. I think there’s a time and place for it, but I know I have always learned more from those who have said “no”. Whether it was,

  • it’s not time
  • maybe in a few months
  • it needs a little more work
  • it’s just not a good idea

Knowing that with the person in my circle it comes from a place of love, I’ve always been able to receive the “no” and keep pushing forward! It’s helped me take my blinders off and see the bigger picture and do something even better.

Second, we need people in our circles who will ask, “are you sure?” Sometimes I get so caught up in something that I haven’t even thought clearly through the ramifications or if I really wanted my name attached to it in the long run. When I’ve had friends who will, again from a place of love, ask me if I was sure about the idea, it’s helped me step back and re-evaluate. And yes, sometimes I still did it! But my circle helped me slow down.

Third, we need people who will ask “have you thought about it this way?” I love this one. This one has helped me time and time again re-evaluate. If you want to help someone dig deeper and see things from a new perspective, sometimes it isn’t telling them how to do it. Instead it’s getting them to consider those thoughts on their own.

I love when friends of mine will say “I saw you did that and you did a great job! But have thought about it this way? You might be able to include more or widen your influence”.

Finally, we need people who will say “that was inappropriate”. This one to me is probably the most important one (along with people who will tell you “no”). Again, knowing this comes from a place of love, these people in my circle have grown me the most.

Sometimes we don’t really see that what we said or did was incredibly inappropriate, biased, racist, rude, condescending, etc. We need people in our lives who will call us out and then work with us to be better. People who aren’t afraid of our reaction because they know by telling us it was inappropriate, they’re helping us grow.

Having people who will say

  • no
  • are you sure
  • have you thought about it this way
  • that was inappropriate

will help grow you into better people. Take the time today to evaluate your circle and see if there is some cleaning up or widening that needs to happen. I know for me, I have to evaluate my circle constantly, because it changes often! But remember YOU have to be ready to receive these questions and comments too. You have to have those people in your circle who will do this, from a place of love.

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