How much does it cost to keep your friends and family happy?
Do you find yourself with one foot out the door when you lose confidence in you relationships and things don’t go your way?
What is your exit strategy for an unhappy relationship?
Brian Tracey tells sales people and business owners, “If the grass is always greener, then you must not be fertilizing your own grass enough.”
It ALWAYS costs more to get a new customer than it does to keep one. Why would this be different in our personal lives? The common denominator is usually the problem. In this case, the common denominator is YOU.
Tony Robbins says, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of your relationships.” Is this statement true? Are the most important “clients” (people) in your life those you have invested with through time, energy and love?
Why is it we can always find time for financial demands, but postpone that fun lunch or girls night out because we have too many things to do? What if you shifted your priorities and started focusing 80% of your time to that which puts juice back into your life?
What would your friends and loved ones do if you rolled out the red carpet for them, every day?
Start By Defining Who You Can Not Live Without
While you may be extremely social and have many layers of friends such us church friends, gym buddies, work friends, parents at your kids’ schools, etc., take a look at each group, and list who you would miss the most. Who adds so much value to YOUR life that you’d have a set back, and feel devastated without? (Here’s a tip…if this list is longer than five to seven people for any group, outside of your immediate family, you are too needy or simply don’t understand the task. I know you don’t want to lose ANYONE, but for each group, who would you pull from the burning building first, besides your immediate family?)
Define the Importance of Each Group
What groups bring you the most joy? Is it your church friends? How about work pals? Or, do you like hanging with the neighbors?
Rank each group by how much they fulfill your needs. Compare your ranking with how much time you spend with each group. This is a great opportunity to compare how you spend your time with how you want to spend your life. Start planning your personal life just as you do your business. A conversation with people who mean little to you equates to you planning, scheduling and choosing a jam-packed day of business meetings that serve no purpose and blatantly waste your time!
Define Your Expectations Of The Relationship
Look at your list, and decide what they bring you and what they expect in return? Easier said than done, but you must do it.
Like clients, not all friends are created equal. Some take more than they give and some give more than they take. You must walk a fine line to balance these relationships, letting the connection serve you, rather than you serving the connection. Make sure you get out what you put in. Or, find out why you don’t.
If you can’t improve a relationship, ask yourself why you’re in it? Your friends may feed some sickness or dysfunction in your life, but you can’t make a change if you don’t see it. All relationships might not always feel fair, but they should be equitable, meaning everyone is getting out of it what they put into it.
Their effort might not be equal, but the pay off is equal to the efforts, respectively. (I once heard someone say, “As long as you never fall out of love at the same time, you’ll be fine!”)
Find New Friends
It’s time to get real. As Tony Robbins also teaches, “You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.” He is adamant your peer group will build or break you. To raise your bar in life, surround yourself with like-minded people who believe in driving at the same speed you do. People who build your inner confidence. They certainly don’t have to go to the same destination, as that would be a little boring. But, if you believe in integrity, showing people you care, and being reliable, so should your friends.
If you are the one setting the bar, you might want to ask yourself, “Who is pushing me?” If the answer is no one, look at your groups and determine which ones you enjoy the most. How can you find someone you admire and model? How can you connect with a new person who could improve your life?
In order to roll out the red carpet for your inner circle, you have to know who they are and what they need. You must be willing to give it everything you have and then some. Don’t waste precious time on relationships that don’t matter while the ones that do are left to pay the bill. The people who love you the most, are the ones you trust the most. If you trust them not to hurt you and always watch your back, sometimes you don’t treat them as well as you do those who love you less.
Always bump your inner circle to the front of the line and make sure their name is ALWAYS on the list.
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