How to Build Social Support by “Divorcing Friends”

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Think about your home, your work, and the community in which you live.  It’s probably hard not to recognize that we live in a world that surrounds us with negativity.  And instantly if we allow it.  It’s easily found via any media outlet and I know it’s not hard to notice in everyday life.

We all have family, friends and colleagues who can drag the life out of any situation.  You see we can change our environment in many ways, but one of the most difficult things to do and one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome in attaining success in anything is the concept of “divorcing friends”.

In a recent conversation about success principles I was reminded of how truly important it is to have a great social support system and surround yourself with good people and positive inputs.  My friend Bob, an upper level executive with a well known world wide company, healthy and fit, happily married with two kids and highly respected, touted “divorcing friends” as his #3 principle for his success.

While I left our conversation with tons of thought provoking notes and life lessons, it was this term “divorcing friends” that was at the forefront of my mind.  Anyone who’s studied personal or professional development has often heard of surrounding yourself with good, positive, successful people.  What I found most intriguing was that Bob was speaking of the opposite end of the spectrum.

You see you can interact and engage with successful people daily, but if some of your “closest” friends are the bad apples it won’t matter.  They may be the true anchor keeping you from your greatest success.  So after I arrived back at the office I began to dive into our old coaching files, researched the latest on the topics of friendships, social support and relationships and reviewed my notes from our conversation.  I ended up creating this success system for managing a high performance environment loaded with positive social support.  Check it out.

good friends

The Podium of Positivity:

Gold – Family, friends and others who support & challenge you to live, learn, and even fail in a manner that helps you grow, take action and progress in the direction of your dreams.  You recognize these people as very wise and inspiring.  These people spark your curiosity and ignite your ambition.  Think of mentors, those who have “been there, done that” and are willing to share their knowledge or those currently blazing a trail of success that you can learn valuable lessons from in life, business and other areas of interest.

Silver – Family, friends and others who share in the experience of and/or highly support your positive growth and development.  You recognize these people as those who have similar drive and motivations.  They may have other skills, talents or experience, but share common interests, needs and desires.  Think of mutually beneficial relationships and those who are interested and engaged in your life and business.

Bronze – Family, friends and others who assist in or support your decisions.  These people support you in small ways, never slow you down and rarely bring drama into your life.  Think of those who are good, quality people who are happy and content where they are.  They support your pursuit of excellence, but aren’t deeply engaged in your life, business or similar things.

Anyone you spend time with on a consistent basis should be at the very minimum a “bronze medal holder”.  I recommend that the majority of your social support “crew” include people who land under gold and silver standards.  If you have others who don’t land on any part of the podium, it may be time to think about divorcing friends. Do the people you spend time with land on the Podium of Positivity?  Do you need to begin divorcing friends?

I’ll leave you with this…

While it is my hope to live in a world filled with positively inspired energy I can say without a doubt that we will always have to overcome negative energies.  While your success can largely be determined in part by who you choose to spend your time with who you choose not to share it with may be your missing link for success.  Successful people live on the edge of comfort.  Have the audacity to live different…live inspired.

With inspiration,

Brandon Sobotka

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