We held a youth conference at our church and every speaker over the three days spoke about friendships. This really opened my eyes on how important your friendships are and how your friends can affect your future.
The main thing I took from the conference was to choose your inner circle very wisely. These are the people that you spend the majority of your time with so it is important that they match your vibe and energy. The way they behave and carry themselves will eventually influence you no matter how strong you think you are. Our friends influence us especially because we admire them and often wish to emulate their characteristics. For this reason, we must ensure that the people around us have characteristics that will help us grow and develop.
I’d heard the saying in the title many times before but I didn’t really believe it until now. Your friends are a reflection of who you are; the type of people you surround yourself with determines who you are and who you will become. You cannot call yourself a positive person if all your friends have a cloud of negativity following them. You’ll either be influenced by them and become negative or your relationship with them will be distant. Similarly, you cannot be close to someone who has no common interests with you or does not hold the same values as you. For example, if you are someone who hates smoking then you cannot be friends with smokers. Thinking about this practically, how will you hang out with them? In addition, your values are not aligned. This means that you will have to compromise your values in order to maintain such a friendship. Compromising your values means that you are compromising who you are.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay for us to change our opinions but we all have a set of core values that make us who we are. These are the values that we must not compromise on as we will begin to lose ourselves.
Your friends are a reflection of who you are – once you understand this then you will be more cautious of who you spend time with.
As well as indicating who we are, our friends also determine our future. If you have friends who have no ambition and cannot see beyond their neighbourhood then you will also struggle to dream big. You will feel uncomfortable explaining a big goal to them because they will struggle to understand and encourage you. However, if your friends are ambitious and always thinking outside the box then you will only feel uncomfortable sharing your dreams with them if your dreams aren’t big enough. These kinds of friends challenge you to dream bigger and think wider which has a positive effect on where you are going and who you will become. The best type of friends are those that not only encourage us to grow but develop with us.
There are four kinds of friends. Firstly, we have the adders. These people add value to you and they are always positive. Secondly, we have the takers. These people are always negative and are always complaining about something. They cannot allow you to enjoy your successes as they always point out your mistakes. Thirdly, we have the dividers. These people want to drag you down; they have no goals in life so they also don’t want to see you prosper. They want you to stay at their level or below. Lastly, we have the multipliers. These are the most amazing people. They believe in you and always challenge you to aim higher. Your dreams are never big enough when you explain it to them and they love to see you succeed. I recommend that you make friends with multipliers and also become the multiplier friend.
I challenge you to analyse your friends and your inner circle especially. Are your friends helping you grow or are they hindering you? Are you guys on the same wavelength or do your core values not correlate? It’s about time you stopped settling for less than you deserve and start making friends with people that help you flourish.