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Aug 01 2012

Beware: The Road To Success May Be Paved With Lonliness

If you are the type of person who is just starting out on your journey of success, you’ve  set goals for yourself and your life, and you wish to focus on and achieve them, be warned: you are likely going to lose friends along the way.

It’s sad, but true. And it happens for various reasons. So before you head out on your journey to make it big, be sure to ask yourself if you are actually willing to lose friends and family over the life you want to create for yourself.

First and Foremost

Reflect for a moment on your various friends and family members. Are any of them the negative type? Do they ever say or do anything to discourage you from doing the things you want to do? Do any of them tell you that you can’t do something, that you’re not capable of it? Or maybe they’re a little less harsh about it and say that it’s not likely going to happen. Does anyone come to mind? Anyone? If you couldn’t think of anyone who’s like that, you’re either very lucky, or you didn’t think hard enough. If you did think of someone…

Well guess what? They have to go. These will be the first friends and/or family members that you will lose contact with, and this time it’s not going to be their fault; it’s going to be yours! That’s right. One of the number one things that successful people say you need to do in order to become successful and achieve the goals you set for yourself, is to get rid of the people in your life who have a negative impact on you and tell you that “you can’t.” These are the people who will work against you and keep you from achieving anything big or important. You are already going to have to deal with yourself telling you that you can’t do things or that you’re not good enough. You don’t need friends reinforcing those thoughts and making it harder for you. Cut them loose and you will have a much greater chance at success.

Now you should be good… at least for awhile.

But unfortunately, after some time of pursuing your goals, getting excited about the direction your life is going, and realizing how doing things differently than you’ve done before is really working to make your life so much better, you are going to want to spread the good news and share with all your friends and family about the things they can do to make their lives better.

The thing is, they might actually enjoy being right where they’re at in life. Whether it’s out of laziness, or just comfort, some people are completely happy with the life they have right now. That’s not a bad thing in-and-of-itself, as I firmly believe that before people can truly be happy with the better life, they need to come to a place within themselves where they are completely happy with, and accepting of what they have right now.

The problem is when they don’t want to keep improving. They decide that where they are at is fine, and settle for mediocrity. People like this may stop coming around for one of several reasons. It could be that they get sick of listening to your preaching (this doesn’t mean you should stop, as there is a chance you will reach them and help them make things better.) Or they may start to think of you as being in a different class or peer group than their own. I’ve noticed that as I have worked on improving myself and my life, that with some friends and family members, they kinda tend to become clique-ish. They stick to their own, and I no longer “fit in” with the group.

Another thing is that they may start to resent you or see you as being “stuck up” or “a snob.” They will start acting like you think you are better than them, simply because you don’t want to settle for less than what you want in life.

For example: last year I went camping with my family and some friends. The friends I refer to were my childhood best friend, and his girlfriend whom I had met only a couple weeks before. After the first day at camp, we were running short on snacks and drinks, so I decided I was going to take a trip into town and get some stuff. I invited the friends with me, but they both declined, citing different (and not very valid) reasons.

They did however decide that they wanted me to go shopping for a bunch of items they wanted, and they wanted me to use their EBT (or food stamp) card, which happens to be illegal. The legality aside, I tried as nicely as possible to explain to my friend about how I grew up poor, and that I used to feel humiliated when I would have to stand in line at a food bank, or pay for groceries with food stamps. And I told him how when I got old enough to work, that I made a promise to myself that I would never do either of those again. I then offered again to bring them with me to the store so they could get what they wanted, but again they declined. Only this time they were angry.

Now, I don’t look down on anyone who has to use food stamps or food banks. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. I’ve simply set standards for my life, and I don’t want to settle for less. However that didn’t stop them from acting as though I was stuck up, as I could hear them complaining to each other from across camp as I was preparing to leave. And as I was getting in my car, I very clearly heard my “friend” say in a raised voice, “Apparently he’s too rich and famous to use food stamps!”

 

And then there’s the people who, as your values change, you just grow apart.

And it may not necessarily have anything to do with them as a person, but rather the lifestyle that they live. You may, as I previously mentioned your friends might do, decide that they are too different from what you want in life, and you can no longer travel life’s road with them. That’s what happened to me when I got out of the partying scene and decided that I no longer wanted to waste my life away, that I wanted better things in life.

 

So as I said, there’s a good chance you will lose friends on your road to success…

They will not likely tell you that they no longer like you, or that they no longer want to be around you. No, they will just stop calling and stop coming around, and they will stop inviting you to do things with them. That is of course, unless they want something from you.  My suggestion to you is to learn to identify the “friends” who only keep in contact with you so that they can borrow money.

 

…But you don’t have to. Fortunately there are a couple things you can do to minimize the loss of friends.

Learn to make new friends. That’s probably the most important advice I can give to people who wish to succeed in life. We need friends. A person who is an island and stands alone is going to have a lot harder time succeeding than a person who surrounds himself with friends that can help him achieve success. Try and replace those negative friends who tell you that you can’t succeed with positive friends who tell you that you CAN do it. Align yourself with like-minded people who share the same goals, values and outlook on life that you do. These people will help give you encouragement, and will help lift you up when you’re feeling down or doubting yourself.

 

The next and near equally important thing you can do: develop a thick skin. It’s easy to get offended when people don’t want to be around you, but if you have friends that you absolutely don’t want to lose, then you need to learn to get over your emotions, because it’s up to you to keep the relationship going. This means you will be the one who calls and keeps in contact with people, you will be the one who visits them, and you will be the one who arranges get-togethers and events. It’s going to feel like you are the only one who is carrying the whole relationship because you are. And it can feel very overwhelming for you, but it’s important for you to keep the emotions in check. It could take a long time, and you may feel like giving up, but ask yourself if the friendship is worth it? Try and remember the good times you had together and the good things they’ve done for you. Realize what you would be losing, because at this point, saving the friendship is completely on you.

 

Have you lost friends along the way to your success? Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with it? Please feel free to tell us in the comments below.

1 ping

  1. ReThinking Your Friendships » ReThinkingYourself.com

    [...] fact is, that if you are too picky about who you are friends with, you are going to be a very lonely person in life. Anyone with whom you share a passion for something is a perfect candidate for [...]

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