Think back on all of the times in your life that you have gotten into trouble or found yourself unhappy with the type of lifestyle you were leading. Was it only by your independent actions you found yourself there? Or did you find yourself going with the flow only because of the company you were keeping at the time? The power people hold over your life can be immense even if they only influence your lifestyle indirectly just by their negative demeanor. It’s interesting to watch the show Celebrity Rehab and one of the things they repeat to the addicts is that in order to beat their addiction they must get rid of the people and surroundings in their lives that led to their crippling habits. Now hopefully you don’t have any severe addiction problems but there is a very real possibility that if you’re not enjoying the life you’ve always dreamed of it’s partly due to the company that you keep.
Recognizing the Need for Change
After years of dreaming and thinking about ways to change my life it became apparent that my environment was having a very negative impact on my determination and drive. The choices that I made helped to create this lifestyle of depression and listlessness but the job and the people that were present in my day to day life only helped to reinforce these negative aspects. When this idea finally clicked into my head I took stock of my surroundings, did I want to follow the path of the people that had held their same unfulfilling job for over a decade? No. Did I continually want to be dragged down by my friends who when I had motivation to do something brought only discouragement? No. It was clear that in order to change my life I had to change who was apart of my life.
You must do the same for yourself and question what you need in your life to feel happy or at least the motivation to reach that happiness. What are your bad habits? If your overweight do your friends when you spend time with them eat and drink in ways to only reinforce what you want to rid yourself of? If the answer is yes I would suggest that you being the process of changing. Does your job and/or friends make you neglect the achievement of any of your life goals? They may all be very nice people but at what costs are they placing on the way you want to live?
Change doesn’t Have to Be Instantaneous
Getting out of a bad job is easy, just quit and move on. However, when dealing with the emotions of your friends it can be very difficult. If you have the courage to cut off ties with someone it can go very badly if it is just done with a simple announcement that you can’t continue to be their friend. Try and make it a gradual phase out if you recognize that the positives of having them as a friend are just outweighed by all of the negatives that come with their friendship.
You will need to build positive relationships with people who have goals similar to yours or are already living the type of life that you want to enjoy. Think about the difference of being surrounded by those who don’t have the capacity to change and those who are constantly trying to better themselves. It’s easy to get caught up in their enthusiasm just like it was easy to get caught in others depression.
I know it is hard to give up on a friend but most of the people you will end up cutting out of your life were really just acquaintances in disguise. Sure they may be really fun to hang out with on occasion but do they have your best interests at heart?
Deciding to change is completely useless if you don’t put a plan into action and structure your life in such a way that it will be successful in the long run. Your environment is full of negative reinforcements that can slip your right back into bad habits and idleness if you let them. Cutting ties with those who will only hold you back isn’t to be mean spirited and hurt feelings, it’s about your growth as a person and making sure that you will dictate how you want to live not the people around you.