I was thinking today about the people who have come in and out of my life and questioning if I ever really knew them for who they truly were. As a provider of services intended to bring joy and serenity into the lives of strangers I tend to take people at face value. In our profession we are expected to fill the gaps and holes that others leave in the hearts and minds and souls of our clients.
I tend to view people in a way that dismisses their not-so-nice agendas and their naughty objectives. I like to think I commit effort and work at building my relations, but sometimes I have to question when an affiliation I have deeply committed to and invested in, ends abruptly.“What was I thinking?” Now-a-days, more than ever, if we are going to succeed or, continue to make a difference, we have to know ourselves and our requirements for our associations, especially, those who have the greatest impact on us and will help to grow and develop us. We need to set people free to be who they are and not who we need them to be. When we force those who are the closest to us in our lives to live up to our expectations we are depriving ourselves of the real thing. Relationships that are made from sand cannot withstand pressure. Living life on life’s terms always causes tension. When we surround ourselves with individuals that are not being authentic we end up isolated at the worst times. Most highly successful people have an inner circle around them of persons who possess a similar perspective in life and share many of the same mindsets and paradigms. To establish the type of alliances that will withstand our hardships (and we all have them and, should not have to apologize for them) we need to take a stark look at our crippling beliefs about our failed friendships and begin to reconsider what type of associations would make a greater contribution to our lives. In particular, associations that would not crumble on us if a circumstance occurred that held these individuals accountable for mutual support. Identifying these people and disregarding the ones who have faulted us (time-and-time again) is essential to our personal and professional growth. I say identifying because many of the individuals who are capable of forming the type of relationship we need are already in our lives and are being overlooked by us. People perhaps, with like-minded values and healthy belief systems. I am speaking of confident persons who will feel comfortable about being candid with others and devote themselves to demonstrating sensitivity in such situations. Feeling appreciated, understood and respected by those in our immediate vicinity is rare which is why we need to have trusting relationships that won’t fail us even when things go horribly wrong. It is not the amount of people we have in our cluster of associations, the necessary support can come from one or two persons or, if we are willing to work at our relationships hard enough, an entire backfield of players that are watching out for us. Acquaintanceships are good, friendships are better. Our unions with others, whether personal or professional bring us face-to-face with ourselves. Few mistakes are fatal to our career advancement or the enjoyment of our lifestyles, apart from hateful, envious and, grossly neglectful people who wish us ill will. Persons who, for one reason or another, we refuse to let go, despite the obvious.
Yes, it is work to find people who just naturally share with us mutual insights and that are dedicated to setting and accomplishing comparable goals, but having these associations can change our thoughts, our behaviors, our attitude and, eventually, our lives. We all need to start this process sometime and somewhere and, this is what this blog this morning has been all about.