Change is inevitable. As life goes on, we change and we grow. Sometimes the places we used to hang out don’t excite us anymore, or our passions shift. That’s okay! Change is not a bad thing. Change means you’re growing.
Growth is a beautiful thing, but it comes with challenges. One of the biggest is accepting or realizing not everyone changes or grows at the same rate you do. I’m sure you’ve seen this phrase somewhere before: “You can’t take everyone with you.” This is a true statement, and a very hard one to accept because sometimes the people you can’t take with you are the ones who are closest to you, like best friends or family members.
In that sense, growth sometimes means narrowing your circle. ‘Why do I have to narrow my circle?’ you may ask. There’s a few reasons, actually:
You need people who have your best interest at heart
It’s tough to accept, but everyone who’s around you may not always be rooting for you. Some people are around to mooch off your success, or just to be able to say, “I knew so-and-so when…” People who truly have your best interest at heart want the very best for you, even if you surpass them in success.
Some people are close minded
Not everyone can see and understand your vision, and not everyone is meant to. Some people may think your dreams are so big, or too big, that they actually speak fear into your goals just because they can’t see it for themselves. There’s a difference between wise counsel and someone tearing down your dream. We must be able to discern between the two.
You must be mindful of the company you keep
You’ve probably heard of the phrase, “show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” This is true. You have to be mindful of who has direct access to you and who you hang around. If the majority of your friends don’t have goals or ambitions they’re trying to fulfill, chances are you’ll become less motivated to achieve your goals or procrastinate to reach them. Be mindful of who you have around you because they could be fuel to your success or a hindrance to it.
I understand. It’s hard to narrow your circle especially when it involves people who you’ve known for a long time or have a long history with. Here’s some tips on how to narrow your circle gracefully:
First, you must accept the fact that in life people will outgrow you and you will outgrow people. Don’t let this get you down. Instead, look at it as an opportunity; an opportunity for growth and to meet more like-minded people who could possibly become part of your circle.
2. Have your board of directors
Your board of directors is your team of mentors who you turn to for advice in your career and other aspects of life. Leverage your board of directors as you’re narrowing your circle. Some of them may know some of the people in your circle and may see qualities of certain people not having your best interest at heart. Trust their judgement. They more than likely have been on this earth longer than you and have dealt with narrowing their circle as well.
3. Have the tough conversations
As you outgrow certain people and places, give people a warning. Let them know you’re changing. It’s okay to say “hey, I’m not interested in that anymore” or “I’ve decided to stop doing that.” The more transparent about the change and growth you’re experiencing, the better off you’ll be because naturally some people will see themselves out of the circle. That doesn’t mean you can’t be cordial and speak to them. It just means you can’t keep them as close as they once were.
I hope these tips help you to narrow your circle and narrow it gracefully. Remember, don’t be ashamed about changing and growing. It must happen in order for you to reach your true purpose.