For the next little bit, I will be blogging about the things that I am working on in my life, in hopes that it will help you too. We all think we are the only ones struggling with our unique issues and that is simply just not true. The more we share, the more we realize we are NOT alone in our struggles.

I just got back from a coffee date with a woman I love, adore and admire! I have known her for six years and we have gotten together, one-on-one, less times then I can count on one hand. Sad.

I always feel amazing after I have spent time with her, so I don’t know why I have not done it more often.

I can think of ALL of the excuses I have made though. Soooooooo soooo many excuses. But why?

Being brutally honest with myself, I was worried that if I let her in, behind my walls, she would see that maybe I am not all the things she thinks I am.

Wow! Just writing that makes me realize how completely ridiculous that sounds. But it was my reality…in my head.

I have been accepting the fact that I am NOT perfect! Even though I have tried to make it appear that I have my shit together all of the time. NOT true!

I am on a quest to live a more authentic life and with that comes honesty. Vulnerability. Dealing with fear of judgement. Standing proud in who I am, regardless of what others may think of me.

So today my friend and I had a great two-way conversation about where we are at in life. What we are working on. How far we have come.

It felt so good.

After leaving, I was reflecting on past “friendships” and realized that the conversations were always one-sided. Just them talking about themselves, their shit, their drama, them, them, them. But maybe that was because I wouldn’t talk about me. Hmmmm….

Anyways, I started to categorize the people in my inner circle into categories of acquaintances, maintenance friends, and growth friends.

I have hundreds of acquaintances, a half dozen maintenance friends and really no growth friends. But I do not have any high-maintenance friends either. Amen to that!

Acquaintances is quite self-explanatory, they are just people you know, but there isn’t any real sort of connection there.

Maintenance friends are those people that you don’t see or talk too often, but you know you could pick up right where you left off the last time without any issue.

High-maintenance friends are those people that suck your energy out of you. An interaction with them dampens your spirit. Energy suckers I call them.

Growth friends are people aspiring to be more and do more. People who have great knowledge, experience and support to share with you and who a genuinely want your knowledge, experience and support too. They are your cheerleaders. The bring out the best in you. At least this is what Growth Friends are to me. My explanation.

I have often thought as this woman as a person I would want to be Growth Friends with. As a matter of fact, she has been on my life for three years!!! The list that is titled, “People I want to connect more with”. Three years!

The past year I have eliminated all negative people from my life. ALL of them. Not an easy task by any means. But so incredibly freeing once it is over.

This has helped me to create more space and more time to take with people that I want to be Growth Friends with. But then I filled that extra time with “busy time”. Always “too busy”.

Not anymore. Not too busy.

We all need Growth Friends! We all need two-way friendships. We all need people that lift our souls. We all need people that bring more joy into our life. We all need people to share with. We all need people to grow with.

So I am going to make more time for Growth Friends. Because this positive engagement today put a pep in my step. Put a smile on my face. Brought me joy. My only hope is that it was the same for her.

So today think about your “friends” – what kind of friends are they?

Put them into categories. Don’t worry about the acquaintance category. Just focus on Maintenance, High-Maintenance, Growth categories.

So your Maintenance Friends – hang on to those, but try to make more of an effort to connect with them. Even if it is a simple text message.

High Maintenance Friends – get rid of them. Just let them go. Or have a conversation with them and be honest about the fact that they are draining your energy. Or simply tell them that you need to take a break from communication for a little while. You have the right to do this. You should do this to protect your own energy. OR you can try to influence them by being incredibly positive and uplifting and turning each of their negative into a positive. Maybe….highly unlikely….but just maybe it will rub off on them.

Growth Friends – spend more time with these people! Even if it is once a month. Have a coffee together, go for a walk together, or have a telephone conversation. Something more personal than electronic conversations. If you have the opportunity, get several of your Growth Friends together every few months. These encounters will feed your soul. Feed their souls.

If you are feeling “off” – one of the things you should look at and take into consideration are the people you surround yourself with. Negative people are going to make you feel negative. Positive people will make you feel positive. Joyful people will make you feel joyful.

Also think about how you show up for each group of your friends. What type of friend are you?

You will grow faster when you have friends that want to grow too.

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You want to make a positive life-change so your life can be more fulfilling, surround yourself with amazing people.

I plan to do this a lot more often going forward. It will become a part of my monthly schedule. I will schedule it in so that it shall be done.

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