Words are powerful.
What the world says about who you are can impact how you see yourself. Even the way you talk to yourself can make a difference in how you see yourself – and that can influence the choices you make in life.
It’s like this… Over time, if someone continually calls you a “loser,” those words are going to take root because it’s a quick trip from “Maybe I am a loser.” to “I am a loser.” It’s the way our minds work – thoughts become our reality if repeated over time.
Negative words and thoughts repeated over and over, are going make you think that’s who you are. And if you believe that’s who you are, you’re going to start making choices based on that belief.
The good news is, the same process happens when positive or uplifting words are said.
That’s why it matters who you allow to speak into your life. The people you’re around can impact you in positive or negative ways. One of the most powerful things you can do to make sure you succeed, is to have the right people around you. It also determines what you will and won’t allow in your life. Nothing will pull you down faster than hanging around people that tear you down and encourage you to make wrong decisions.
You’ve got to find people who speak life to you – even when you make mistakes. It’s not that you need them to condone your failures. You need them to hold you accountable but still lift you up. True friends will encourage you even when you mess up.
Sometimes you need someone to believe in you, before you can believe in yourself. We all need people around us who build us up – we can’t do life alone.
We need the kind of people who look at our mess and can still say, “That doesn’t define you. You’re still awesome. You’re still going to do great things.”
I learned this lesson early in my journey. One big step I made was committing to meeting with a mentor every week. He was encouraging but honest. Those meetings taught me a lot about being a man, making good choices, and staying strong in my faith.
Those meetings made a huge difference in my life. Having a mentor is one of the best practices I can recommend to you. When the right people speak into your life, and give you other perspectives, it can help you see things differently and make better choices.
The advice and feedback you get from the right person can be a gift – it certainly was to me! Even today I have mentors and accountability people in my life. These people have challenged me to become the person I am today.
It’s all about who you’re keeping around you. I don’t want people in my life who are going to tell me what I want to hear. That’s not helpful because it’s not what I need – or want for that matter. In order to grow, I need to be willing to have hard conversations – the kind that challenge my thinking.
You need that too. It may make you uncomfortable, but when you dig deep like that you walk away with something that can elevate your life.
So how do you know who the right people are? Here are a few things to look for:
- People who are nice and supportive – but still willing to challenge you or call out bad behavior.
- People who respect themselves. If someone doesn’t respect themselves, how are they going to respect you?
- People who don’t tear others down. If someone is constantly tearing other people down, it’s likely they’re going to do that to you at some point.
- People who support your dreams and purpose. You want someone who can encourage you on your journey, and it helps if the person believes in what you are doing.
One of the biggest and most powerful things you can do is find the right people to walk through life with. I owe good part of my recovery and success to the people I surrounded myself with. I make sure the people I associate with are the ones who support me and help me grow.
You have that opportunity too. Take time to look around you. Who are you letting speak into your life? Make a decision today to eliminate the wrong people, and replace them with the right ones.