Do you have a strong inner circle?

The Inventory, We All Must Take Before Stepping into the Arena

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

This is one of my favorite quotes. The reality of this quote took me forever to understand. I have a natural inclination to want to help people. For a while it didn’t matter to me how damaged or drama filled a person was, because I felt that I could help build them up. As I have grown, I have become more aware of my emotions and what triggers them. The truth is, we are hugely influenced by the people closest to us. They affect our moods, our self-esteem, and even our decision-making. With this fact in mind, it’s imperative that we often do an inventory of the people in our lives and how they make us feel. We must always protect our energy, especially as we move through the different levels of our lives.

Adam Grant, Author of Give and Take, defined givers and takers in a Ted Talk saying that takers are self serving in their interactions. They are all about what you can do for them. Givers are people who approach most interactions by asking what they can do for you. Take a moment to think about the givers and takers in your life. Create two lists. On the first list, I want you to write down the five most influential people in your life. Then on the second list, write down the five individuals who drain you the most. This first list are your givers and the second list are your takers. Now take a look at both list, next to each name write down how much time you spend with them.

Are you spending more time with positive, uplifting, and inspirational people? Or are you spending most of your time with people who often complain and drain you of your energy? It’s important to understand the roles that people play in your life in order for you to grow. Most times, elevation requires separation. It is critical as you are growing that your inner circle is filled with more givers than takers. Sadly, studies show that most of our inner circles are filled with more takers than givers. By creating these lists you will be able to assess how you spend your time, and if you could benefit from shifting who you spend your time with. Remember, it is vital for you to protect your energy as you grow. Sometimes, we can’t avoid the takers, also known as toxic people. Therefore we must learn to engage with them without disrupting our peace.

The author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and Forbes contributor, Travis Bradberry, says, that toxic people drive your brain into a stressed-out state and they should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, sometimes the toxic people in our lives are those we work with every day. What’s even more upsetting is that they can be those we live with and love. In this case, we don’t have the luxury of avoiding them at all costs. However, there are ways that we can neutralize toxic people in our lives to remain calm and in control.

Neutralizing Toxic People

Do not feel guilty about setting boundaries between you and toxic people. Boundaries are a necessary part of life. When I wasn’t setting them, I was practically allowing takers to have a front row seat in my life. I thought that I could save the world, and if I just listened to them and gave them advice, they would change. However, I’ve discovered that some people actually enjoy living a drama-filled, toxic life. They also don’t mind bringing you into their drama if you allow them to. Therefore you must learn to:

1. Set limits.

While you may have to work with toxic people, or deal with them in your family. You can and should set limits. Always be respectful but don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of listening to them complain or talk negatively. Limit the amount of one-on-one time you spend with them and do not be afraid to say no. ‘No’ is a complete sentence.

2. Help toxic people become problem solvers.

Misery loves company and a toxic person loves to complain. Instead of allowing them to pull you into their pity party, ask them this simple question, “How do you plan to solve this problem?” This will usually get them on the path of talking about positive solutions or change the subject entirely. If they continue to complain, even after you ask them this question, simply suggest for them to think about how they can solve the problem and then talk to you later about It. They are either going to really think about it. Or they will avoid talking to you about it all together.

3. Stay aware.

Be conscious of how people make you feel. Be quick to forgive, but never forget or ignore how a person affects you. When you’re aware of a person’s energy, you can better protect your energy and prevent them from altering your mood.

By learning to do these three things you can continue to engage with toxic people. The reality is that we can’t avoid them altogether. However, these tips will help you protect your energy and your peace.

Thoughts to Consider

Is there room for new positive energy to flow into your life? Or are takers riding shotgun on your journey to success? Take the time today to do an inventory of the people in your life and start protecting your energy to reach the next level.

If you’re seriously ready to live a more purposeful life, I invite you to take my new course: Are You Ready to Step Inside the Arena? By joining this course, you will gain a renewed hope in yourself, actionable tools to transform your dreams into your new reality, and a network to support you along the way. You do not have to settle for where you are now. You can step inside of the arena and find peace and purpose today. The choice is yours.

Click here to watch the course overview to discover if it’s right for you.

About Monica McCoy

Monica McCoy is the Founder of MonicaMotivates, an organization providing coaching, speaking, and consulting services that helps individuals transition from being spectators with their lives to being active participants inside the arena.

In 2011 Monica McCoy noticed the amount of individuals struggling to find their passion and purpose. Sparking her to action, she founded MonicaMotivates, providing executive-level speaking, coaching, and consulting services to professional, corporate women and female business owners. Monica initially thought that she wanted to be a cardiologist when going to college, but quickly learned that she wanted to help save lives in a different manner. MonicaMotivates focuses on providing actionable solutions for business owners to pursue their passion, dream, and goals.