building your inner circle

Who do you turn to when you need support? When work problems start piling up and there is unresolved conflict in the office, who is the first person you would tell? We all need an inner circle where we can be completely honest and vulnerable. Inner circles can consist of your friends, family and even your colleagues! Think of inner circles as a support group with deep-rooted friendship. They give you the encouragement, advice and guidance you need to succeed and vice versa. Like it or not, success is not solely based on our own achievements but also dependent on the people around us. Unleash the potential of your inner circle and propel yourself to greater heights.

Befriend Achievers

Aim to be a small fish in a big pond among your group of friends. Rather than being the most successful person in your inner circle, seek out others who are more successful. While it feels good to be the person that everyone looks up to, we can fall into a dangerous mindset of complacency. Your inner circle should consist of a good mix of ‘pupils, mentors and peers’ which are essential for your growth as a leader.  Pupils will hone your mentoring skills while mentors will impart knowledge and skills which are essential for a leader. Find peers who are near your current capabilities. They will give you the healthy competition you need to realize your full potential. It is only when you surround yourself with other successful people are you able to become a better version of yourself.

Find Friends Who Keep You Close

No matter how busy we are, we all need friends outside of work who see us for who we are and not our title. They energize us by taking our mind off work. They are the ones we can goof around and be silly with on weekends. Yet we can also be vulnerable and completely honest with them. Even if you are busy with work, don’t forget to reconnect with your friends outside of work. Who knows? Their third party perspective could give you valuable advice for work-related matters.

Steer Away From Toxic People

After a long and tough day at work, all we want is a listening ear who can reassure us that things will get better. Life is too short to have friends that are quick to point out your flaws without recognizing your strengths. Same goes for when you are in the office. I’m sure we all have that one colleague who takes pleasure in criticizing others and bringing them down. Avoid these colleagues at all costs! Your path of success should be filled with people who can spread positive vibes and uplift you. The more time you spend with positive people, the less likely you are to engage in negative talk and self doubt. Know the difference between a devil’s advocate and a negative friend. Unlike a negative friend, a devil’s advocate will provide constructive feedback and encourage you to consider alternative viewpoints.

Keep Your Inner Circle Small

We live in a time where networking and expanding your friends list is extremely crucial for your success. Having a well-connected list of friends can introduce us to the right people who can propel us to greater success. We are also FOMO (fear of missing out) creatures by nature. We fear that if we were to miss a meet-up, we could miss out on a golden opportunity. But your inner circle is for your growth. The time spent on less meaningful meet-ups can be used for something that resonates more deeply with you. Think family time, working on your hobbies, or even reflecting on your growth! Be intentional with your time and withdraw from people or activities that cause you to feel drained or uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to walk away from things that no longer make you happy or excited.

Be The Friend That You Want

Ever heard of this phrase before? You are who you attract. You are only able to attract the right type of friend that you want if you also possess these qualities too. If you want great listeners, you have to practice active listening as well. You can’t take all the benefits from your inner circle without giving anything in return. Always be positive and supportive towards your friends and challenge one another to greater heights. There’s nothing more powerful than peer pressure to keep you motivated.

Friends may come and go, but your inner circle is here to stay! Understand that friendships are built and not something that can be found overnight. It takes time, trust and respect to maintain your inner circle. If you already have an inner circle that is providing support for you, that’s great! If not, start working on establishing one. Don’t be afraid to make new friends and determine the type of people that you want in your inner circle.

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