In my eyes, ditching people who no longer serve you and your growth is all the rave. It’s the bee’s knees. It’s the new black. It’s the tallest glass of wine you’ve ever been served.

It is common for clients to come to me with perceived ‘problems’ they believe are stemming from procrastination or maybe fear of change, but upon further investigation realizing it is actually fear of judgement. And the crazy part? The fear of judgement is often surrounded by ONE PERSON in their life.

For one of my clients it is his dad. This man makes the most beautiful and intricate wood furniture you’ve ever seen. Furniture that could be sold for thousands in show rooms. Unfortunately, his parents raised him to believe in the security of working for The Man. Dreams are a pipe shoot, and a steady paycheck is the way to go, in their eyes. Naturally he didn’t want to hurt his parents feelings nor cause undo stress for them by quitting his 9 to 5 job and chasing his dream of selling his wood furniture. Keep in mind this man is forty, but appeasing the parents knows no age!)

Random fact: I heard a podcast one time, and although I don’t recall the exact percentage, it claimed that a staggeringly high percentage of entrepreneurs do not start their business until retirement age. Seems, fine right? They finally have time to commit to a side gig- cool. Nope, wrong. Upon further investigation, the study concluded that it wasn’t necessarily freed up time from their careers that allowed them to start their business but instead the morbid fact that this is the age when most folks parents pass away, freeing them from the judgement and allowing them the freedom to start their own business. HOLY COW! People are literally waiting until their 60’s to start their dreams because the fear of the judgement monster is so hairy, and their need to please their parents is so strong they are wasting (YES, I said it. WASTING) their life working a job that pleases their parents. Kill me now. For the love of God, place the knife directly at my esophagus.

I have another client who is obsessed with painting canvas. She has painted for years and has an uncanny talent for art. Unfortunately, she has never labeled herself as an artist and has a horrible fear around the idea. Upon deep thought work, we realized it was because her best friend of 10 years sells canvas art for a living. In my client’s eyes, she would be stepping on the toes of her very best friend. She claimed, “I just don’t know what to do, Becca. I love painting so much. I am really good at it. Its therapy to me. I could be successful, my work has potential. But Elizabeth would feel I am copying her after all these years. Her self-esteem is so fragile. She is so emotional sometimes. She means so much to me, I know she wouldn’t like this idea and I want to keep her as a friend but I want to be able to call myself an artist too..”

A third client’s friend isn’t so passive. She just down right wants my client to stay small and unhappy alongside her sad ass. As my client is growing, breaking ground on specifics that have held her back for years, her best friend, Kacie, just straight up tells her that self improvement work is stupid and that she shouldn’t be doing it. She makes fun of my client for hiring a life coach and reading non-fiction business material and pretends it’s all in good humor. (Fun thought: don’t be like Kacie, she sucks.)

It is no secret, you morph into the five people you spend the most time surrounded by. If you spend the most time with people who complain, look at the glass half empty, and are victimized often: you are likely to look at things in the same light. Upon the contrary, if you spend the most time with people who are seeking to improve themselves, take ownership in all their life choices, choose a higher road and have goals, parenting to the best of their abilities, being intentional with their life- that will also rub off on you, whether you’re ready for it or not.

Being INTENTIONAL about who you allow into your inner circle is a sure as fuck way of saying “I have boundaries you can’t mess with.” The opposite of intentional is allowing things in your life to slide in as they please without thought. It is so important to take time to hand pick all the current relationships in your life, grabbing them from thin air, holding them up to the light to study them, dissecting and exploring how well they’re serving you, then CHOOSING to either keep them or discard of them. This can be one of the hardest parts of self growth and reaching your best self. Some of our closest friends and families are not willing to grow with you, and are the ones who are tearing us down the most. They damn sure won’t understand why you need to politely distance yourself from them, but I am here to tell you it’s okay. Closing chapters in your life is part of opening new ones, and people who aren’t helping you grow or be your best self have no space in your life. This doesn’t make you mean. This makes you intentional and intelligent.

One of the main things I hear from my clients is that they feel they should keep their toxic friend around because they have history with that person. People often believe you have to stick with people who have been around a long time. (Dane Cook quote, anyone? “But Becky, I can’t just leave him. MY CD’s are in his truck.”)

The past does not equal the future. My client told me she sticks with her toxic best friend because “she has been my ‘person’ for so long. She has been my go-to. She was around when my dog died. She was around when my boyfriend dumped me. We have known each other since highschool. I have known her longer than I have known anyone.” and you know what I say to that?

Pooey.

POOOOOOEY.

It doesn’t matter! I don’t care if your toxic friend birthed you straight from her vagina or saved your life in 3rd grade when you were choking on beef jerky in Miss Cornimeer’s class, you shall not keep around their toxic ass just because you have history. That’s like keeping around your dead dog because you loved it when it was alive. If you keep your dead dog around, you’re just weird. Don’t be weird.

You know that girl, (we all know this girl) whose boyfriends cheats on her continuously but shes like, “well we have been together for ten years, so I can’t just leave him.” Yes you fucking can, Tina. Yes you can.

You owe no one a single thing- not the people who saved your life in 3rd grade. Not the people who were with you when your dog died. Not the people you have history with.

This is your story to write and I urge you to choose the characters. Who has the privilege to play a scene in your book and why would you allow them an excerpt when they aren’t helping you to the next chapter?

As always, I urge you to live your life with intention.

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