Surrounding Yourself with the Right People

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.
– Mark Twain, writer and satirist

I once read an interview with a life coach where they said that it was easy to recognize a perfect candidate for your support team. Just look for someone who has a way of making everyone else around them better; someone who succeeds by developing other people and letting them in on the fun; someone who is genuinely happy when other people succeed. That’s the person you want on your side. The pages of history are heavy with tales of the misguided who are proven wrong while insisting something just couldn’t be done. “Why put up with that?” the interviewee responded. “Believe in your goals enough to know that you shouldn’t stomach people who don’t. It’s ok if you’re the only one who believes in your dream. But someone who truly believes in YOU should help you believe that if anyone can do it, you can.”

When I read that interview, I had three reactions: 1. Makes sense 2. It’s sometimes easier to surround ourselves with “downers” because we are afraid of trying. 3. What type of friend am I?

The first two reactions were short and sort of fleeting… but I really got hung up on the last one. Was I the sort of person who made others feel they could be anything, do anything, acheive anything regardless of if I understood their dream, believed in their dream, shared their dream? Or, if it wasn’t something I was interested in or shared a passion for, did I sort of “poo-poo” the idea all the while telling myself that I was being a good friend by pointing out the flaws that they might not have thought of?

I am very aware of those around me who are “chipped” – having been hurt so badly that they have pieces of themselves missing, but I am not always as aware of those who are merely “cracked”… well, maybe the bigger the crack, the more I notice. But those hairline ones… case in point, my husband. He’s strong, confident, and for the most part, crack free. He has some regrets, but mostly he lives in the now and is very capabable of acheiving his goals regardless of what others think. So, it occaisionally comes as a shock to me when every now and then he has to remind me that when he shares his ideas with me, he’s not always just looking for me to pick through them and point out any flaws that he might have overlooked. He’s looking to me to be the one to say, “Well, if anyone can do it, you can!” and mean it. And the sad part is I do think that and mean it, but I don’t always say it or convey it… and I should.

Who are the people that you truly believe in? Have you told them lately?


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