Building a successful career requires more than being talented and having an array of skills. A big part of thriving in your career comes down to your relationships. These relationships aren't the ones such as seeking out mentors and networking.
While those are certainly important, it's the people who are closest to you that requires close monitoring.
As I'm learning, not everyone can continue the journey with you. Some people have to be released since they have run their course.
If you don't release those people who aren't contributing to your growth, you're inevitably sabotaging your potential future success. You have to be careful of who subconsciously influences you which comes down to being extremely picky with your environment.
This is a no-brainer conceptually, but how do you know which relationships are essentially toxic to your progress and which ones aren't? It starts by asking these three questions.
1. Do they allow me to make excuses?
Early on in my entrepreneurial journey, I would say I'm going to do certain things and come to the end of the week, I still hadn't completed those things. And to no surprise, I made very little progress toward my goals.
In a perfect world, I would have people who would call me out for this procrastination. However, I didn't. After talking with peers, I realized that my circle was justifying my mediocre behaviors and allowing me to be average which was furthering the timeline toward me accomplishing what I was seeking.
This would've been okay if that's what I wanted, but it wasn't. If you're attempting to make major career moves, it's imperative that you have people who hold you to a high standard.
If your existing circle doesn't call you out for not keeping your word, start seeking a new circle by looking into events with like-minded individuals.
2. Do they make me feel guilty for my ambition?
Some people want to take over the world and will stay up all night if that's what it requires, while some just want to live a simple life and sleep in more often. Neither scenario is wrong.
However, when you're full of ambition and have a massive vision being pursued, it's important to surround yourself with individuals who will provide energy to your mission.
Far too often, when we get around the wrong people, they serve as energy drainers due to their language and outlook, among many other things. This, in turn, leads us to think smaller and second-guess ourselves which serves as kryptonite to our chances of success.
If you have energy drainers in your life and you can't get rid of them, simply keep your biggest dreams and ambitions to yourself. Only share it with people who you respect and will add value to your vision.
3. Do they tell me the truth?
Most people have a circle that is afraid to hurt their feelings. With this being the case, it's hard to be rooted in reality and to gain a clear perspective of where you sit. A real set of friends and close peers will tell you the truth because they see the big picture.
If they don't tell you the truth, then they only risk causing more pain further down the road. You can't perform at your highest levels being surrounding by a bunch of "yes men and women."
When asking your existing circle or new circle for the truth, don't take it personally and realize that they only have your best interest in mind.
You might feel ruthless for performing a friend audit, but ultimately achieving your goals will require some sacrifices that will be uncomfortable. Plus, by letting go of the not-so beneficial relationships in your life, you're creating space for richer and more beneficial ones to arrive.