Life is short, but it sure gets complicated. The seasons of life seem to flash by, and things can drastically change without warning. Whether you plan it or not, you can move from place to place, have life-changing experiences, realize something big about yourself, and hit milestones like marriage and kids. Each of these things brings new people into your life, but it can also push old ones out. Outgrowing friend groups is a difficult thing to realize, but once you do, it forces you to make a decision: embrace change or get stuck in the past.
Larry and I have had tons of huge changes to our lives in just the past few years, so we completely understand what it means to suddenly be on a different page than the people we know. We got married and had kids faster than our friends, and that posed some major challenges. Of course, we still keep in touch, but we have to be realistic, too. We have priorities and limitations that others don’t, and it was time to find other people who could relate.
THERE ARE FRIENDS FOR EVERY SEASON
You’ve likely already realized that you turn to specific people for different things. If you prioritize exercise or self-care, you likely have that one friend who you always text first for a gym visit or spa day. You most likely also have that friend that’s more like family, who comes to watch your kids or offers a helping hand. You could also have friends you only see at school or at work. So why is it so hard to believe that you could have different friends for different times in your life, too?
Graduating high school and college likely meant you moved on and never spoke to those classmates or roommates again. So when you get married and have kids, you’ll need to accept that unmarried, non-parent friends might not understand where you’re at in your life and why you make the decisions you do. You might not be able to talk to them anymore about your struggles and emotions, and they might not understand how they can help you. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just a fact of life.
Of course, it’s totally okay to keep people in your life that might not understand you and your situation, but still bring joy to your day and respect you!
FINDING NEW CIRCLES
The important thing to remember is that finding true happiness is finding a community of people who are similar in situation to you and who are achieving what you’d like to achieve. Growing and finding happiness is about setting your sights high and surrounding yourself with people who will encourage and support you in your goals. If this means you have to “pay for friends,” do it. By that, I mean take part in mastermind groups, buy courses, attend dinners, go to events — anything that will put you in environments that relate to your interests and vision for your life so you can meet new people with similar interests.
ACCEPTING ENDS AND NEW BEGINNINGS
Intentionally putting yourself into new circles is not to say that previous friends weren’t or aren’t worthy of you now. All relationships serve a purpose in your life: maybe you learned something from them or they helped you through a difficult time. Even if that person was only in your life for a short time, their value at the time and going forward could be monumental, and that’s important to cherish just the same.
If you’re sad about leaving friends behind, you don’t have to. I’m a strong believer in reaching out to people with whom you had great relationships in the past just to say “Hi!” and catch up. Thoughtfulness like this can re-spark a relationship, and you might find that they’ve also changed and staying in touch could be more beneficial now than it was before.
At the same time, if a relationship comes to an end, it’s important to accept that gracefully. Appreciate the memories and lessons learned, and think about how you can pay that forward.
DO ALL THAT YOU DO FOR THE GOOD OF YOU!
If you were looking for permission to say goodbye today to someone who is negatively impacting your life, here’s your permission. It’s okay to outgrow people who aren’t moving in the same direction or at the same speed as you. It’s okay to break away when someone not only doesn’t understand you anymore but disrespects how you’ve changed and your new priorities. Only you know what’s best for yourself and your life, especially if it also impacts your spouse and your family’s future.
If it’s time to find new circles, we’d love to talk. Larry and I are always looking to meet new people who are family-oriented and want to break free of limiting mindsets by building entrepreneurial empires. Go on a double date with us!
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XX – Lyss
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