We could all use friends like these. And what you might not know about the cast of Friends is that their on screen bond we saw during those conversations at "Central Perk" was replicated with a strong off-screen bond as well.
During the first season of the show, the cast was all making the same salary of $22,500 per episode. Once it became an instant pop culture phenomenon, they all got a pay bump in season 2, although each actor was being paid differently, based on what NBC perceived each person's value to be.
The six actors valued the contribution of each of their colleagues equally. So in 1997, they refused to show up to work until each person was paid the same salary of $100,000 per episode. It was the first time in the history of TV that a cast went on strike demanding equal pay for everyone, proving the Friends had each other's back 100%. This is pretty rare in any walk of life, but especially for a "me first" place like Hollywood.
I bring this up because there is an important factor that we ignore when we ask why we have stalled in reaching our goals, so I will ask you the question now:
Are you surrounded by people who support and elevate you as you strive to live your vision? Do your friends value your success with the same passion that they value their own?
Why is this important? Because as Jim Rohn says, "You Are The Average of the 5 People That You Spend The Most Time With"
Think about that for a second.
You might not even be consciously aware of which relationships dominate the majority of your waking hours. Yet, surrounding yourself with negative, jealous, low vibe, people will only bring out a corresponding negativity in you, leaving you feel stagnant. As motivational speaker Mastin Kipp says, “Who you surround yourself with is who you will become”.
If you feel unsure as to whether the people surrounding you are inspiring you to live your best life, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel overcome with self-doubt?
- Am I putting off chasing my dreams? Am I not pursuing that one thing that lights me up inside?
- Do I feel like I have to change who I am to please others?
- Do I take bad advice from people with no track record of success with the goals I have set for myself? (i.e., relationship advice from friends who can’t seem to maintain any relationship of their own)
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then it’s time to step back and re-evaluate your social circle.
I realize that this is easier said than done. Breaking off a long standing friendship can be tough and trigger feelings of abandonment or loneliness. But the good news is that as you remove toxic people from your life, you are clearing the way energetically to fill that void with people who uplift, support, and appreciate you for who you are. The universe does not operate in a vacuum. Energy that is removed will always be replaced with something new, and if we are clear about setting boundaries, it will always be replaced with something better.
I experienced this first-hand in 2012 after going through a terrible breakup. I spent 4 years in a toxic relationship with someone who was always negative, seeing only the worst in others, the world around her, and the worst in me. After spending so much time changing who I was to please someone else, I felt that I had lost all connection to the “real” me. I had become negative and judgmental as well. This was further complicated when I realized that I had invested so many years building a snarky, funny, radio persona in my former career that I didn't know how to be vulnerable enough to ask people for support during a pretty dark time.
It wasn’t easy, but after gaining separation from that relationship, I was able let down my guard, be real and admit to people that I was really broken. In the process, I found myself surrounded by more support and love than I ever could have imagined, because people are attracted to authenticity. Those friendships that I forged remain some of the most special relationships to me 4 years later because they were built on rocks and not sand.
And it took letting go of the toxicity in my life to usher in that kind of love.
So here is a quick action plan to surround yourself with a better support system in 2016.
- Unapologetically be YOU. Because who you are is spectacular. If you have the turn down your dimmer switch around the people you are spending time with, it's time for a change.
- Distance yourself from the people whose energy brings you down. Don’t be a jerk about it and take the attitude that they are beneath you. They are just going down a different road than you are. Wish them the best and then walk your own path.
- Trust that in releasing this energy, you are clearing space to attract new, healthier, more supportive relationships. I realize that for some of you, that negative person in your life might not be a friend, it could be a spouse or family member. Does it mean that you have to go out and get a divorce or remove your family from your life? Not necessarily. But it does make point #4 vital in manifesting your vision in 2016.
- Find a mentor or life coach who can shorten your learning curve when it comes to your personal development. As you work through the transition of creating better boundaries, stepping into your power, and achieving your dreams, you need an accountability partner who has accomplished the things that you want to achieve.
As a free 2016 gift to my fellow "Soul Seekers", I am offering you a FREE, 30 minute, Creative Breakthrough coaching session. Let's talk about your hopes and dreams for this year, and what you need to do to gain momentum and fast track your success.
The offer is good for the first 10 people to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending you love and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.