All posts,  Emotional Wellness,  Military Lifestyle Advice

Who Are You Surrounded By…It Matters!

Natural talent helps, but you have to have the drive and people around you who encourage you.” ~unknown

Have you ever wondered if it really matters who you spend your time with or who you choose to be surrounded by on a daily basis? There is a saying that you may have heard which states that your income will be valued right in the middle of the 5 people who you spend the most of your time with.

Fascinating right? But it really makes sense.

The people who we are around, affect us in many ways. They become our sounding board, they give us opinions and even judge what we do. We receive input which affects our thoughts, and often changes our behaviors. The people that are in our lives influence us in many ways, and this influence directly impacts our judgement as well as our actions.

I know for me, when I surround myself with positive people, my outlook on life is incredible. I expect good and look for the lesson in any struggle. I have confidence, and energy but most importantly, I expect things to work in my favor, and see the light in everything around me.

But when I’m around “negative Nelly’s” things are much different.  I poke holes in everything, second guess myself and analyze each situation looking for all the things that could go wrong. When surrounded people who “whine” and “bitch” about the challenges they are facing I tend to focus on my challenges as well.

Just listen to the chit-chat next time you are in a local Starbucks,  it’s like a contest to see who has a harder life.  And sadly if you aren’t careful it’s easy to get caught up in that game. Why?  Because  it is human nature to want to fit in and be part of something. And in general we don’t think about what we are giving in to as long as we are fitting in.

I remember when we first came back into the Army (almost 5 years ago now).  We weren’t your normal military family. Our kids were in high school, we had been married for over 17 years and other than my husband who originally got out in 1989, none of us had ever been a “dependant”.  Everything was new, and I had no idea how to function in this new system.  And we all just wanted to fit in.

Fast forward a few months, and at a BBQ we were hosting for my husbands soldiers and their families, I looked around and it was like a brick hitting me in the face.  Without exception there was not one conversation that wasn’t full of complaints about this Army life.  Wives were complaining about training schedules and upcoming deployment.  Soldiers were complaining about PT, finances and various other issues. And we, the Davis family were fitting in perfectly…….

Like I said, a brick hitting my face…No wonder our adjustment from corporate America to the Military lifestyle was so difficult!  We had not only surrounded ourselves with the energy sucking, negative Nelly’s, but we were on the verge of becoming them! And that was NOT ok!

This AHA moment, not only changes things instantly, but it made me wonder why it is so easy for people to get caught in a negative vortex and end up being part of something that isn’t in their best interest. Maybe we do so because it is easier to go with the flow rather than branch out on our own. Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to make waves. But the reality is that surrounding ourselves with people who don’t see things from a positive viewpoint or don’t have our best interests at heart is toxic. It can keep us from moving forward and can stop us from taking action and achieving our goals.

For us it was easy to get swept up by the people who complained, and pointed out, the negative side of military life.  They are always looking for an eager ear, and because we were afraid of what we didn’t know, they were the first people we met. Maybe for you it’s something else, but it’s the same  result no matter how or why it happens. What you focus on and how you handle your life always comes back to the people you choose to surround yourself with.

I know that after that eye-opening BBQ, things changed.  We began seeking out the people who believe, like us, that serving in the military is a privilege.  We started to get involved in the activities and events that highlighted what the Army does right.  And once we did that things changed.  Sure for a time it was a bit lonely, and at each post we now tend to “watch” and get our bearings for a little longer than most people.  But for us, that extra time helps us find the relationships and people who make our time enjoyable and fun.

So I guess my point is that if you find that you are always in drama or being dragged into a “bitch-fest”, you might want to take a look around and really see who you are choosing to spend your time with.

It matters, trust me, it matters. Like the quote says surround yourself with people who encourage you and you will see what a difference it makes!

 

~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com

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