The Power of a Positive Posse

I’ve never had a lot of friends. Growing up I had one, maybe two close friends at a time. I was painfully shy and perpetually quiet in any group setting, as well as wildly insecure. While I was liked by most of my peers, I had a hard time getting close to the majority of them and spent a lot of time alone. And I’ve always been mostly fine with that since, as an introvert, I assumed that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

After I graduated high school and moved away, I retreated even further into myself. I had my kids very young and they and my husband became my whole world. I’ve made a couple friends here and there over the years, but none of them were friends I saw on a regular basis or even had much in common with. And so I have operated under the assumption that I’m not a terribly social person and didn’t see a real need to try to change that.

As I ventured out to explore new things over the last few years, though, I wound up meeting a whole bunch of new people. I joined rugby, which is a super social sport, and was introduced to 20-30 amazing women. I dated a guy for a couple of years who is into drag racing and I ended up meeting a whole community of lovely, fun, generous people. I started a business and joined some networking groups, discovering a fantastic bunch of successful, like minded individuals. I started volunteering with youth and met some fantastically sweet and kind people there. I’m with a guy now who needs to socialize like he needs to breath and has brought me into his circle of quirky, silly, warmly genuine friends.

Slowly but surely I have become an extroverted introvert. I’ve met people I can sincerely connect with, have honest, deep conversations with, who are creating and living the lives they want and who encourage those around them to do the same. Socializing has become a natural extension of my day to day life and something I very much look forward to.

It blows me away, the effect all of these amazing people have had on my life. Being surrounded by successful, positive, driven people has forced me to up my game. I am now accountable to do the things I say I’m going to do, to set goals and stick to them, and to challenge myself and commit to a path of growth and self-development. I’m held to much higher standards than I was before. No more flaking out. No more excuses. And I love it.

The key component I was missing before was finding people who were similar to me in mindset, goals, and outlooks. Turns out, you can’t spend time with a bunch of people who are negative or lazy or complacent and expect to see good things as a result. As Jim Rohn said, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you hang out with excellent people, you will become an excellent person.

Finding the right kind of people can be tough, for sure. But it’s so so worth it. Your life will be so much richer and fulfilling, I guarantee it. Start small. Take baby steps. Look for opportunities to branch out. Search Facebook for local groups that share a common interest. Check Meetup. Look on LinkedIn. Join a sport. Ask people you already know if they belong to a club/group/activity that you might be interested in. There are so many ways to connect with other people and if you keep looking, you will eventually find exactly what you’re looking for.

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