This quote speaks volumes to me especially in this season of my life. As the diagram to the right illustrates there are various levels to your circle of friends. Friendships are something that I hold near and dear. I know a lot of people but there are very FEW that I would call a real friend. Do I show myself friendly? Of course, but we all have those handful of people that we can call at any time with whatever the issue and they listen, laugh, cry, support, encourage or even criticize in love- but they are always available and they meet you right where you are. Those are my Inner Circle friends- often there may be more non-relatives than relatives but that’s okay. My outer circle is normally people whom I meet that develop into inner circle friends and sometimes life pulls the inner circle into the outer circle. Whatever the case, be mindful of whom you hold close to you in your INNER CIRCLE. They really should be people who are supportive of whatever life is throwing at you. New or loss of a Job, Marriage or Divorce, New Ventures, Becoming an Empty Nester etc.
In this season of my life, I don’t have a lot “mommy” friends. Our children are growing up and moving into adulthood so we don’t have the need to connect for play dates etc. I’ve moved out of the traditional work force so I don’t have as many colleagues in either circle. When I got divorced a few of my married friends were moved to the outer circle because I simply no longer connect with them as often. Does my love or concern for them change? I don’t think so, just my placement of where they fit into my life does.
So now I find myself in this place of creating my own Brand, building a business entity and developing better relationships with singles (my current relationship status) and it too has created a shift of my inner circle. What I’ve noticed is that MY PERSONAL GRIND, is much more intense than it was 10 years ago. I’ve always owned a business but I built those as a wife and mother. This time I can really focus on what works best for me, with more flexibility, resources and even opportunities that I never experienced in the past. My inner circle should consist of people who have that same GRIND mindset, with their own life goals.
When I evaluated my current circle I had to ask myself a very simple questions- “Are the people in my circle putting as much into me and my endeavors as I have done for them? Are they the people who will push me into my focused areas of growth? Are they the people who can help me align with my necessary audience? Can they see when I’m off track and encourage me in the right direction? Do they currently support my business? Do they share my opportunity with their own circle of friends? If I won a million dollars and decided to pay for my best supporters to accompany me on a 15 day trip-who would I take?”
With careful inspection I realized that God was pulling some people out of my inner circle by default. We were still good friends, but they were no longer my immediate “go to” for anything in this season. Now let me be clear, I don’t mean using people for your own personal gain, but there should be a compatibility in our friendships just as any relationship. God created us to sharpen one another, not remain in the same place from one season to the next.
Don’t be afraid to adjust your circles. Reducing them will probably allow you to become more influential in the needs that they have in their season of life as well. You will be able to draw on those that you need to accomplish whatever you are pursuing rather than holding onto a large number of people who don’t keep you encouraged, don’t support you or push you into your destiny.
Ask yourself the above questions. What enlightenment did you receive about YOUR circle?
Proverbs 27:17 NKJV
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”