Did you know what one of the biggest challenges you’ll face in striving for self-improvement and becoming a stronger person is?
It is having to let go of people whose influence makes you weak. People who drag you down.
This is the hardest to do when we’re young because our social group has such a strong influence and impact on our lives. Teenagers and young adults travel in packs. They live as herd animals at this phase of their emotional and social development.
Peer pressure can prevent you from becoming a stronger person
It’s perfectly natural that a young person who belongs to a group tends to follow the rules of that group. These “rules” include ways of speaking and conducting oneself, values and beliefs that one holds, habits and attitudes of the day, looking and dressing a certain way, and even things like a personal preference for what’s humorous or in fashion.
But as we grow in independence and find our own way through life, there comes a turning point around middle age. This is when you realize that in order to continue growing, you’re going to have to shed that which does not serve you.
More about peer influences on adolescent decision-making
Time to make choices
Middle age is the point of your life where you get to choose.
You can choose to either stay weak or follow along with a group that does not support who you are on the inside.
Or, you can decide to let go of people who hold you back from your full potential.
We cannot give our energy to any and every person, mission, and cause that presents itself to us. Something’s got to give, and middle age is a time of great responsibility. We may be doing things like juggling mortgage payments while putting our kids through college. We may be dealing with the deterioration of our aging parents’ health.
Middle age does not leave much time to spare for things that don’t serve us. It also becomes a pivotal point in one’s career, when you may want to assess if you’re going in the right direction and if there’s room for change.
Letting go – the first step to becoming a stronger person
At this point in our lives, we might want to shake loose any person or people who hold us back from doing and being all that we want to be. Ideally, we might like to say that we hung on to every friendship and that every person values us. But the fact is, not everyone is in alignment with who we want to be, and that’s okay.
Look around at your social groups. Anything from choosing the kind of lifestyle you want to lead, to decisions on how you spend your money and time, to weekend activities and choices in how you raise your kids, is influenced by the people you call friends.
Even the level of pettiness that you choose to engage in and otherwise conduct yourself from is often dictated by the people around you. Maybe by the time you reach middle age you’re no longer content to argue about politics and feel drained by conversations that polarize and send people in frustrating circles.
If you’d like to eliminate this and other toxic ways of being from your life, the midpoint of your existence is the perfect time to do so. Trimming away that which doesn’t serve you is a great way to increase your potency as a human being.
In the name of becoming a stronger person, do the work of deciding the following:
- Are the activities and involvements that you’ve committed yourself to supporting who you are on the inside? Or do you have to let some of those things go?
- Do the people that you spend your time with on the weekend leave you with a smile on your face and a light feeling in your heart? Or are they leaving you in a wake of bad feelings, replaying yucky conversations in your head?
What about surrounding yourself with people who lift you to a higher purpose? In middle age, some people stay stuck in the same old traps. They complain, blame, avoid, or look to escape… but don’t do what it takes to change, transcend, grow and live authentically.
But other people have learned to embrace a joyful forward striving
And you can do it too!
- If you found a group of people like this who aspire to more, then gravitate toward these folks. These are the people who seek to cultivate healthy interests… delight in learning about new people… open their minds to a fresh perspective… immerse in new experiences and different cultures.
- If they, like you, feel ready to abandon harmful practices and self-destructive habits in exchange for healthy ones that will help them become stronger, smarter, wiser, and happier… then add them to your list of keepers.
- Minimize or eliminate all which does not serve you. Minimize or eliminate that which saps you of your personal potency. In doing so, you will make room for things that help you be better, aim higher, live richly, and know love.
Here’s your checklist for becoming a stronger person
- Make room for hobbies and interests.
- Make room for gestures that help others.
- Make room for positive thoughts and good times.
- Make room for learning, living and loving.
- Make room for good nutrition and exercise to keep your body strong, fit, and healthy.
- Make room for meaningful moments.
- Make room for enriching experiences.
Be happy. Live life without regrets. Because you deserve it.
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verses, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions, and humor. Oh yeah, some days are not so short.