Like many people in today’s world, I love reading inspirational quotes. I’m grateful that on any given day I can log in to Facebook or Instagram and be filled up with a multitude of motivating messages that people are sharing. The other day, I read a line that quickly captured my attention. It read,
“A man with dreams needs a woman with vision.”
My first book, The Integrity Advantage, was published this month. To support its success, I have put together a team of people — web designers, branding experts, and social media mavens — to help me launch this project. In getting to know me, they have all spent time with me asking me questions about my vision for the book and the dreams I have for the future.
Being surrounded by people who are committed to holding your highest vision is a blessing. One of my closest friends and mentors, the late Debbie Ford, who was an author, expert life coach, and teacher, was a master at holding people’s visions. In fact, she was a self-proclaimed “bulldog” when it came to holding someone’s vision. She would see potential in people that they didn’t see in themselves. She would stand by their side as they took each step, and kick them in the butt when they wanted to quit, procrastinated, or somehow slipped into victim mode. She applauded their every success, was there to wipe every tear, and motivated them to keep going!
Debbie was so good at holding people in their highest that she made a business out of it and founded The Ford Institute to train Integrative Coaches to do the same in the lives of their clients. I am fortunate to have been trained by Debbie and to have the understanding of what it means to be a “bulldog” when it comes to holding someone’s vision and dreams.
I am also a “bulldog” when it comes to protecting my vibration and determining who I surround myself with, especially those who I let close to me. I often use the analogy of a house when I describe my boundaries with people. For me, some people belong on the front porch, some you can invite into your living room, some are welcome into your bedroom, and a handful can even come into your closet. But then there are others you don’t want on your front lawn or even on your same street.
This past year I have become acutely aware of a “classification” of people that I personally keep at arm’s length. I call this group “people who empower your helplessness.” These are the people who want you to think that you need them, that your life will not be the same without them, or that it will be a hundred times better and more abundant if they are in your life.
They say things like:
“No one will ever love you like I love you.”
“No one will ever make love to you like I do.”
“Who else is always there for you when you need them?”
“I taught you everything you know.”
“Let me do it for you since only I can get it right.”
“Only I can turn your book into a Number 1 New York Times best-seller or help you make that project into a huge success.”
It is their message of “You need me to…” be happy, loved, or successful that shakes your foundation and leaves you questioning if you can do it without them. They summon your voice of uncertainty and tap into your self-doubt. They dangle the bait of what you want most in front of you and leave you questioning if you can reach your goals and vision without them. In short, they hook into your deepest fears and empower your core feelings of helplessness! And even though an alarm goes off inside and you feel the urge to walk or run away, the scared, insecure child within you doesn’t trust that you can do it on our own or that the Universe will provide for you so you become paralyzed and seduced into thinking these people have something you don’t and so you stay in the relationship.
If you want to live the life of your dreams, then surround yourself with like-minded people who are your champions and cheerleaders — people who root you on and remind and inspire you to continue to strive for what it is you truly desire, people who are committed to your best as opposed to their need to be in control or in your life. Surround yourself with people who love you enough to risk speaking their truth if it will support you in living in your greatness. Surround yourself with people who know that you are here to deliver a gift to the world and recognize that living with integrity is not only in your highest but will benefit the world as well. Surround yourself with people who will fight like a bulldog because they see in you what you cannot always see in yourself and truly want you to live your biggest and best life and to be your most magnificent self!
Transformational Action Steps
- Start paying attention to how you feel when you are in the presence of other people. Whose presence increases or diminishes your energy? Who supports your dreams and who empowers your helplessness? Who belongs on your front porch and who would you want to invite into your living room or bedroom?
- As you start noticing the distinction between people who support your dreams and those who empower your helplessness, without making the latter wrong, know that this is an opportunity to take back your power. What boundaries or structures do you need to put in place to safeguard your vibration, energy and integrity?