Outgrowing your friends doesn’t make you a bad person and don’t let anyone make you feel differently.
In every stage of our lives, we make friends because of similar interests or circumstance.
When we were in middle school, we made friends with people who were in our classes, lived in our neighborhoods or were on our buses…
In high school we made friends with people who played the same sports as us, went to the same gym as us and were around us regularly…
In college, we made friends with people who went to the same parties, participated in the same organizations, stayed in our dorms and had the same classes or majors as us.
At each turn, you might find a friend or two that sticks around through each stage of your life but most won’t… and that’s perfectly ok.
As your lives change, you lose the commonalities that brought you together in the first place.
That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you or wrong with them, you just started to grow apart.
I had a group of girlfriends in college that I was super close with… and we started to grow apart because we really didn’t have anything in common anymore.
When we would hang out, I wanted to talk about Millennial Empire Builders (which was called South Florida Young Professionals at the time) and real estate.
Both of those topics were genuinely of no interest to them and because I wasn’t around that much anymore, I started to feel like an outsider when we would all get together.
Some of them even tried to make me feel guilty for not being around as much which stuck a wedge into our relationship even further.
It sucks but it happens.
Outgrowing your friends isn’t a bad thing.
Changing Your Circle Is A Good Thing
If you’re constantly around the same people, your world, opportunities and perspective get really small.
You start to dress alike, talk alike, think alike and care about the same things… Life becomes routine and you become content.
The group comes to a consensus on what “success” is, what “failure” is, what behavior is acceptable and even your values start to align with each other…
It’s sort of like how women’s cycles synchronize when they hang around each other too much (sorry guys, I know how much you love when we talk about that time of the month).
This synchronizing happens in teeny tiny interactions that you don’t even realize have an impact on your own mindset.
Those interactions go something like this…
Let’s say you workout every day at 5am.
You start hanging out with people who go out more often so they’re like “oh come on, you can come out with us and still get up early to go to the gym… Come out with us!”
You all have a great time so you start to do it more often… and eventually, your body starts to fight back and you remember that sleep is actually a mandatory thing your body needs.
You don’t want to ruin your new friendships so you miss a gym day here or there…
Which breaks your routine and you start to go less and less. Before you know it, you’ve gained weight and you’re wondering what happened when you used to be so good about it. You try getting back into it but it’s wayyyy harder than you thought.
After all, breaking a habit takes like 0.02 seconds and building a habit takes about 66 days (as evidenced by the book ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller).
You don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late.
Changing your circle of friends allows this to happen in reverse, too.
Your new friends can push you to build new, good habits too…
Let’s say you’re a salesperson who does well enough to get by comfortably….
When you start hanging around mega’s who are doing millions of dollars in sales, your level of action and mindset will change and grow, too.
The people that you hang around are the single most important decision that you’ll ever make in your life.
As you continue down your growth journey, your friends will change.
Here’s what you have to remember… There’s only a small percentage of people who are committed to being their best selves (and don’t debate me on this… everyone wants to be their best self, but if you take one look at their habits and the conversations around them, you’ll see if they’re actually committed or simply interested… For most people, it’s the latter).
As you start to talk more about habits, reading, mindset, growth and taking action on your goals, the people around you are going to either join you or they’re going to fight it.
That doesn’t mean they’re fighting you… Some people are comfortable with their situation and changing is SUPER uncomfortable. In this scenario, outgrowing your friends is almost inevitable.
That doesn’t make them bad people.
You cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped…
You cannot force someone to grow who doesn’t want to grow…
… and it’s not your job to force them to grow.
The best thing you can do for them is to achieve your definition of success and then inspire them to pursue their own.
People grow into the conversations around them, so inspiring them with your own success and encouraging them to pursue theirs is all you can do for them… So lead by example.
Your priority needs to be to surround yourself with other people who are committed to being their best selves too.
It’s your duty to yourself… or you’ll end up one of those middle-aged men or women who go through a mid-life crisis because you don’t understand how you ended up in the boring, mundane life that you settled for when you were so ambitious in your 20’s and 30’s.
Your duty, responsibility and obligation is to commit to being your absolute best self with as much integrity, compassion and love as you possibly can.
No one believed Everest could be climbed until it was.
No one believed that a mile could be ran in one minute until someone did it.
If you love your friends as much as you say, you’ll be the change maker.
Blaze the path and show them what’s possible.
Stop trying to bring people who don’t want to be brought with you to the top…. Once you’re there, you can always go back and get them once they’re willing to grow too.
You’ll be a better leader, motivator, helper, inspirer (is that even a word?!) and friend when you’ve shown the people around you that reaching your goals is absolutely possible and encouraged.
This article will walk you through the process of sharing your goals with other people (because it truly IS an art) and I also created a whole network audit workbook to help you go through your closest friends and really evaluate your friendships.