1, 2 or 3?

I know, I know, it’s been forever since I posted and after all of the crap I gave people for not finishing the 90 in 90 this past summer I’m way overdue for an update. That aside I had a conversation with a friend this morning about different types of people in our lives that I think bears repeating.

The idea is that there are essentially three categories that people in our life will fit into:

  1. Toxic – They want to hold you down
  2. Associates – They keep you where you are
  3. The Winning Team – They support and uplift you and have knowledge of your dreams

The idea of these classifications really struck a chord with me, especially with the 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself and 30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself articles I read recently and have really taken to heart. The idea of taking stock of relationships and cutting ties with those that aren’t good for me should be easy, but it isn’t. I have a lot of “#1s” in my life, very few “#2s” and almost no “#3s”. Cutting ties with the “#1s” should be easy, but in a situation where “that’s all you’ve got” you don’t want to let go because you might be left with nothing, and something is almost always better than nothing, right?

As I’ve said before, you get what you’re willing to put up with, and I’m done with toxic people in my life. That’s not to say that I don’t want anything to do with people who don’t agree with me. On the contrary, I have a strong desire to interact with people who challenge me to become a better person, that cause me to think, to grow. I’m far from an extrovert and making new friends has never been easy for me, but if I’ve learned anything from getting out of debt a few years ago, it’s only when we get rid of the things that are holding us back can we move forward to great things. That doesn’t mean changing who I am, on the contrary, it means remembering who I am and properly assigning value to people who respect me for who I am, not who they want me to be.

I don’t think I can emotionally handle completely shutting out all of the “#1s” I know, but identifying them as such and not allowing them to influence how I live my life is a good first step.

As I was writing this and linking to old posts I noticed how many times topics similar to this have come up for me. Hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to take my own advice instead of just thinking about it. It’s easier said than done, but I know from experience that when I have the guts to do it, the results are worth it.