A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. – William Shakespeare

It might seem odd to include an article on relationships in talking about making successful transformational changes. It does seem like a stretch…or does it?

The truth is, “relationships” are a key component to making successful transformational changes. Relationships are essential to success: to teach, support, motivate, encourage and even to push us out of our comfort zone and hold us accountable. Yes, relationships are a key component to success.

But why are relationships essential to change and growth?

As humans we need relationships in our lives. It’s a proven fact that people live longer if they have strong healthy relationships in their lives. And when it comes to having the courage to change and grow, relationships are the support system that keeps us moving forward. That’s why relationships are essential when it comes to change and growth.

Relationships give us a reason to want to be better. The people we love are often our “why” for why we want to change.

Relationships are a great place to get support, encouragement and even accountability. They are often what give us the courage and the drive to keep pushing.

Relationships are often where we learn from our greatest teachers. Sometimes others who’ve walked the path we are on already and sometimes even the wisdom of God speaking through the innocence of a child.

But, just like most things, there are two sides to this story. Relationships can also keep us stuck. They can hold us back. They can sabotage our success.

Not all relationships are healthy for us… you’ve got to be sure that the company you keep is a reflection of the person you want to be because that is exactly what you’ll become over time. So it’s essential that when you are creating and nurturing relationships in your life that you are putting your energy and effort into creating healthy relationships. Relationships with people who are going to support you and stand by you. Not into unhealthy or toxic relationships that are going to drag you down.

So ask yourself these questions:

  • Do the people you associate with encourage you to dream big?
  • Do they encourage you to make positive changes in your life?
  • Do they support your quest for pursuing your passion?
  • Are the people in your life positive and upbeat?
  • Do they give generously and freely of themselves?
  • Do they provide insight, information and inspiration that challenge you to be a better person?
  • Do their beliefs reflect the beliefs you’d like to have?
  • Do you have fun when you are with them?

If you don’t predominately answer “yes” to the majority of these questions, then it’s time to take a look at the relationships you have in your life. And it’s time to create some new ones.

Now I understand that there are some people in your life that you may not have any control over being there. A boss or co-worker and even family and friends that are hard to walk away from who have negative attitudes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still fill your corner with other healthy relationships that will support, encourage and lift you up to the next level you are wanting to get to. So find those healthy relationships – get into a group, whether local or virtual, join a club, a church, take a class. Find people that are going to support you. And if nothing else, if you’re trying to make big changes, then share it wherever you can. Post on social media sites like Facebook – that you’re taking a 90 day challenge to lose weight or pass an important test at work, quit smoking, exercise, or start your own business. Social media is a great way to get support and stay accountable without even leaving your home. Or of course, get a coach or mentor in your life that can support and motivate you to the next level.

Relationships are essential to our growth and change. Are you going to soar with the eagles or hang with the turkeys? There is a saying that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So who are you spending your time with? Create relationships with the people you know are going to support and motivate you to create the changes you want to make. Create relationships with the people you want to be like. Utilize the power of relationships to boost you and keep you working towards your goals!