Are Your Friends Holding You Back?

self-confidence This morning I was listening to this year’s Oprah Winfrey commencement address at Harvard University.

She was amazing, inspiring as usual, and unapologetically her.  Not surprising that she is one of the most successful African-American woman on TV.  Her OWN network features amazing programs. Oprah’s Next Chapter and Oprah’s lifeclass are changing lives.

One of my favorite things from her speech was how she dealt with every media outlet proclaiming her new venture, OWN, a major flop,” Not just a flop, but a big bold flop” they call it. Reading those reviews made her feel like a major failure. Around the same time she was invited to make the commencement speech at Harvard University.  She decided that by the time she makes the speech she was going to turn her new venture around, and she did. A great lesson for us on perseverance, overcoming self-doubt, and determination.

Speaking of belief in yourself and determination, do you ever feel when you decide to turn a new leaf in your life that you’re outgrowing your relationships?

What I mean is how do you handle the people (family, best friends, co-workers) in your life who are uncomfortable, rejecting and sometimes resenting or seem to dislike the newer, enhanced, more exciting and determined you?

We all have fears of losing relationships because we are changing for the best. Sometimes you even feel like you are leaving your friends behind. But are your friends holding you back?

The reality is that it’s normal when you are embarking on a new journey that your relationships will change.  It’s no different when you decide that you want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. A healthier lifestyle can mean no more hanging out at the bar after work, eating out less, and no more lattes or bagel and cream cheese in the morning (even when it is FREE in the kitchen at work).

When you feel that your friends are holding you back , the way you have it set-up is as though you are the victim, that no one believes in you like you do, and they are holding you back because “Misery likes company.” NO, they are not holding you back, you are. That’s when you need to take responsibility for your role in your relationships, and the impact you are allowing your friends to have on your life.

Think about it, you are not leaving them behind. Your path is simply different from theirs and that’s a very good thing.  When you become so comfortable in your relationships to the point that no one is growing or you’re afraid to do something because you don’t want to leave your friends behind, you are setting yourself up for failure.

So what do you do when you feel your friends are holding you back?

  1. Trust yourself . Your friends  are not holding you back, you are. In other words you don’t need to convince them that you are well on your way to a new, sexier and vibrant you. You need to believe in YOU.
  2. Lead with Compassion. If you are well on your way, don’t be a health snob and act like you ‘ve got it all figured out and you are above them.
  3. Don’t look down on others. The mental shift that led you to take action is your journey, not theirs. If they are not on board and you find yourself doing it alone, even when it seems they need it too, do your thing and let them experience their own shift when they are ready.
  4. Lead by example.  People are natural skeptic and they have to see it to believe it. If you want them to get on board with you, be the change that you wish and show them that with patience and determination, they can do it too.

Be the Change that you wish to see. ” ~Mahatma Ghandi (That’s a tweetable, go ahead, tweet it!)

Until next time, Spread the love…




  1. says

    I love this because there is so much truth in it! Yes, it’s YOU holding you back and not your friends – but this can be a hard pill to swallow. I also love the way you put ending relationships as “taking different paths.” I recently had to end a relationship with a girlfriend that I new was toxic in so many ways but I often miss her and our friendship. It comforts me to think about it as taking different paths. Thank you!! Great post!
    Allie recently posted…Run to Your MailBOX!My Profile

    • Webly Alfred says

      Sorry about your girlfriend Allie. I can relate another way to honor the relationship you once had is to dwell on the good times and let time do its magic.

    • Webly Alfred says

      Sabrina Compassion is really a must. As women it’s so easy for us to offer it to others and not ourselves.

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