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Coaches Corner: Be intentional with your inner circle

How do you choose friends? Do you value personality, integrity, morals, and values? We must be very intentional in how we choose our inner circle. The right friends for you should help you to become more humble and willing to serve others from all walks of life.

Friends profoundly influence our lives - especially during moments of transparency and vulnerability at the intersection of decision-making.

Surrounded by wrong friends or voices, unhealthy friendships can negatively influence you, and you may be encouraged to pursue unhealthy habits and decisions that bring much heartache and pain.

A true friend is loyal and will provide loving accountability and speak the truth. They positively encourage you and stand by your side through life’s ups and downs. But to attract a faithful, loyal, and wise friend, you must commit to being an honorable friend.

You have a unique opportunity to be a peacemaker or instigator in every friendship and situation. We have all experienced both, as it is in our humanness that we desire to be liked and accepted by everyone; perhaps that is why we sometimes choose to follow the person who instigates. It’s not always the best decision, as you may make mistakes, poor choices, and wrong turns.

Be intentional - wise words and actions attract others who want to live with wisdom. You will at-tract friends who share the same mindset.

Could you evaluate your friendships and social media friends list regularly? It is crucial to have loyal friends. Friends that you can be yourself and who will not judge you for who you are and who you are not.

Take time to think about your friends…are they the right friends for you. Words can bring joy and peace, but they can also bring harm.

When I think about the girlfriends I have had over the years, many I felt would be in my life for a lifetime. But, I soon realized that some people are supposed to be in your life for only a season. They weren’t meant to be there always. People come into your life like a new flower that blooms in the springtime. As the season progresses, the flowers eventually fade, and the petals drop off. There is a purpose and a plan for that particular time.

I have recognized that some people are growing or blooming at different rates. My flower garden, for instance, has many different varieties, and they all grow and bloom at various times throughout the growing season.

When I am watering, I will notice that some of my flower petals have bloomed, fallen off, or needs some deadheading to encourage new growth. I am no longer alarmed when those petals drop off…It is making room for new growth.

Now, close your eyes for a moment and envision your beautiful garden.

Your life parallels a beautiful flower garden. Don’t be afraid when the petals fall off. Some aren’t growing and blooming as quickly as you, or maybe their garden is full of weeds and hasn’t been cared for.

When you water and fertilize, you will find new shoots, blooms, and a beautiful new garden. There may be some people in your life who are not equipped to handle your new garden’s rapid growth.

Over the last couple of years, I have had to deadhead some old blooms to make room for new growth. It can be painful to cut back, trim, and clear the weeds; sharp thorns may even cut you. It is necessary to allow the sun, fertilization, and water to take hold as you will soon reap the reward of your beautiful garden.

You are the gardener of your life. You are responsible for the growth of your new garden. There-fore you get to decide what plants and flowers will be planted, ones that will attract honey bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. What type of garden do you want? Make sure you are planting the seeds in excellent soil…and remember to keep a fence around your garden to protect it. Be patient and trust the process…You will reap what you sow.

“For all these years, you’ve protected the seed. It’s time to become the flower.” ~Stephen C. Paul

To connect with Ellie, FB/IG @coachelliewest

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