“Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” This is a famous quote used by most Hispanic mothers and grandmothers. In Spanish it is “Dime con quien andas y e dire quien eres.” Basically, this is saying that who you surround yourself with is who you will eventually become. I never truly paid too much attention to this saying while growing up. The meaning behind the quote is so powerful that my young brain could not fully understand the meaning.
Growing up, I always had friends. I am charismatic, easygoing, your typical girl next door. Making friends came easy to me. People tend to gravitate towards my energy. I am always in a good mood, I am optimistic, and very loyal. To this day, my closest friends are the ones that I went to school with since sixth grade. In a group of friends there is always the fun one, the sporty one, the heartbreaker, the smart one, the shy one, the loca (crazy) one, and the funny one. Having a group of friends with a mixture of personalities seems quite normal. I never sought out to look for people to surround myself with. I never really saw the need. I typically just made friends at school, work, or places that I would frequent. Isn’t that how most of us make friends?
It was not until about two years ago that my perception of friends and the people that I surround myself with completely changed. While strolling through Instagram one evening, I came across a post that was calling all #glamoristas to join the #nsgworkinghours (Not So Glamorous Working Hours). The post seemed to be speaking directly to me since it was pink with word glam and I consider myself a true #glamorista. I think it was free to join the group, if I remember correctly. The only thing was that the not so glamorous working hours that they were talking about was 5 am Eastern Time, which meant 4 am Central Time. Yikes?!! I decided that I was going to join the group since I had nothing to lose except sleep.
The timing of me finding this group was almost like divine intervention. I had just realized my powers and the immense light that I possess and really wanted to do something to share all my knowledge with other women who like me were feeling stuck in their own insecurities. I wanted to be able to somehow teach women that what they were going through was only temporary. That all they had to do was to take control of their situations and have an ultimate mindset shift. By the time that I joined the #nsgworking hours, I already had launched a Facebook page and had one event for Empowered Fem. There was still so much to do to grow the Empowered Fem community and I just really did not know how.
All of that changed when I joined the mastermind group of the #nsgworking hours. In the group, I was connected with the most ambitious, sincerest, hungry, driven women who were on a mission to conquer the world just like me! The women had all of my qualities. They all had a full-time job while building their side hustle. They were all doers. I mean, the stop-at-nothing type of doer. They had real ambition. They had dreams that I never even thought possible. They were an elite group of women who were thirsty for more. The type of women who do not settle for anything else than champagne. They are the ones who never take no for an answer. If a door were to close in their face, they would climb in through the window next time. That is just how fierce they are. The type of women you know exists but sometimes don’t know how to find.
Being part of the group definitely sent chills up my spine. The women were mostly from NYC; I was the only one from Texas. There was a make-up artist to the stars, a woman running a clothing line that J-Lo was seen in, photographers, an owner of a lashes line available at Ulta, bookstore owners, influencers, restaurant owners, and more. The group was so diverse yet so connected by one thing: ambition. I learned so much from all these powerful women about business, being committed to your purpose, and building up from what you have. I quickly realized that there were other women in this world just like me. I had surrounded myself with other eagles. Never had I fed so much off anyone’s energy than I did from all of theirs. I’d previously only known other people feeding off my energy, which left me drained. I started to follow in all of their footsteps and studied all their habits. I had to be just as successful as them.
That saying about who you hang around with finally had meaning. Hanging around with powerful, successful, ambitious, women made me just like them and I thrived in it. I found myself not even thinking about how early I was waking up. I was getting things knocked out to build the Empowered Fem organization. During this time, the website was built, the nonprofit designation was completed, the blogs started rolling, the speaking engagements started. The ball was rolling, and I was the one who pushed it.
I am amazed how the universe connected me through social media with this group of women. Literally thousands of miles away but so close via Zoom. Yeah, we were using Zoom way before it was a thing. Since being part of the group and connecting with the women, I have made several visits to NYC to spend time with them in person. They have all made an impact in my life.
People will come in and out of your life for a season, and that is perfectly okay. They will be there to help you through a tough time or so you can be a light for them during a year or two of darkness for them. Others will only be in your life for a specific reason. They will fulfill a need for you or you will fill one for them. They are here today and gone within weeks. That is okay. Other people are in your life forever. These are your girls who will cross oceans for you so they can celebrate your business launch or go to Coachella with you. They will cry with you, laugh with you, and take you to task when you don’t launch that business you’ve been talking about for years.
Appreciate all the people that have crossed your path. Take time to embrace those friendships and to learn from them, however long they last. An empowered fem learns how to determine which type of friend a person is within weeks of meeting them. And she ensures to leverage the relationships appropriately. They don’t give out and give out and give out for years on end while they die inside. They don’t stay on the ground with chickens while the eagles are soaring. They don’t confuse people in their life for a reason with those in their life forever. They don’t keep people around who are taking, taking, taking, and never giving. These people are the seasons and reasons, not the forevers. You will become a better you as you identify which people are in your life for which timing and then ensure your forever friends are the ones that are who you want to be associated with when someone looks at them to see you and looks at you to see them.
Through the ease of social media, you can reach out to any woman who is slaying it in her field or has reached a level of success that you would like to reach. You have nothing to lose, sis. Reach out to people that you would like to bounce ideas off of or learn from. Join a group of like-minded people who are going after their dreams and becoming what they want to be in this life. If this year has taught us anything, it has taught us that life can change in a moment. Don’t let yours float by you because you aren’t choosing your friends carefully and purposefully.
Four Reasons to Surround Yourself with Powerful Women
- To build each other up. There is nothing more exciting than people in your corner cheering you on. Giving you that boost of confidence by believing in you. Their support and encouragement is valuable and will help minimize your fears.
- To discuss ideas. Talking to other business women or people that are doing what you want to do will allow you to learn from things they have tried. Bouncing ideas off each other to see what has worked for them and what has not will keep you from having to learn it yourself.
- To hold each other accountable. If you are surrounded by power women then you will have to keep your word. You will be forced to do what you said you were going to do. You end up keeping tabs on each other. This is especially important if you are not self-motivated enough to keep your own deadlines or keep your word to yourself when it comes to your side hustle or the things you want in life.
- To be problem solvers. They will find a solution to any hiccup that you encounter. They are there to help each other. Never will you be stuck again; they will help you overcome obstacles.
In America, there is another famous quote by motivational speaker Jim Rohn that says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This could not resonate more true with this post. Think about the five people in your life that are closest to you. Those are the ones that will have the most influence on you. Again, it’s super important to surround yourself with people who have qualities that you need in this season. Whichever version of the quote you’ve heard, as there are many ways that this quote floats around social media and high achiever circles, the point is that you need to think about the people you allow into your life. Whether your grandmother, mother, pastor, friend, or favorite success mentor told you something that sounds like this, today I want all you empowered fems to personalize it and say to yourselves: “I am who I am surrounded by. I will show you my friends and you will know who I am because I choose people I am inspired by, who I desire to embody, and who help me become everything I am and am becoming.”
It’s so important to pay attention to where your energy and time go these days and when we come out of Rona and get back to whatever normal will look like in our respective areas of the world. As we round out this year and go into the last weeks of 2020, think carefully about who is in your social circle, who is influencing you, and who you call friend. The best gift an empowered fem can give herself is the gift of greatness, and who you surround yourself with determines whether you will be able to do that or whether you will keep walking in circles around the same issues, the same drama, and the same setbacks. Let’s stop that cycle in 2020 so 2021 can be your BEST YEAR YET!
Watch this clip from Shonda Rhime as she shares about overcoming her fears. If you haven’t read her book Year of Yes yet, get it as soon as you can. When you are done, watch her commencement speech to Dartmouth’s class of 2014. You will be inspired.
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