We are going to get personal in this installment of the Environment series. This environment is all about family, close friends and colleagues -The Personal Relationship Environment. This one is not only personal; it is quite critical to growth and success. The mantra of “The Environment Always Wins!” is especially true when it comes to relationships. The clichés of “You are as good as the company you keep” and a quaint country version of it, “If you sleep with pigs, you end up smelling like pig sh*t!” are based on a millennium of painful experiences as a result of poor relationship choices.

Some of the ways that relationships can contribute to personal disaster include the neigh sayers, negative people, and people with different aspirations and life direction than yours. If you are a creative person, an innovator, or an entrepreneur, the worst people to hang out with or ask for an opinion about your latest creation or project are the neigh sayers. They will tell you every way it isn’t going to work. Many times they will do it with really good intentions of being the “devil’s advocate.” That’s a great service to call upon prior to the launch of a project, as a final bug check, but during the creative process, that kind of negative support can be disastrous.

Living or working in an environment filled with negative folks, such as depressed people and people with no drive or enthusiasm for life will eventually take its toll on even those with the most positive attitudes. Likewise, living with people whose live goals are fundamentally different from your aspirations, can make getting to your goals way more of a project than it need be. For example, I once had a client who was in the process of starting a new business and was living in a retirement community. With most of his friends retired or actively planning retirement, the topics of most conversations were about their next cruise or golf game and they had very little interest in discussions of his latest business venture. Eventually he found that he was losing focus on his new venture, in favor of thinking about the next game of golf. When he joined a small business organization and joined their social activities, his focus and enthusiasm for his project soared.

Hopefully, you have an appreciation for how important being aware of who is in your relationship environment and to what degree they are supportive of continuing self-development. Part of that awareness needs to be the awareness of who, amongst your relationships, you are tolerating and what is the cost of tolerating them in your life. As with all tolerations, it is important to weigh the positive payoffs of keeping the source of the toleration around vs. the negatives including building resentments for that source. You might have a spouse or relative that is a neigh sayer and yet is a powerfully positive loving part of your life. Once aware of that neigh saying aspect, you could find other folks to bounce new ideas off of. No one person need fulfill all needs in your life. The best way of dealing with tolerations is to get rid of the source or, in this case, recognize that they are who they are and go find other people who are better fitted for the task.

This message and all the subsequent ones on the Environments will be also posted on my blog,  If you have questions or comments, please post them in the comments section. I am looking forward to a lively discussion here on the blog.

If you would like to explore how coaching with me can give you the winning edge to play better and win in all of your life’s endeavors, I offer a free, exploratory session of about 30 minutes. Call me at 323-850-8005 or email me to book a time.

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