The Gift of the Right People
I remember a night freshman year when I was sitting in my dorm room, feeling like I was a complete failure and on the verge of flunking out. I honestly thought that I had no other option. My grades were extremely low, I focused on being a people pleaser, and I thought that I knew what was best for my life. It honestly wasn’t until a mental breakdown at four in the morning where a motivational video on YouTube by Eric Thomas lead me to a realization that I now cherish and use in my life.
One of the hardest decisions I had to make after watching that video was whether I was going to be a people pleaser for the rest of my life. I have always had a passion for helping people and felt joyful when I would be called upon to do something, but realized that I was being used in a way that I was not benefitting from. There were times after realizing this that I knew something had to change, when my health began to lack because I was putting other people in front of my own health. So no longer would I go pick someone up from a bar at 2am when I knew that it would not benefit me in any way. I would always say yes though, so when it came time to making that change I got a resounding amount of backlash from my peers. It boggled me to find out that my “friends” were not there to support me.
I began to remove myself from my friend group because I was afraid of not being welcomed. In high school, I never had an issue like this before because all my friends and I grew up together, but when I got to college, it changed. I found that the more and more I thought people didn’t like me for who I was, I would begin to remove myself farther away from them. That lead me to, honestly, a place where I felt so depressed and I couldn’t even stand to go to class. It wasn’t until I realized my problem was exactly what I was doing to myself. Instead of isolating myself from the wrong people, I needed to begin to insulate myself with the right people.
Fast forward two and a half years later and I am leading high school students, involved in ministries, and working on starting my own charitable foundation called 10:45 Missions. All of this is nothing that I would thought that I would be doing if you were to ask me two years ago. However, I know what caused it. When I decided that I needed to surround myself with better people, I looked to those who didn’t make their accomplishments known. Rather the ones who I saw working hard for what they believe in and wanting to make a difference in the world. That introduced me to a group of some of the humblest people on this planet. Any point I could and found a time to be around them, I would hang out with them on weeknights, go visit them on the weekends, and get involved with their different school organizations. What I saw happen was my life began to turn around.
This group of friends taught me that there was a difference in being a people pleaser and a servant! When you are doing something for others based on what they need and want, you find yourself in a people pleaser mindset. However, when you connect with someone over a common goal and you work towards the finish line together, you then get to be a servant and impact peoples lives.
Do not ever believe that you need to remove yourself completely from a group of people when all you need to do is insulate yourself with the right group. Insulation helps you build a community of people that you want to spend your life with and will help you reach a common goal. Nor am I saying that it will be easy, because I do not talk to many people from that time, but I am saying that it does work out for the best. If you stay true enough to yourself, then you will realize what a gift it is when the right people surround you and support your goals.