I love teaching my students that being everyone's friend isn't always the best solution to our way of living. Imagine the commitment, time and energy that would be required from you to give to a multitude of people, day in and day out...
Life happens to us and I for one can see how fast life is actually going for those of us who are parents. It’s like blink, “Im pregnant” blink again, my son is 2 years old.
When I became a mum, I noticed I was gravitating towards other who were also mothers. I was very fortunate to be part of a women's weekly group that I would catch up over zoom and we would all encourage and listen to one another. I t was great. Prior to this, I would have so many conversations with different friends, high school girlfriends, friends at work and social connection friends. All in all, I must say, when I became a mum, I felt so overwhelmed with even myself and catching up with everyone, my inner circle became very lonely. It was most likely a combination of neglecting my friend requests and declining social catch ups which all contributed to my social butterfly circle becoming less and less and my inner circle becoming border line “lonelyville”. I often think to myself, what came over me when I became a mum? It was as if my whole mind evolved from being such an extrovert to only wanting to be inside the house with my baby and that was it. From time to time, we question the integrity of those we are around and can sometimes get pulled into taking a deeper look into understanding what is acceptable and what is not.
Questions to consider:
1. How often do you spend time with yourself?
2. Are you interested in the relationships with friends or more concerned with building a close connection with those who are already pre-existing?
3. What is the true essence behind multiple friends in your inner circle? Is each and every person adding value and of the highest quality?
4. The highest quality of friendships is hard to find and nurture so having a few will mean that we can manage these and service these much more than needing to nurture 10-20 relationships in between everything else.
5. Value chain mindsets are important to adopt as it allows you to keep a positive eco system to nurture your inner circle.
Okay so I'm not quite done yet...
Your mindset is so important to protect and nurture because if I’m not feeding it with the right vibes or influence, it’s very easy for our positive thoughts to quickly turn on us. Can you relate to similar situations? That is why we must do our very best to protect and nurture who has direct access to us at any time of the day.
When I mention direct access, I mean people who are allowed to call you at any time of the day, people who you take the time to message back on a daily and those who you are keeping up to date constantly about the private side of your life; the people who know literally everything about you; what you eat, what your schedule is, what you are working on and typically know what you are doing always.
It’s sometimes hard to set boundaries on those who have access to us as it’s so easy to be there, everywhere and be messaging and contacting all our dear friends and family members. But the truth is, this can in some cases turn out to be harmful to our minds and our time. Being part of group chats, social media messaging, direct messaging and different platforms for phone calls and video calls has never been as accessible as it is today. Therefore, the need to set boundaries on our inner circle is so important to ensure we have an established inner circle and an outer.
All I’m saying is be true to your time and to your purpose in your day to day tasks. Even superwoman got some rest so she could take on the word. The time invested on lengthy phone calls and screen scrolling can do even more harm than we think.
I’m speaking from experience here as I know there have been days and sometimes weeks that pass where my screen time is up 6 hours average on a weekly basis. Getting these reports makes you think, what was I doing on my phone for 6 hours. I sometimes to get worried with my phone time as I do run an online tutoring business and a lot of my social media is done from my phone so I’m worried that at times I too could be abusing my down time with being on the phone. Engaging with my audience and responding to DMs and emails is a big part of my work in spreading the word about my business and when I don’t follow the steps of having a structure or being conscious with my time the latter can influence my ability to keep on top of my to do list.
So here is some thoughts friend..
Thoughts to consider friend:
1. Is my phone time purposeful?
2. Who has access to me directly?
3. Am I available for anyone that calls my phone?
4. What boundaries do I set myself so my inner circle is protected?
The inner circle needs to be protected. It needs to be a breathing ground for you to retreat and to relax but also be able to grow and thrive simultaneously. It’s important to understand this.
I have found that being socially connected and even more if you have a big community group, family and social media engagement can in some cases get the better of you. I know this from experience. There is no way we can work full time plus manage our social connections along with everything else involved in raising our babies, running our homes and showing up for ourselves. It absolutely cannot sustain itself.
A call to action is needed and if you feel overwhelmed with your life currently and you are a parent wanting more value and poured into.
It’s so important to protect and respect your time. I am just going to say it. It’s completely okay for you to not answer phone calls that come on in every time or reply to messages once they come through. This in facts sets an expectation for your recipients. It makes sense right; you are on your phone and a message pops up from a friend, so you go and reply to it. That then turns into back-and-forth messaging for 15 minutes. You then opt out of this and go back to what it was your doing, meanwhile 15 minutes has just been lost. I’m only talking about 15 minutes but I'm sure we can all raise our hand when asked if this is us.
Being a parent solidifies even more of the need to be strengthened and disciplined when it comes to managing our time. Going back to my number “3” which is the total number of people who do have direct access to me every day, also highlights the ability I have in being able to multitask and do the things that I do in a working week. The three people who do have access to me are crucially important for my life journey and all enable and engage me in some way.
The three people that I have direct connection offer so much to me, if I didn’t have these people in my life I wouldn’t be able to function properly.
How can we minimise and nurture our inner circle?
The first step is examining your current situation and who is in your current circle. The second step is to observe how much time and effort is poured into each person around you. And before I proceed, I am not talking about neglecting loved ones and throwing shade at good friends who are in your life. I am simply trying to help you establish comfortable boundaries of people who are also classified as the non-negotiables. These people are critical for our life walk, support, and enable us to carry out our daily roles and responsibilities. When we truly look at those who are around us and examine those who are deserving and worthy to have that ultimate access to ourselves, then that’s where we can start to examine and position those properly those who will help us grow and thrive...
Watch what happens.
The motivation behind all of this is the very fact that we are parents. Knowing wholeheartedly that we are serving our children’s best interest is the ultimate motivator for us. We must know that the reason why we are making these decisions and refining our inner circles is so we can have more time and have more of the ability to show ourselves and our children our very best versions of ourselves. Wouldn’t that be just incredible. More time with lesser people who are directly connected to us and more time reserved for our children. That is why I want to encourage you to reexamine your choices and work towards making your life work for you, not the other way around.
Keep shining friend,