Why It's Okay To Outgrow Your Friends

by Ashley Fern

The time spent in your twenties can be the most influential in regard to your future. The people you choose to surround yourself with can, and often do, sway your behavior, sometimes preventing you from reaching your full potential. These years are the most crucial to your development.

This age breeds an essential degree of narcissism, as it is the most integral age in your development and it is a necessarily heartless endeavor. You must capitulate to that narcissism because, in the end, you must be most concerned with your own growth. Like a flower, that grows into the sunlight, even at the expense of its other plant friends, you must take what you need in order to thrive.

I recently went to lunch with a childhood friend and after engaging in her incessant, meaningless gossip I came to the realization that this friend would be best left in my past. People similar to their childhood selves are only a roadblock on your path to success.

As Katt Williams has eloquently said, “If you've been selling weed since 1994 and you haven't moved up to cocaine by 2006 – you are doing something wrong.”

You need to surround yourself with people who are constantly pushing themselves for the better. If you are persistently surrounding yourself with negative people it will hinder your progression in life. Why choose to spend time with people that are holding you back when you can surround yourself with people that can elevate you?

If there are people in your life holding you back, you must cut them out of your life. This is the time in your life where you start to discover who your true friends are. As the saying goes “if you’re not f*cking me, feeding me or financing me, your opinion doesn’t matter.” Trim the fat in your life and associate yourselves with others who encourage you to succeed. Sometimes you just outgrow certain people. Don’t try to fix it, just accept it and move on.

I would prefer a rude and honest friend to a pretty little liar. Yes, I do see what I did there. Too many friendships are built around convenience. If one friend is always readily available and one is not, this becomes an unhealthy relationship. You need a mutually beneficial connection where both people can rely on each other for protection and comfort. The harder you try to resist your growth the more difficult this will be.

Letting go of friends that no longer serve your best interest can be a tricky task. How do you abandon someone that up until now has been such an integral part of your life? Easy, if it’s in your best interest do so. Experience has taught me that external elements cannot drive your life since they are replaceable. You cannot worry about everyone else’s opinion -- that will only hold you back. I’d rather tell the truth and be judged for my mistakes.

It’s not that you're better than your friends, it's just you are moving at a different speed, heading in different directions. Of course there’s going to be a sense of obligation to stay true to your friends, but at times like these you must remain true to yourself.

You need to let your dreams change your reality; don’t let your reality change your dreams. Taking risks is where the greatest happiness will lie. So cut these non-essential figures out of your life and prosper.

Who you spend time with influences the person you eventually become, so wouldn’t you prefer a friend who's straight up and real with you? Who calls you on your bullshit? Who motivates you to be better? Often times as one friend begins to succeed and one does not, jealousy arises. Competition is a threat to these unions and must be monitored. If your friendship is bringing more stress upon you than happiness, it may be time to reevaluate.

Over time you will continue to outgrow people and situations. It is not enough to recognize this; you must be proactive about it. Sometimes you are left with no option but to leave these so called best friends in the past. Authenticity is at the heart of success, so you must surround yourself with others who understand this.