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It is human nature to want to be with other people. It is crucial to our well being to choose wisely the people we surround ourselves with.

From the moment we are born we are surrounded by people: our parents, siblings, family. Then we go to school and we make friends. We choose to be with other people most of our lives, whether it is for hours at a time (friends, co workers, family members) or for longer than that. There is nothing better than to share a special moment with someone you love (I am not talking about romantic love, I am talking about love in general). And, even though the ideal state of being should be that where we don't need anyone to complete us, to be comfortable with ourselves, to be able to be perfectly fine by just being, the truth is that even at that level of enlightment is still fun to share our experiences with someone else. 

The problem comes when we surround ourselves with people that are not good to us. Sometimes it's easier to see when we should not hang out with someone, but most of the time is not so clear. Have you ever had a goal that you really wanted to achieve and thought to yourself "wow, this is crazy, but I think I am going for it"? Did you communicate this goal to anyone? What were the answers you got?. The point where I want to arrive is that if you are bold enough to believe in yourself, in your goal, in what you want to accomplish and where you want to go, you should surround yourself with people that are bold enough to believe in you and to support you in your quest for that goal, whether it sounds crazy or not, and whether you achieve it or not. After all, the people that have achieved great results or breakthrough moments have done it out of boldness and belief despite the many naysayers. Can you imagine if Thomas Alva Edison would have listened to everybody that told him he should quit after thousands of failed trials to create the lightbulb? or if Roger Bannister would have listened to the "knowledgeable minds" telling him why it was impossible for a human to run a mile under 4 minutes?

Think for a moment about something that you want to achieve. Not something that you know you will achieve, something that you really want but that you have convinced yourself it's too "out of there". To me, it was qualifying to Rio (Olympic Games) at 44 running the marathon. When I told this idea to the people that I hang out with I encountered a lot of "I think you can" ,"You should definitely go for it, what's the worst that can happen?", "Wow, It's crazy but doable". These people are definitely people that I want to keep in my inner circle. Of course I also had some people telling me "come on Tere, you are too old for that", "Seriously? if so and so haven't done it what makes you think you can?". Fortunately I have had a similar experience when I was a swimmer and I did learn the lesson back then: you can love people but that doesn't mean you are going to let them be in your inner circle and drown you down. Sometimes it gets tricky because these people may be family or someone you have considered a friend. Again, you can love them, but you have to love yourself more. Do you really want to be with someone that puts you down? Someone that tells you all the reasons why you shouldn't go for what you want or why you could fail?. 

Now, these people are not mean or bad people, they are just afraid. But you shouldn't let your own fear get in your way to greatness, nevertheless let someone else's fear get in your way!!! Some people are good at disguising their ways by telling you " I mean, I have your best interests in mind, I am just looking after you so you don't get disappointed/don't lose money/don't waste time..." But, the truth is, someone that really believes in you will never see the reasons why you will fail at something, they will always see the greatness in you and will push you so you can become the person you are meant to be.

Learn to identify the people that don't support your dreams and that are not rooting for you. It's okay to still be friendly towards them and to wish them well, but it's also okay not to have them in your inner circle. Remember, surround yourself with people that are going to help you release your faith in yourself and not the fear in yourself, whether your goal is to lose weight, run your first race, travel the world, buy the house of your dreams, or becoming an olympian... speaking of that, I will be 48 in the next Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020) and I have this goal of qualifying for it. I am bold enough to believe I can do it. Who is with me?

Contributing Author - Tere Zacher  

Instagram (@insightfulrunner), twitter (@terezacher)