Move toward the ones who inspire you to be better – and away from the ones who make you feel like you’re not good enough. There is a BIG difference between the two.

My life is full of people who inspire me, lift me up, believe in me, and cheer me on quietly from the sidelines – and this was a choice. It wasn’t always like that.

I used to think I needed 3,000 friends to validate me, and sought approval from everyone but myself. I felt like I would never measure up, or that worse – I would be found out for being a fraud – and it left me feeling anxious, nervous, and insecure a lot of the time.

Then I started paying attention to how I felt around different people: if I left a party or gathering and felt angry or anxious, I delicately stopped accepting invitations. If I felt like I needed to prove myself over and over, or walk on eggshells to keep them happy and get their approval, I stopped seeking out their company. And if I felt undervalued or dismissed in their presence, I walked away from the relationship.

And this magic thing happened: I started to feel amazing. Amazing and free, because I could finally be myself. Imposter syndrome went away, anxiety disappeared, and I learned to get very comfortable spending time on my own – and realized I was a delight to spend time with.

Magnetically, people came into my life who were aligned in thinking, in values, who challenged my world view in a stimulating and growth-oriented way. I laughed more, felt comfortable saying “no” and appreciated JOMO over FOMO.

The messages you hear over and over – both in person and online – define and shape your truth and reality. If you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s time to find a new room. If you feel anything other than valued, appreciated, loved, and seen, it’s time to find a new crowd.

This isn’t true for some people, it’s true for all people – and it’s a choice each of us has the freedom to make.

Choosing to be with people who know more than you, inspire you to get to your own next level, and show you what you’re capable of SIMPLY by having lived their own experience, is essential to your growth. I’ve rounded up my Top 5 podcast conversations from 2019 with people who inspire me, in conversations that are unapologetically real – just in time for your weekend listening.

Self Love + Setting Boundaries, with Ashley Perkins and The Real Her Podcast

I Choose my Choice: The Power of Authenticity with Dr. Karin and the Love and Life Podcast

Are You Sleepwalking in Your Own Life? Why You Need to Wake Up with Dr. Karin

The Ripple Effect of Being Yourself: in Business and Life with the Brooke Alexander Show

How to Tell Your Authentic Story – even online wit Marquis Murray and Media Crate

Who you surround yourself with matters; choose wisely.

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