This is part 3 of our series “Wake Up & Be Awesome”. It is part of our year long “One Shining Moment” campaign to uplift, inspire and empower those who may be struggling in the black LGBT community. We believe those with self-confidence are more likely to help others in need, resulting in more positivity in our community.

The long, uphill road towards success is one that requires many changes and harsh lessons along the way. Many of these obstacles involve you breaking yourself down and building yourself into a brighter and better you. You will never become the best human being you can by resisting personal development and learning. You are your biggest threat or your greatest advantage. However, never forget that whom you surround yourself with will also play a part in making or breaking you.


When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

You may not know it, but the people you spend the most time around could not only be holding you back, they could also be stressing you out. I’m sure you may have heard the sayings “watch the company you keep” or “your friends are a reflection of you”. You probably picked out a few people who you probably need to “drop” – but it was easier said than done. I will give you some helpful tips later in this post. Right now I want to talk about stress that you may or may not be aware of. Having to keep up with, compare yourself too, and/or constantly sacrificing for the sake of others leads to “status anxiety” This is the real reason people tell you to watch who you call your friends. You tend to spend most of your daily life with these friends and emotional health is just as important as your physical health.

Take a piece of paper and write down the 5 people you spend the most time with. (You should also make a list of the 5 people you spend the most time on social media with as these tend to be different people). Are those 5 people living a life that motivates you to be where they are in life, if not better? Do those 5 people support you? Keep drama and negativity away or cause it? The main goals of your circle of friends is to provide SUPPORT, MENTORSHIP and SOCIAL EXPEREINCES. They would never encourage you to do anything that is not in your best interest. They also are not the type to want to get ahead at your expense.

Everyone has a bad streak once in a while, but a successful person knows that failure provides you with the ammunition to work even harder to get it right the next time. When looking at your circle of friends, take a look at your overall relationship with them, not just that one time he/she was laid off at work due to downsizing, etc.

The best way to reduce stress and drama is to hang with people just like you. Another way is to know when you are making someone a priority that only sees you as an option. This will get your blood boiling once discovered, as you are always there for them when they need you – but every time you need them there is an excuse or they are nowhere to be found. This also leads to status anxiety.

Earlier I stated that changing your circle of friends is easier said than done. Many people find some of what they see on their Facebook timeline ridiculous, but would never “unfriend” that person because they don’t want to come off as judgmental (but they will write an indirect Facebook post saying how they wish they did not have to see “it” on their timeline.) Very few people limit their social media followings to people who have similar interest as themselves. These people tend to already have a good handle on their real circle of friends. Oftentimes social media followings are based off of looks or some other superficial trait. It’s not until later on that you find out that everything that glitters is not always gold.

So how do you make changes to your circle? Here are a few tips:

  • Start a new circle with people who are just like you, or are in the same field as you or the field you want to be in. Eventually you will find yourself spending more time with them and less time with the previous friend.

  • There may just be one or two people in your group who cause your status anxiety. Get with the others and spend more time with them. This is a great option as eventually the weakest link will start to read the writing on the wall. This actually may provide that person the motivation they need to become awesome themselves, or they will show you their true colors.

  • Consider a downgrade. From titles like “BFF” or best friends, transition to acquaintance or associates.

  • Share this post with your closest friends and see where the discussion leads.

By no means are we insinuating that you should go around judging your friends. What we are saying is that it is YOUR time to shine and status anxiety will only allow your light to remain on dim.


National Youth Pride Services,

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone. 773-YPS-8051