Experts, friends, and toxic people

You are not likely the first person to be where you are or to want to go where you want to go. Someone else made the trip and stands in that place. We call that person the expert. Find several of those experts and ask a few questions.

Consider your peers. If they have not proven that they can do whatever you’re trying to do, eliminate them from the expert list. You may even need to go through the excruciating task of paring down your list of friends. The transition from where you are to where you want to be is in itself a goal, though you may not now be fully comfortable stating it as such.

If you have friends who take you away from the goal after repeated attempts to secure their help, those people are not experts, nor are they really your friends. Experts can tell you how to get there. (A quick, side note: if a person knows how to get there, but won’t tell, they’re still in the family of experts, but members of a toxic genus—leave them alone.) Your real friends will support you and help you move toward your goals whether they’re able to expertly advise you or not. Never underestimate the value of friendly support or the limiting effect of unsupportive people in your life. While it’s terrible to cut a friend loose, it’s worse to miss your desired life because of friends who pull you down.