This morning I received two requests for assistance. One from a person who focuses on, creates, and complains about problems. The second from a person who continually seeks to add value and create opportunities for mutual gain.

Guess which one am I motivated to respond to positively.

As we approach Independence Day it’s a great time to take stock of who’s in your circle and to declare independence from the “problem children.” I use that term to describe people who don’t seem to be open to growing their emotional intelligence or self-awareness enough to see their negative focus. They’re energy drains, anchors that seem to be stuck in the deep mud of problem thinking.

While I’m as willing as anyone to help others, there are times when the “problem children” I’ve met ask me to do things a grown up should and can do for themselves such as have crucial conversations, make positive life decisions, and take responsibility for meeting their own needs and wants.

I declare independence by letting requests from “problem children” go. By practicing saying no. By limiting my time with them. And by keeping them on the periphery of my circle until they either grow up or drop off the edge of my circle. This creates energy and momentum for me to say yes to those who invest in building both their own life/business and mine.

Who’s in your circle? Is it time to declare independence from anyone?