This week I was going though my email and unsubscribing to all these lists that somehow have ended up clogging my inbox. It is hard to receive good information when you spend several minutes a day getting rid of the junk that tries to capture your attention and your ear. It made me think at the same time about all the people in my life who do this. You know, those people who you have to stop from entering your mind space each day, the ones you have to ask to politely leave your front door?

Every one of us know people who do not bring any positivity to our life. You know, the person who never wants you to succeed? The person who is critical of your every move? The one who constantly undermines your intentions or exposes your weaknesses? (As if you have forgotten what they are…)

For years there was a person in my life who constantly belittled me and made comments about my work ethic. It seems silly that I would let this person affect me now, but he/she knew that I struggled with feeling like I was being an inadequate mother when I was being a committed doctor, and vice versa. So he/she constantly tried to undermine me by making me doubt myself. Finally I realized I needed to hit “unsubscribe”. Now when I see this person, I smile, but never engage. When this person speaks to me, I smile and keep it to a pleasant greeting, and keep on walking.

I literally have unsubscribed.

Let me be clear: those people matter to God, just as much as you do. But they are not your friends, and they have no business being in your inbox. You need to unsubscribe. Not block, because the messages they carry still have to go through your filter that way. Unsubscribe. Period.

Many of us waste time and energy trying to please everyone around us, especially those people who criticize and bring nothing but angst. We get to choose our friends. We get to choose whose words we subscribe to, whose messages we let in. I challenge you to choose the ones who better you, who lift you up, who speak truth to you.

Chances are the people who you let bring you down know exactly how to do it. They are smart. They are not going to attack you in ways that are ineffective. Please unsubscribe. Today. Don’t waste another minute of your precious life with people who don’t inspire, encourage and cheer for you!

Shine on!