There’s a conversation that’s been coming up a lot lately in my world. And it’s around how to make extraordinary friends. Because let’s face it, life is so much more fun when you share it with likeminded people who grow you, who laugh with you, who support you, who cheer you on. So, in this episode, I’m going to share with you my take on how I’ve been able to create extraordinary friends. Because, again, life is so much sweeter when you have people to share it with. Enjoy.
Bonjour, and welcome to The French Kiss Life Podcast, where personal development meets style. I’m Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach and the hostess of this party, where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
What is happening, my friends? Happy Wednesday, or whatever day you’re listening to this. I am having the best week ever. So much fun. We opened the doors to the School of Self-Image and welcomed in over 1000 women I’m so mind-blown and so excited and we have so many just incredible things I store for those who are within the school.
But one of the main pillars of what I’m teaching in the School of Self-Image is the power of your surroundings. Your current surroundings are a reflection of your self-image. And as you upgrade what you surround yourself with, including the people that you surround yourself with, you literally transform your self-image. You start to see yourself differently.
One of the biggest changes that I have made in my life over the last decade is my community; the people I surround myself with. You know the saying, “You are the sum of the five people that you spend the most time with.” And if you really think about it, it’s very true.
Now, at the end of the day, what you think is always creating how you feel, what you do, and therefore your self-image. But what I like to tell my clients is that the amount of work that it takes to manage your mind around low-vibe people, personally for me, it’s just not work I want to do. If I’m being honest, I would rather use my mental capacity to solve much higher-level problems or to dream and to grow my life versus just trying to manage my mind all the time about the people that are around me.
Now, here’s the thing, in life, you’re going to have people around you that trigger you. You’re going to have people around you that bring up all of your stuff. This cannot be avoided.
We are all so human, with our own experiences, our own values, our own ways of seeing the world. And so, when we bump into someone who is not an energetic match, it’s probably going to trigger you. And I tell clients all the time, I’m like, “Listen, this is an opportunity for you to grow, for you to look within yourself at what needs to be healed.”
I like to call these people my PETs; my personal, emotional trainers. But I’m not going to intentionally surround myself with people who are triggering me all the time. I think life is way too short. Which is why I want to cultivate extraordinary friendships, people that challenge me, that we value similar things, that we’re on the same page, that we’re growing our lives, that we’re building our futures and that we are excited about life.
Because if I surround myself with people who are complaining all of the time, who are victims, who have this sort of, “Woe is me,” kind of mentality, of course I can grow in that. But not at the level I can grow when I’m truly surrounded by extraordinary people.
And this is one of the things that I’m excited about, the School of self-Image. Like, my vision and my intention is that these women cultivate communities where they are. They get together and they dream and scheme and they talk about what’s holding them back. I mean, we’re all human. It’s not like we don’t have challenges. But I love to be around people who have challenges and they’re committed to overcoming them. Not just they have challenges and they’re doing nothing about it but complaining.
And so, I’m so excited for not only how these women are going to transform how they see themselves, but also the extraordinary friendships that I know will be cultivated within this community. And that’s what I want to talk about today because I know some of you are feeling the void of having really incredible friends.
I know it because I’ve coached many of you. You’ve sent me messages on Instagram and Facebook just saying that this is an area of your life that you know you want to grow and invite truly fabulous people into your life.
And I get it. Many of you may not know this. Some of you do. But I moved to Denver back in June. I think it was June. Was it June or July? Anyway, somewhere at the beginning of the summer. And one of the big things that brought me here is that I was craving community.
Now, it’s not that I could not have created community where I was. Let me just be clear. But I thought about what I value, what I love doing. I love urban adventures, right? I love going to concerts and walking to local coffee shops and just the things that a city offers.
And it usually happens that when you put yourself in places that you’re drawn towards, the people who have similar values and similar ways of living will also be drawn to those kinds of areas. And since I have been here, I have made the most extraordinary friends.
I’m just so blown away. I have the best community. In fact, my girlfriends and I will text each other and we’ll be like, “Are we dreaming? Is this our life? I love you so much.” It’s just so beautiful, the kind of friendship that we have. And since I’ve been here, I’ve had constant guests that have come to visit. It’s been so much fun just sitting on the sofa with my girlfriends, laughing, talking about our lives, dreaming. It’s just an energetic shift.
And it’s probably one that you all are sensing in me. I’ve had some of you tell me, like, “Oh my gosh, I can tell something is shifting in your life.” And let me tell you, it is. But it’s because I’m creating the shift. And one of the ways that I’m creating it is by building community.
I think it’s so undervalued. We are so busy in our everyday lives that we put this on the backburner. We keep thinking, “One day when the kids are older. One day when I’m not so busy at work. One day when I have more time, then I will focus on really incredible friendships.”
But in the meantime, we’re feeling the void of that because friends, really great friends make life so much sweeter, so much more fun, and so much more tolerable. Because, as humans, we’re going to have challenges. And to know that you have extraordinary friends who have your back, who are there to hold space for you but also to challenge you to be your best, I think it’s one of the best gifts that we can give ourselves.
And many of you have asked me, “Tonya, how do you make friends? It’s something that I desperately want for myself but I feel really stuck in this area.” So, I’m going to share with you my thoughts around creating friendships and hopefully give you some advice and some things to think about. Because I want you to have extraordinary friendships.
Because when you start to surround yourself with that kind of energy, you are going to start thinking differently. You’re going to start feeling differently. And you’re going to start seeing yourself differently, which is going to change your entire life because your entire life is being created by your self-image. And part of what create your self-image is what you surround yourself with.
So, the first thing I want to offer you is that to make extraordinary friends, it requires that you become an extraordinary friend to yourself. I cannot say this enough. I remember, I used to want to create friendships to fill a void in my life. I wanted to create friendships because I didn’t feel like I was enough, I didn’t feel good enough. And so, I wanted to surround myself with people that distracted me from those thoughts that I had about myself, who could hopefully push me and cheer me on.
And here’s the thing. It doesn’t work. When I had that kind of energy, I was attracting other people who didn’t feel like they were enough. And so, we would get together and talk about our not-enoughness. Which was not fun.
But what I want you to understand is that everything in life is about energy. Like attracts like. If you want incredible friends, then you must first be an incredible friend to yourself. What does that mean? Well, I want you to think about what You’re seeking from friendships.
Are you seeking someone to have fun with you? Are you seeking someone who loves you no matter what? Are you seeking someone who is kind, someone who will just be there for you and hold space for you? Because guess what, you can give yourself all of those things.
And I really think that’s why it’s so fun for me right now to go out and meet new people and to put myself out there and to create these friendships is because it’s as if I don’t need it, but I’m so excited for it. I know, at the end of the day, if everyone walked out of my life, I would have my own back and I would love me, no matter what.
It’s what Anthony de Mello says, when you walk into a room and you have the energy of, “I want everything for you and I need nothing from you,” you start attracting such high-quality people into your life. But when you walk into rooms thinking, “I need something from you. I need you to like me. I need you to love me.” That kind of energy is off-putting to the people that you want to actually be friends with.
Now, you’ll probably attract a lot of people who have those same thoughts and beliefs about themselves, but that’s not what you want. You want emotionally mature and extraordinary friends. And those kinds of people, they love themselves. And because they love themselves so much, they’re able to love the people around them so much more.
Sometimes, people will say, “If you love yourself, aren’t you being conceited? Aren’t you being arrogant?” I’m like, no. Why do we think that? Me loving me takes nothing away from you. In fact, my experience has been that the more I truly love myself, I’m able to love other people so much more fully. Because when I love myself, unconditionally, it means that I’m loving all of my flaws. I am loving all of my strengths. I’m loving the things that maybe I’ve had shame around and also the things that I’m super-proud of.
And so, when I’m giving myself that gift, it’s so much more easy to love people where they are and to understand, again, we’re all so human, right? And so, I want you to ask yourself, how are you not being an extraordinary friend to yourself? Are you beating yourself up every single day? Are you not loving yourself unconditionally? Are you not having fun with yourself?
I love this question, like, how can you have fun with yourself? And part of it is around mindset because if your mind is full of so many negative thoughts about yourself, it’s almost like we want to escape ourselves because it’s so painful to be alone with ourselves. But when you start cleaning up your mind, you’ll realize, “Wow, I’m actually really fun to be around.”
And then, when you’re around other people, it’s not from this desperate energy. It’s just because you’re having so much fun and you want to welcome people into your party.
I tell clients all the time, I’m like, “Listen, the party lives within you.” And when you start to have that kind of internal party with yourself, I promise you, the right people are going to want to show up and party with you. And the chances are, they’re going to have their own internal party. So, it’s just going to be a bunch of really fun people having a really good time together.
The other thing I want you to do is to really examine your thoughts and beliefs around friendships. I was coaching a woman recently around this and some of her thoughts were, “Everyone’s just too busy.” Some of you may think that good friends are hard to find. Some of you may have a hard time trusting people based on your past. And so, if you keep focusing on that, guess what you’re going to do. You’re going to keep recreating your past. Some of you have this story that you’re not good with people.
These kind of thoughts are shaping your self-image. And remember, you can only create to the edge of your self-image. But when you think about the version of you that has extraordinary friends, that’s not what she thinks, right? She’s probably thinking, “I just love my friends. I love my life. I’m so good with people. People love being around me and I love being around people. I make time for my friendships. There are so many amazing people out there. I can’t wait to find them.”
And as you really examine your current thoughts, what you’re going to find is that your current reality is reflecting those beliefs back to you. So, if you want something new to be reflected back to you, you’re going to have to start to think in new ways.
So, how would you be thinking if you had extraordinary friendship? That is your practice because when you do that, it’s going to change your energy and you’re going to become a match for those kinds of people to enter into your life.
I also want you to imagine and envision your ideal friendships. I did this many months ago. I could see myself sitting on my sofa having conversations with extraordinary girlfriends. And I even thought about, like, what are we talking about? What are we laughing about? Where do we go?
I saw us getting dressed up and going to dinner and I saw us traveling together. And fast forward, that is my life today. I have been traveling with my girlfriends. We’ve been going to diners together. We talk on the phone because some of them don’t live here but they’ve been to visit. When they do visit, I’m literally creating that vision that I had months ago in real time. Those are the conversations that we’re having and we’re laughing so much. It’s as if I created it in my mind and I believed in it and then it happened. And that’s how the world works, my friends.
Some of you are holding visions in your brain that don’t serve you. Everything is created twice. First in your mind and then in reality. So, what are you envisioning right now? Are you focused on not having friends? Are you focused on visions of being alone and really struggling in this department? Because if that’s the vision that you hold, that’s what you’re telling your brain to go out there and create for you.
So, I want you to really get into the energy of what it would be like to have the most incredible girlfriends, or guy friends, and what you would be doing – I want you to actually hold that picture in your mind. What are you wearing? Notice your facial expressions. Are you laughing? Are you crying? Are you doing a little bit of both?
And if you keep holding that vision in your mind, you will eventually create it. But a lot of times, what happens is if we don’t see it in reality quick enough, we give up. We go into default. We slip back into old ways of thinking and being. But this is about you being bigger than your current self. It’s bout you being committed to that vision of having great friendships, great community. And if you believe in it long enough, you will create it. I promise you.
Okay, other ideas for you. Make yourself available. It’s really hard to make friends when you don’t leave your house or you don’t extend invitations or you don’t put yourself in places where your potential new best friends may be hanging out.
When I moved here, it was during the height of COVID. And it wasn’t easy to get out. And so, at that time, I just really stayed in a lot. I was having so much fun with myself that it wasn’t a big deal. But the moment things started to open up, I started getting out.
In my building, we have happy hour every single week. And so, I go up there and I meet new neighbors. And I tell people, I’m like, “I’m looking for friends, do you want to be one?” And it’s so fun because the other cool thing for me right now is I don’t care if someone rejects me. I don’t care if someone’s like, “No, I don’t want to be your friend.” Because I’m enjoying me so much that it really is – I’m like, “Well too bad for you. You just missed out on a really good time.”
But that’s the other thing. Some of you are so afraid of being rejected that you don’t put yourself out there. But imagine if you didn’t have that fear of being rejected or someone not liking you, who you would be, what you would do, how you would show up.
I really do trust that what is meant for me will not pass me. But I also want to put myself out there so that things can be for me and then things can pass me if they need to. But you have to make yourself available. And one of the things I like to think about is, like, where do you imagine you and your friends go? Start going there now.
If you imagine that you go to concerts, then go to concerts. And if you know of a few acquaintances, call them up, invite them. Say, “Hey, do you want to come with me?” And if they say no, guess what, they just lost out because you’re amazing and they didn’t realize what they just said no to. That’s how I like to think about it.
But you have to put yourself out there and make yourself available to make new friends. And again, I’m really vocal about it. In fact, when I moved here, one of my intentions was that I wanted to meet just really amazing businesswomen. I’m like, I want to find a community of just extraordinary women in business.
And so, I set that intention and I just trusted it. I’m like, “I’m going to find them.” But I didn’t just stop there. I asked around. I met a neighbor in my building and I just was very vocal. I’m like, “I want to find really great women who have their own businesses.” And she was like, “I know of someone. Let me connect you.” And so, she did and I followed up.
And me and this gal, we had lunch. It was really great. And she was like, “Oh, we have a group and we think you would be such a good fit. You should come.” And so now, I have that on my calendar, of I’m going to go to this meetup with businesswomen here in Denver. Can you see how it happens?
You decide what you want, you trust that it’s going to happen, and you live as if it’s already happened. You think about how that version of you is thinking and feeling and how she’s showing up. And then you practice showing up like that and you make yourself available to it. And then people start showing up everywhere.
I’m having so much fun with my friends right now. And I just know it’s going to get better and better and better. We have what we call family night. So, when my girlfriend Brooke comes into town, we’ve created this little collective here in Denver of our created family, and so, we just have these get-togethers.
There’s six of us and we just have the best time. And we make it a priority because, if we don’t it will never happen. And then, I’m putting myself out there to meet more incredible people. And I just trust that it’s going to happen.
My thoughts around friendships and around making friends is that there are so many incredible people out there that I cannot wait to meet. I believe that you can trust people. I believe that there are people who are looking for a friend like me and we just need to get our energies aligned, get out there, and we’re going to be a match and we’re going to know it as soon as we meet each other.
Can you see that my thoughts and my feelings around friendships are what creates extraordinary friendships? And so, I want you to really think about, what are you currently thinking about potential friends? What are you thinking about yourself as a friend? Are you being a friend to yourself and are you making yourself available?
When you do these things, I promise you, the most extraordinary friends are going to start showing up in your life. Have a great week, everyone. I love you. And I hope that you’ll consider me your virtual friend because that’s how I see you. Talk soon.
If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss Lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.