As we enter a New Year, it is important to reflect. For many, the new year is an opportunity to make changes and do things differently. I would encourage you in 2022 to think about your network and think strategically about your relationships. Much of our existence depends upon those we are around. Although we cannot control every person we encounter, we can be more intentional about who has access to our time, our talent and our treasure. Everyone cannot be on your team. While working on my Ph.D., I became fascinated with the term, ‘social capital,’ which is about networks, associations, and relationships.
At the core of social capital is trust. Just as money or our education are forms of capital that can be used to make things happen, our relationships also can either elevate or expel us from opportunities. Relationships flourish when there is trust and the willingness to collaborate. When there is jealousy, envy, gossip, slander or even hatred, there is division and discord— there is no trust. And yet, many people will continue to run with folks who they don’t like secretly. Called ‘Frenemies,’ it is a combination of the words ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ and refers to “a person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.”
These are toxic relationships that take away time and energy for relationships that could be productive and beneficial. Frenemies do not have a clear view of themselves and tend to distort reality often because of their clouded vision that is compounded by low self-esteem, unresolved emotions, and toxic behaviors like passive aggressiveness. Frenemies are hazardous to your health and wealth.
In Numbers 13, Joshua and Caleb were spies with 10 other men to determine if they could take the land of Canaan as requested by Moses. “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it. But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’ And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them,’” Numbers 13.
Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who believed that it was possible. Keep in mind that these men were from the 12 Tribes of Israel. They all lived, worked, and worshipped together. Yet, they had a vastly different report. They not only spread misinformation within the group to create doubt, but they also saw themselves as inadequate. More importantly, they trusted in their ability and not in God’s. Caleb and Joshua were the only ones permitted to enter the Promised Land. Are you missing the promises of God because of who is in your camp?
Are there individuals that you needed to leave behind in 2021 so that you could enter 2022 trusting what God promised you with the right people? Everyone cannot go with you because they cannot see what you see. I am often reminded of the comparison between eagles and chickens. One soars in the air and the other scratches on the ground. In 2022, examine your crew. It may be time to walk away from those who cannot see the possibilities but only identify the problems.
(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the founder and CEO of Soulstice Consultancy, specializing as a Partnership Broker and Leadership Expert for companies and organizations to thrive with measurable and meaningful impact. She also is the vice president of Community Affairs and Strategic Alliances for the State Fair of Texas.)