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3: Analyze Your Circumstances

Who is in Your Circle of Influence?

Evaluate your circle of influence

You may be aware of your surroundings and your own physical and mental state, but most life transitions affect other people as well. Depending on the circumstance, you may need to get input from others, or consider how others will be impacted by decisions.

Keep in mind that not all advice is worth taking. It can be useful to hear what others in similar situations have done, but be careful about blindly following others’ lead, especially when you are in a fragile emotional state.

Primary and Secondary Influencers

You probably have some people in your life with whom you are closer than others. And, depending on the life event, crisis or transition, your circle of influence might change. For example, if your brother is a lawyer then you might feel comfortable going to him with a legal question, but not as comfortable asking him about your medical issues.

Primary influencers often include your spouse or partner, parents, children, siblings and close friends. Secondary influencers could include social and religious groups, extended relatives or co-workers.

If you were faced with the following life events and transitions, who in your life would be your primary and secondary influencers?

  • Death of a close relative or friend
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Changing jobs, retiring or taking leave from work
  • A serious medical diagnosis
  • Discovering that you need to move out of state
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