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Do You Have Toxic People in Your Life That Are Limiting Your Potential? This one shocking mistake is limiting your income and putting a cap on your dreams. Follow these five tips to get yourself out of these relationships.

By Geoff Woods Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you believe that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, then it is logical to surround yourself with people who are where you want to be.

But the reality is most of us are not surrounded by seven-figure earners or people who know how to support ambitious income goals. In fact, we are often surrounded by people who unconsciously contaminate our success! This begs the question, what do you do when you have relationships in your life that are toxic?

Related: 6 Signs Someone Is a Social Hand Grenade

Think of the people who you have shared your goals with and they responded by criticizing you, discouraging you and telling you that what you're doing is too risky. Do you think you would be more or less likely to increase your income with these people in your life?

While it is rarely discussed, the one shocking mistake that is limiting your income is allowing these toxic relationship in your life. Here is how you can eliminate these toxic relationships:

1. Take accountability.

To truly take accountability, you have to recognize that you are responsible for your life and your results. Every relationship you have is a choice, so when you have people in your life who bring you down, you are choosing to have a relationship with them.

2. Identify the toxic relationships in your life.

You were born with an internal thermometer called your feelings. That is why we are naturally drawn to things that make us feel good, and move away from things that make us feel bad. Yet when it comes to relationships, we often ignore our feelings.

Think of the relationships that exhaust you and suck the energy out of you. These are the toxic relationships and they need to be labeled as such.

3. Coach them up.

In spite of their best efforts, sometimes people are a negative influence in your life unconsciously. They do not recognize that they are pulling you down, so help them understand the type of relationship you are looking for and coach them up.

Related: 7 Toxic People to Avoid When Starting a Business

You can do this by coming from a place of love and empathy and clearly explain that you are not happy with your relationship and want to make it better.

4. Have realistic expectations.

Recognize that you are asking this person to change, which takes time. To have one conversation and expect the relationship to be cured is not realistic. Be patient with them.

As long as they are making an effort to improve the relationship, continue to guide them until they are contributing to your success.

5. If it comes to it, cut them out.

If they are not willing to make the changes you need, just like a toxic employee in a company, they must be eliminated. This is not easy to do because you care about these people, but you work too hard and your dreams are too important to allow them to continue pulling you down.

Approach them with love and understanding. Explain that you tried to improve the relationship, but at this point you can see things will not change so you are no longer able to continue having a relationship with them. Wish them all the best, and part ways.

While this is a viable option for many toxic relationship, what do you do if these people happen to be family members and you cannot remove them from your life? The answer is to distance yourself.

Do not return their phone calls as fast. At family gatherings, make the conscious decision to spend your time with other people. If you cannot avoid interaction, put minimal energy into the conversation.

The people you surround yourself with have a powerful affect on the way you think and your perception of what is possible. Make a commitment to surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and encourage you. If you do this, you will find yourself surpassing every goal you have, and earning more income that you have every imagined.

Related: The 5 Mental Barriers to Greatness Only You Can Remove

Geoff Woods

Vice President at The ONE Thing, Founder of The Mentee Podcast, Entrepreneur.

Geoff Woods, a medical device salesman by day, is the host of The Mentee Podcast where he documents his journey from employee to entrepreneur and highlights conversations he has with his high-level mentors. Woods's passion is helping others accelerate their success by surrounding them with the right mentors and the right ideas.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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