Ever had a plant that just wouldn’t bloom? Were you unsure of how much sunlight to give it? Or if you were giving it enough water? Typically, when a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix its environment. Once you find its optimal environment, it flourishes. Imagine your life as a flower. You want to grow, live up to your fullest potential, and be healthy—but for some reason, you’re falling short. Are you eating nutritious food? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you using your energy in the best manner?

Your environment affects the way you think, believe, and live. My environment has a lot to do with my motivation. Listening to inspirational videos, journaling, reading quotes, and speaking with my accountability partners keep me thriving. In addition to my physical environment, I’ve been working on my interpersonal relationships as well. I’m learning to say “no” more. And instead, say “yes” to more things that benefit my future. This includes declining invites to things that won’t serve me, spending more time with loved ones, and working on myself. You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You have the choice to be the architect of it.

Often when we aren’t transitioning into what we want it’s because we aren’t making necessary changes. It’s easy to go with the flow when you feel comfortable and are fearful of the unknown. I can relate to that completely. I’m terrified of the unknown. Most of the time when I’m attempting change, the first thing that pops into my mind is everything that could go wrong, looking stupid in front of others, or failing and feeling inadequate. In those moments, I remind myself “I am the master of fate and the captain of my soul.” When I feel unsatisfied with an aspect of my life, it’s my fault. You have the power to make a change. I’ve learned that waiting for things to change on their own will leave you disappointed. We have the power to change our circumstances with our own willpower. Starting today, I encourage you to set tangible plans to help you bloom.

Here are some ways to become the architect of your environment:

1. Gracefully let go of what no longer serves you
What can you remove from your life that no longer benefits you? Maybe it’s drinking less? Complaining less? Spending more nights inside working on yourself or business, instead of at the club? Life is all about finding your own balance. It’s okay to play but you also have to learn to work hard. If you stay in the same environment you are in, you will continue to perform the same habits. To experience positive change, break through the habits and routines that are keeping you in the same predicament. How can you expect to change if you don’t do anything differently? We’ve all heard that saying, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. What are you doing to shock your environment? What are you doing to force change your thinking?

2. Re-evaluate who you keep around you
Do you have friends or family members that are so negative it makes you feel inadequate? For instance, I went out with an old friend who spent most of our conversation making excuses for everything. She would blame life circumstances for her current status instead of taking responsibility for who she is in the present moment. She lost her job because the economy sucks.

She’s unmotivated because her boss isn’t challenging her enough. With all due respect to these reasons, they are all excuses. That experience triggered me to take an inventory of who I keep around me and who I allow in my space. According to entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If the people around you don’t believe in themselves or enjoy just getting by, then you’re bound to act in the same manner. If you’re the smartest in your friend group, it’s time to get some new friends.

3. Connect with others on positive events
I am guilty of loving a little gossip from time to time. However, research shows that connecting with others regarding positive things we experience can enhance both our mood and self-esteem. I love a self-esteem booster as much as the next person. I’m consciously working on replacing gossip with conversations about good things instead. That includes every positive event from small things like a peaceful morning commute to bigger things like getting a promotion. Not only will positive conversations make you feel more fulfilled and supported but they will also strengthen your relationships with others.

4. Determine what makes you happy
When evaluating your environment, pay attention to the energy the people and things around you create in your life. Recognize what you’re consuming such as what you’re reading, eating, listening to, following, and talking about. Spend 3-7 days consciously being aware of what you’re consuming and look at what you are doing from an objective standpoint. Write a summary of the theme each day. These themes will show you why you’ve been experiencing certain life circumstances. Self-awareness is a prerequisite for a happy life. Don’t just endure your life, make sure you are enjoying it. Sometimes all we need to do is take a step back, reflect and then take massive action. Prioritize your environment because it dictates your measurement for success.