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In episode 32, I spoke with Sally Miller about the research she did for her book on the essential habits of six-figure bloggers.
She shared that the most important and consistently mentioned finding when she did her interviews was the need to surround yourself with positive people in order to stay on track and hit your goals.
I wanted to dive a little deeper on this subject as it’s something I had to work around when starting my business and I hadn’t even realised how much I am continuing to do this and how much it affects my decision-making.
We hear all the time that the company we keep is important, especially if we want to be successful.
It’s the one habit highly successful people do (and have in common), in Sally’s findings but also in many other writings on success as well.
“One of the most important decisions we make in life is who we choose to be around. In fact, there is an old proverb that reads, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” Quite often we become like the people we’re around. Based on that, we must be cautious about whom we surround ourselves with because of the short- and long-term implications.”
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Whether you’re just starting out or you already have an established business, you are going to be hearing this everywhere.
Why is the company you keep so important?
Why can’t we necessarily disconnect from what other people think if our opinions are different?
It’s because we are a lot less logical than we think and the people around us affect us subconsciously as well as consciously.
Environment influences our beliefs which influences our decision-making which influences our results
Let’s break that down.
Going from the top, our experiences in the world nearly all of which involve other people get condensed in our mind into beliefs over a long period of time – ideas of what is right and wrong and what is true in the world.
We use those beliefs to help us make decisions. The decisions that we make dictate our results.
When we look at it in reverse it’s like this: Where we are at any point in our life is a direct result of our decisions, which are more influenced than our beliefs than many of us realize, and our beliefs are formed by everything that goes on in our environments. A large part of that environment is the people in it.
You have probably heard about the importance of mindset
Mindset is really important because it affects your decision-making.
If you believe you aren’t smart/beautiful/witty/insert other adjective enough to do something your decisions will be affected by that.
You’ll choose not to try in the first place. Or you’ll choose to start but give up at the first sign of proof (in your own mind) that your beliefs were true.
As humans we are naturally wired to do that, it’s called Confirmation Bias. We naturally look for and select information to confirm that our beliefs are true.
Mindset is so important because if you can change how you think about things, your beliefs, you can dramatically affect your results.
But what affects our mindset (beliefs)? Our environment, the people around us
But the environment is one level up. In the chain of events environment influences beliefs, which influences decision-making, which influences results.
So in that sense, it really is true that the most important success factor is surrounding yourself with the right people.
The people around us influence us every day, shaping and forming our opinions about the world.
Of course, as a kid, we don’t have much say over this but as an adult, we have much more say.
Do these people have to be positive?
Ideally, the people you surround yourself with should be positive in that they support you in your goals. They have your back.
Sometimes being positive is giving someone hard feedback but the important thing is the person is supporting you.
They don’t need to have exactly the same beliefs but they do need to believe in you and that what you want for yourself is possible.
Since starting my business, I’ve been connecting with lots of other business people. Their support and guidance have been invaluable.
They understand my highs and lows because often they’ve been there too.
They know exactly how to get me back on track when I need it.
I really couldn’t have done it without them.
The key message is:
Choose your friends wisely – choose those that build you up and believe in you
Sometimes we form friendships with people by default.
Perhaps you stay friends with people from school or you’re just used to hanging around the same crowd.
But as we evolve and grow, especially when our goals change, it can often be a stark realisation that our friends we grew to know and trust may see your success or growth as a threat.
It’s not uncommon for friendships to drift apart.
Just realise that if this does happen it’s not a reflection of you, but of them.
You don’t need to spend time with people who bring you down and aren’t excited about your success.
Attract the right people so you get the right support
To do great work you will have to get out of your comfort zone and take some risks that may be unsettling.
This is best tackled with the right support around you.
People who get it, because our environment affects our beliefs which affects our decisions, which affects our results.
Of course, not absolutely everyone is going to support you. In that case, Steve Jobs sums this up best:
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
What has been your experience?
Are your current friendships are holding you back from becoming the best version of you?
How are you finding the right people to support your dreams?
Let me know in the comments below…