If you’re serious about being successful and achieving your goals — and I believe you are, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this — then it’s important to consider the company you keep. Motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn once said that you become like the five people you spend the most time with. Therefore, it stands to reason that in order to be successful, you should surround yourself with successful people.
Think about your own inner circle — the people you spend the most time with. How do you feel after you spend time with them? What sort of things do you talk about? What do each of those people bring to your life?
If you’re primarily spending time with people who complain and blame, those relationships are bringing you down.
I get it — there is a certain catharsis that comes from getting together with your besties and venting about all the things that are going wrong in your life. But while this behaviour may feel good for an evening, it doesn’t benefit you in the long run.
In his bestselling book The Success Principles, motivational speaker and personal development coach Jack Canfield puts it this way: stop associating with the “Ain’t It Awful” crowd. The more you surround yourself with people who constantly complain and speak badly of others, the more that behaviour will rub off on you.
Have you put any thought into the kind of person you want to be? Think about some of the people you admire most. Chances are, they possess character traits you want to emulate. Take a few moments to write those characteristics down. These are your core values.
Surrounding yourself with people who exemplify your core values will help you cultivate them in yourself. You might not even notice it at first, but you’ll begin to mimic their habits and mannerisms. These are the people who will help you become a better version of yourself and challenge you to stretch yourself.
What if you don’t have a group of successful, supportive friends? There are a few ways you can go about building a network that will uplift and motivate you.
- Find a mentor. If there is someone in your company or larger network you admire, connect with them, and ask directly if they would be willing to mentor you. People are often happy to share what they have learned with others to help them succeed.
- Find a coach. A Life or Career Coach can help you define and move towards your goals, and they may also have a group of other clients you can connect with for support and encouragement.
- Network online. Social media can be a powerful networking tool, especially in the era of social distancing. But, the key is to build authentic relationships. Don’t try to use social media strictly for self-promotion. Join conversations and contribute meaningful insights. Over time, you will likely form online relationships you can potentially build upon — even if it’s over a Zoom coffee date.
- Try your current friends. Don’t discount your existing circle of friends or colleagues. Ask if they would be willing to commit to supporting each other in a more positive way. Schedule lunch dates during which you strictly talk about your goals — no complaining allowed. You may be surprised to find you can change the tone of your friend group. If not, at least you’ll know you tried.
Even if you don’t have a supportive network of successful people now, by simply making the decision to build one, you’ll likely soon find new opportunities coming your way. Learn more about the skills and tools used by successful people in my free download, Successful People Take Action. It’s full of habits you can emulate as you work towards creating your best life!