Those who know me know that I am a big believer in surrounding yourself with people that make it inevitable to succeed. You don’t need to be a parent to know that if kids get caught up with the ‘wrong crowd’ it can mean trouble. What most adults don’t realise, is that they are susceptible to the same influence. Who you spend the most time with, can either help you flourish and succeed in various areas or all areas of life, or hold you back drastically.
Think about the people you spend time with.
What topics do you discuss?
Your topics of conversation with various people will vary depending on whether they are a positive or negative influence on you.
You will have those that discuss issues, life, work and other objective topics, so you join in and discuss those same topics.
Then there are others that talk about other people, which leads you to once again join in, and perhaps find yourself gossiping and backstabbing, when normally this would be out of character for you.
Do you feel supported?
How supported you feel in any area of life can have a huge impact on your confidence, willingness to take risks and ultimately your success in life.
You will have people that are positive, supportive and excited for you when you are starting a new venture or trying something new.
On the flip side, you will have people that are ‘negative Nancies’, critics, pessimists that will pull apart any idea you may present.
Think about a time you have tried to change your nutrition to lean up.
You will have friends that you hate going out to dinner with because you do not feel supported. All they do is give you grief about your food choices and encourage you to eat outside your plan because ‘just a bit won’t hurt’. Other common statements you will hear from these nay sayers are:
‘You only live once.’
‘You’re no fun anymore!’
‘Everything in moderation.’
If people you spend time with say these things to you, know they are going to hold you back! You will find yourself self-sabotaging, making excuses and losing motivation towards your goals.
On the other hand, if you go out to dinner with people that support you, you will hear them say thing like:
‘You’re so good! I wish I had the discipline!’
‘You are doing such an amazing job! Good on you!’
‘You are looking amazing!’
These are the people have your back! They are your cheerleaders, the people that are going to support you, back you and help you to succeed. Afterall, a little praise goes a long way!
It is a good idea to analyse every single person in your life. Family, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues etc.
When considering each person ask yourself the following questions:
- Do they talk about other people more than they talk about objective topics?
- Yes – Limit your time. If they are talking about others to you, they will talk about you to others.
- Do they criticise anything you try to do or achieve?
- Yes – Limit your time. Like most humans, you will do more than enough of that all on your own without help from others. What you need is people that will show you your possibilities rather than your limitations!
- Do they have discussions with you about pros and cons?
- Yes – Spend more time with these people. They are looking at the topic at hand objectively and are helping you think about the various aspects of the topic.
- Do they compliment you and uplift you?
- Yes – Spend more time with these people. As I said earlier, we all do better with a little praise.
- Do they make you feel uncomfortable and/or anxious, even if you can’t really figure out why?
- Yes – Limit your time. That is your instinct kicking in reading what your conscious mind can’t. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right.
- Do they make you feel amazing, even if you can’t figure out why?
- Yes – Spend more time with these people. Again, that is your instinct giving you the heads up that they are the keepers.
- Do you find yourself questioning your own thoughts, values, memories, making you feel confused and doubtful, after spending time with them?
- Yes – Limit your time. This usually happens as a result of spending time with people that gaslight you. They make you question yourself so you hold yourself back. Very subtle tactic you don’t even realise is happening to you.
- Do you find things going wrong every time you spend time with that particular person or people?
- Yes – Limit your time. Nobody has time for that!
Should you cut ties?
Well that really depends. Do you want to cut ties with them? If so, then do so. If not, that can get a little more tricky.
Sometimes some people are so very toxic that even if they are immediate family, you are better off cutting ties for your own physical or mental safety. You will need a lot of support from your positive peers in these situations, to help you get through situations like these. If you are in danger, you may also need other types of protection from police, the council, or other agencies.
If they are not toxic per se, but they aren’t exactly someone that helps you become the best version of yourself, you might find that simply limiting your exposure to that person has excellent positive results in your life.
Or you might change the settings in which you spend time. For example, if they criticise what you eat, you might decide to go out for coffee instead of dinner.
As you can see, though you are a full-grown adult, you may find yourself being held back from unleashing the best version of yourself simply because of the people that you are spending the most amount of time with. Do the analysis above objectively and really start to notice how the people in your life are impacting you, negatively or positively. Increase exposure to the positives and decrease or eliminate exposure to the negatives. You are the product of the 5 people you spend the most amount of time with. Figure out your top five and your bottom five. Spend more time with your top five, limit expose to your bottom five, and you will propel yourself to success!
- Coach Terri