The People Around You Influence Your Success
Who’s In Your Circle of Influence
Whom you surround yourself with matters a great deal. People influence your beliefs, expectations, motivation, and attitude. If you’re the type of person who has big dreams, you’ll want to take a little time to assess who you spend your time with and whether they are helping you on your way – or holding you back.
Though many things in life are outside of our control, who you spend your time with luckily isn’t one of them. You get to decide who you want to invest your time and energy in. Jim Rohn once famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
This begs the question: Are you spending time with the right people?
1. The Wrong People
Some people in your life may simply not be a good influence. Negative attitudes, a lack of interest in self-growth, passivity, and disruptiveness can all weigh you down. It can even blur your vision of the future you want and cause you to limit your personal ambition.
This can be particularly common among young professionals with social circles rooted in high school or college friends. Not everyone blooms at the same time, and if your friends are stuck in the past or just coasting along, you might think about prioritizing your future. You don’t need to cut ties, but you can start to seek out better influences to help you thrive.
2. The Right People
So, who are the right people to spend your time with? That’s an easier question to answer. Seek out the people who enhance your life (as opposed to draining your energy). People you admire, people who inspire you, and those that you aspire to be more like. Sheer proximity will set you on a path to embracing the positive qualities that you appreciate in others. If their drive for success, passion, and values align with yours, they’re probably worthy of being in your Top 5.
3. Assess Your Needs
Take a moment to jot down the names of the 5 or 6 people you most often associate with. Obviously, the family you live with and colleagues you share office space with are simply part of the package. What about the others? Are they positive or negative influences?
Once you determine who stays and who you perhaps quietly distance yourself from, are there spaces to be filled? If so, be very intentional about who you bring into your life to play a starring role. You might seek out someone with a skillset you’re actively working on or someone who has already achieved a milestone you’re attempting.
Expand Your Network
Now that you have developed the personas of people you want to surround yourself with, start your search. If you don’t know specific individuals who match your needs, it’s time to make some new connections. That’s why it is always wise to actively develop your network and target deep connections with people who can play an influential role in your journey. Your needs will change over time, as will your ideal Top 5.
And remember, not everyone who checks all the boxes is going to be the right fit. You might need to go on coffee dates and Zoom chats with multiple people until you find the person whose energy jives with yours. Be patient – because this will absolutely pay off in the long run.
Whose 5 Are You In?
Always remember that as much as our Top 5 influences us, we are probably on the list of Top 5’s for several other people. It is therefore incumbent upon us to act ethically, be supportive, and lift others up as we find new successes. A rising tide lifts all boats, so tend to your fleet! Offer mentorship to the people coming up behind you, share knowledge freely, and celebrate with friends and colleagues when they have a win.
You do have the power to choose who you surround yourself with and when you start to think about it, you’ll see how truly influential those people are. Your time is incredibly valuable, so be sure that you spend it wisely.
If you need to make some changes to your Top 5 and don’t know where to find quality candidates, let’s talk! Ascentim’s Connections coaching can be a game-changer for anyone looking to build a bench of trusted allies.
Lisa L. Baker is a professional life coach, career strategist, and keynote speaker. Lisa is the founder of Ascentim – a Maryland-based coaching practice that utilizes a unique G.R.O.W. process to help clients gain clarity, realize new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and win at life. Lisa shows high-performing professionals how to Level Up and Live the Life of Their Dreams.