Finding Your People is Crucial to Your Success. Here’s Why
You’ve likely heard the quote by motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Maybe this worries you, because a lot of your friends gossip, complain, or engage in questionable behaviors. Perhaps this saddens you, because your family is emotionally distant and doesn’t make an effort to create fun memories together. Or, maybe you’re extremely grateful because you constantly seek mentors who help you to grow and be a high achiever.
Would you rather be the most knowledgeable person in the room, always taking care of and course correcting your peers? Or do you prefer to be the least knowledgeable in your circle, always hungry to learn and be better? Who you associate with directly correlates to your career or business success, your life satisfaction, and your self-esteem.
You are NOT the Average of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With
While Rohn makes a convincing point, the truth is that you are influenced by everyone you surround yourself with. Of course, the friends, family, and mentors you are around the most rub off on you. But the people you follow on social media, the TV shows you consume, the email newsletters and blog posts you subscribe to, and the places you go all shape you as well.
If you are working diligently to get your online business off the ground, where would your time and energy be best spent on a Friday night: a nightclub, or a coworking café? If you have $1000 budgeted for entertainment this quarter, and your goal is to live a life of financial freedom, where would that 1k be best spent: a beach vacation, or a personal development seminar?
Of course, life is meant to be enjoyed. But you can enjoy yourself without sacrificing your goals. If you’re questioning whether or not your surroundings, the information you consume, and your biggest influences are holding you back, you’re not alone. The good news is that it’s never too late to make changes in your life that will bring you closer to success.
Using the Proximity Principle to Find Your People
We need to be careful with who we choose to allow into our lives. You want friends who are positive, driven, and focused. When you associate with people who make good choices when it comes to money, health, relationships, and work-life balance, you will undoubtedly be inspired to make those same good decisions for yourself. So how can you find your people if you’re not currently part of an uplifting group? The first and most important step is to be clear on the type of person you want to be. What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to help? What impact do you want to make? When you have a high level of self-awareness, you can then seek out people with similar values to become acquainted with.
The proximity principle is a social psychology phenomenon that accounts for the tendency for people to form relationships with those closest to them. Of course, we’re more likely to form deeper relationships with people nearby who we encounter often than people we rarely interact with. Fortunately, we can use the proximity principle to our advantage by intentionally placing ourselves in environments and situations where we can network with like-minded people. To do this, think about where the people you want to be like are hanging out. Are they at libraries, coffee shops, life coaching workshops, or yoga classes? The proximity principle can be applied in relationships, too. If you’re looking for a partner and don’t like to drink, don’t feel pressured to go searching in a bar, just because it’s a societal norm. When you put your personal goals first and surround yourself with other goal-oriented people, you’ll have the opportunity to uplift and support each other.
Setting Boundaries With Energy-Sucking People
All people fall into one of two categories: they are either energy givers or energy suckers. Energy givers are those who take the time to fill their own cups first so that they can then be there for others. They are optimistic, uplifting to talk to and spend time with, and support you in everything you do. Energy suckers are the complete opposite. Talking with them leaves you feeling drained and stressed. They tend to speak negativity of others and the world, and might try to drag you down with them.
If you have energy suckers in your life who seem to be holding you back from reaching your potential, it is important to set boundaries with them. Unfortunately, family members or loved ones can be energy suckers, so setting boundaries can feel uncomfortable. When you notice someone draining you, you are allowed to stand up for yourself. Whether verbally or with action, it’s important to distance yourself from people who keep you from achieving your dreams. Make it your mission to become an energy giver yourself, and you will magnetize to other energy givers. When you find your people, you become unstoppable together.