Hello, my friends! How has the new year been treating you so far? I’m going to be on the cover of Best Holistic Life Magazine in June so I’m getting ready to travel to Southern California to do a photo shoot for that. I’m going to be around some influential people who will also be on the cover during the year so I’m excited to meet and get to know them better. I always love being around positive, energetic people so I’m pretty excited.
I’m hoping to add them to my circle of influencers. Do you have people that you spend time with that improve your mood and motivate you to be more like your future-self?
Do you like the results you are getting in your life? Overall, do you like how you are feeling?
Are you motivated towards your goals or are they more like a faraway fantasy? Do you like how your body looks? Do you like how you manage your money? Are you happy with how you spend your time? Are you relatively trusting or would you identify as a skeptic? Optimist or pessimist? What about your health habits? Do you believe in eating healthy or living it up? What are your beliefs about exercise? Not just doing it, but what kind to do? Do you like how you think about yourself? Do you like how you treat yourself?
Did you know that the top 5 people you are around the most will have influenced those responses?
When my kids were tweens and teens I’d tell them that the friends they chose were important. Maybe you’ve heard quotes like, “choose your friends wisely because they will shape your future” and “your friends determine your destiny.”
Do you believe that? I think anyone who is or was a parent of teenagers can attest firsthand that their friends play a big role in shaping their lives. Do you believe the same applies to you today?
Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, is famous for saying, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So basically, look at the dreams, beliefs, motivations, and ethics of the five people you hang around the most and you’ll find that most of your dreams, your beliefs, your motivations, and your ethics somewhat matches theirs. You become the people you are around the most.
I found these next stats interesting. During a study to see how much our social interactions shape our thinking, the researchers concluded that if a friend or family member becomes obese, you yourself are 45 percent more likely to gain weight over the next two to four years. If they smoke, you are 61 percent more likely to be a smoker yourself.
A lot of this happens subconsciously. Everything we see, hear, and have experience with will shape how we translate that into our own life experiences. We know that ultimately we control our thoughts, but these are the ones we intentionally think. However, our default brain is constantly surveying our surroundings and logging in what’s needed for us to “belong” to the tribe.
Your brain is naturally programmed to try and fit in for it’s primal survival. If it feels like you’re not fitting in enough, the default brain will start to send you messages to motivate you to fix it. When we start to fail a cultural ideal, we start to experience negative consequences.
If you are frequently around someone who has unrealistic physical standard and your conversations usually focus on appearances, you may start to become body conscious. Some things that didn’t bother you before now do. I’ve seen it with lots of people who begin to hang around a different group of friends.
It reminds me of the movies or shows you watch where the main character goes through a visual transformation and then they move up the social hierarchy chain and start hanging out with a different crowd. Their attitude changes and eventually there’s a fallout with their once good friend and they say, “you’ve changed.” And not in a good way. A classic example of this would be Mean Girls. Lindsay Lohan starts a new school and quickly develops a hate towards the plastics, the populars, and becomes one to infiltrate their group. Her image changed and her attitude changed and eventually became the girl she hated most, the plastic’s queen bee.
Of course this is a script so it has a happy ending where Cady realizes who her friends really are and changes back, but do you know people who have incredible changes? For better or worse, it’s partly based on who they allowed to influence them.
If our body isn’t the same, if our romantic relationships aren’t looking like theirs, if we don’t have all the stuff like them. Notice the people you are around most and identify how that’s influenced your default thinking.
If you are constantly around people who are negative, fear-based individuals, it’s very difficult to have an upper-level conversation that doesn’t end up in complaining and lamenting over the day-to-day drag. Even with a lot of thought work, if this is what you’re always around, your progression can be stunted. However, if you’re constantly around motivated, positive, solution-based people, you’re more-likely to feel elevated and empower yourself to find solutions. Your conversations lean toward self-improvement and a purpose-driven life out of love instead of dissatisfaction. Now remember, we are all 50-50 humans. No one will be on top of their game all the time. But what is the general vibe?
So back to my questions from the beginning. Are you liking the results in your life? If you are loving your life, this is great news! Your circle of influencers are working for you. If you’re liking the results, but want to take your like-relationship to the next level then I invite you to consider doing a circle audit. Or if you are completely dissatisfied with it, I encourage you to consider doing a circle overhaul.
Before you do an audit though, ask yourself, “If I were to become my ideal self, what would that look like? What kind of qualities do I wish to improve on?” This is good to know because it’ll help you with the next step.
Write down the 5 people you spend the most time with. And one thing I’d like you to consider is treating one of those people as media. What kind of media are you allowing into your default brain? Are you watching things that would cause you to question if your appearance is enough? Are you watching things that motivate you in the direction that you want to take your life or do they cause you to continue to judge yourself because you’re not feeling like you’re measuring up? Do you feel uplifted or do you feel less then?
Other questions are,
How do I feel around this person? When I leave their presence, how do I feel? Is it matching with how I want my future self to feel? How do I act when this person is around? Do they support my future goals?
How much thought work do I have to do when I’m around them? For me, personally, if I am constantly having to do thought work around them, it gets exhausting. So that’s good to know.
How much time do I want to spend with them? How do I increase or decrease that time, depending on if it’s someone you want in your circle or not?
Is there space for new people?
Who are the people you’d like to bring into your circle? What is it that’s drawn you to that person that you want to bring out in yourself? How can you increase time spent around them? It doesn’t have to be face-to-face. It can be through phone, text, or email. Is there a way for you to join the same social circle? We have so many ways of communicating now that we aren’t as limited as people of the past were.
If the person you are seeking to join your circle of influence isn’t at your disposal, but you are really inspired by them and aspire to be more like them then it’s about you using your creativity on how to increase your time being influenced by them. Whether they are a celebrity, a scholar, or even someone who has passed, find ways to increase tapping into their excellence. Have they written books, do they have a podcast or show you can watch? Do they belong to a community that you can follow to gain more interaction with like-minded individuals?
Ok, what if you have people that you spend time with, but really don’t want to, but kind of have to based on the circumstances. Like a member of our family or maybe a boss. Now I could argue that you don’t have to spend time with that boss, because you could quit. But if that’s the only part about the job you don’t like, then I’m guessing you don’t want to quit. We know that there are some people who we will be spending more time with than others, regardless of if we want to.
This is where you may need to do more thought work, out of love for the rest of your life experience. Is that going to be part of the 50% negative that is required in your life for you to experience the 50% positive? Maybe. Is there a game you can make out of it? Can you come up with a positive spin to it? Can you take this opportunity to practice compassion? What might their life be like having to feel this way all the time? How can you increase more time with other positive influencers to offset the percentage of time spent with them? Make them your new master class in life. What can you learn from them? How can this make you a better person? The more you look, the more you’ll find ways how to keep them out of your circle of influence.
The people you surround yourself with will greatly influence your relationship with yourself. It will change the way you think about yourself for good or bad. If you’re intentional with what you’re going to take in and surround yourself with, then it become a lot easier to start living into your next best version. Let me know if you have questions and remember you are loved!
If you’re looking for a life coach, I’d love to be yours. If you want to lose weight, better your relationships, or need help with crafting your confidence, I’ve got you! go to myinnerlove.com and sign up for a free mini-session today.