There’s a powerful quote from motivational speaker Jim Rohn that I’d like to share with you.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”Jim Rohn
This quote has been repeated, paraphrased and recycled many times by countless sources over the years. It’s sage advice, and words that I have found to be true in my own experience.
You are driven to succeed. You’ve been working on taking your skills and abilities to the next level. You are pushing to accomplish big goals!
Anytime you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a vulnerable time.
It’s easy to fall into self-doubt and negative thoughts. And once that vortex of negative chatter starts, it’s very easy for those thoughts to pick up speed.
You can’t kick ass with a mindful of negative thoughts. FACT.
This is why it’s critical for you to take an honest look at the people you spend the most time with.
Do they help lift you up?
Or do they bring you down?
Don’t get me wrong. I am not telling you it’s time to ditch all of your old friends and take up with well-to-do people who can help you get farther. Don’t miss the point!
I am advising you to take stock of the people you spend time with. Are they people who encourage you to be your best self and drive forward into a successful life? Or are they people who hold you back into old or damaged thought patterns?
Let’s talk about building your Power Squad!
Weed Out or Limit Harmful Influences
It’s time to take an honest look at relationships that are no longer serving your highest self.
While everyone is a unique individual, there are some harmful personality types that are so common that I can give them names.
There’s the Psychic Vampire.
You spend the bulk of your conversations giving them pep talks, talking through their problems and providing encouraging advice. Be honest with yourself about how often they reciprocate the favor. It’s not much, is it?
If you walk away an evening out with a person feeling like you are personally drained and mentally exhausted, it’s time to reconsider the amount of time that you spend with them. Spending time with friends should make you feel better, not worse.
There’s also the Stuck in the Past Schoolmate.
Know the person who refers to your common history more than the present day? The one who still ribs you about the time you made an ass of yourself in biology class or calls you by that old nickname that you hate in front of other friends who have never heard it before.
You know who it is. Sure, you had a fun past with them. But, you’re living in the present and working towards an awesome future. If they can’t join you there, it’s time to move on.
And then there’s the classic Fun Yet Cynical Slackers.
I use plural tense because I find that these types tend to stick together and travel in packs. They want more out of life, but their common love of edgy and bitter humor and lack of motivation has them stuck.
You could be surrounded by this kind of clique at the office. Sure, they can be fun to gossip and bitch with, but don’t you leave that happy hour feeling worse about your job?
These are only a few examples of influences that will be harmful to the positivity you are trying to grow in your life!
Pay attention to how time spent with others makes you feel. It’s no coincidence; it’s directly correlated to the quality of the relationship.
You will become the people you spend the most time with.
Maximize the Positive Influences
This is not just about weeding out the bad influences; it’s about maximizing the good ones. Let’s talk about the people who belong in your Power Squad!
Who helps you feel more powerful and fantastic? These are the relationships that you want to invest in.
Your key partners-in-crime are your true best friends.
These friends won’t just tell you what you want to hear to make you feel better. You encourage each other to be your best. You’ll call each other out when you need to. You’d go to war for each other.
You’ll only get a couple of these friendships in your life; these are the relationships to nurture and treasure.
Not all people who fall into your power squad need be at this level! There are many ways to maximize the positive influences in your life.
Think about all of the people that add value to the quality of your life, who make you feel great simply by spending time with them.
Consider them all part of the Power Squad!
Your Power Squad can include your favorite spin instructor at the gym that motivates you to work harder than any other coach. Make sure you get to her class as much as possible!
Your Power Squad can include the one co-worker you connect with that doesn’t fall into office drama like everyone else. Spend your lunch hour with her, not the gang who spends the hour complaining about your boss or the latest policy change!
Your Power Squad can include a woman you don’t know well but admire from your yoga class. Invite her out for coffee or herbal tea and get to know her better!
Do you see where I’m going here? Your Power Squad doesn’t need to act together as a girl gang in a Taylor Swift video. Some of them may never even know each other.
The basic premise of a Power Squad is to maximize all of the positive and inspiring influences in your life. Find ways to connect and spend time with these people. Minimize your exposure to people who don’t make you feel this way.
It’s as simple as that.
Stay Connected to Your Mentors
Another special being you’ll have the privilege of knowing in your life is the mentor.
Mentors can come in many forms throughout your life.
Even if you are working at the worst job possible, you may have a manager who looks out for you and gives great advice. That counts as a mentor.
Did you have a professor that left an indelible mark on your college career? That’s another mentor.
Mentors don’t have to all be in the professional industry you are targeting for your career. They will come from different places and influence you in different ways. What they will have in common is an investment in your development and growth. These are people who want you to be the best that you can be, and you have valued and respected their counsel and coaching.
So, whether they were a 5th-grade teacher, the manager you used to work for when you bagged groceries in high school, your drama club leader at university, if you consider them a mentor, stay in touch with them!
Even if it’s been years, reach out and let them know what they meant to you and tell them what you’re up to. They would love to hear from you. Seriously. When I hear from a mentee, it brightens my day. We remember you, just as you remember us. Stay connected.
Don’t lose touch with people who were meaningful to your development. Consider them to be lifetime members in your Power Squad.
Taking a critical look at the people you spend the most time with can very well be the most important thing you do for your career.