We all have that friend who brings out the best (or worst) in us. But have you ever really considered how the people in your life impact your behaviour in your life outside their friendship? Research suggests that the calibre of those closest to us is one of the most accurate predictors of the extent of our achievements, or lack thereof. Indeed, according to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” If we subscribe to Jim’s school of thought, we’d have to believe that those five people have the ability to determine our success – and failure. So how can we use this knowledge to benefit us to make sure our immediate circle affects us in the right way?
Take charge of your influencers
Make a list of the five people in your life that you spend most of your time with. Rate them from 1-10 in terms of the positive influence they have on your life. Do they make you better? If so, to what extent? Use the results to calculate your average. Is there anyone among your nearest and dearest bringing your average down? Now is the time to address this.
Surround yourself with positivity
Make it your mission to surround yourself only with people that bring out the best in you. However, if someone within your inner circle is having a negative impact on your life, you don’t necessarily need to cull them altogether. Instead, recognise that they may be inadvertently road-blocking your path to success and pull back from the relationship slightly. It sounds ruthless, but this could be the difference between achieving your goals and not. Remember, it’s natural for your top five to change and evolve as you enter new stages of life.
Criticism isn’t always negative
It’s important to remember that just because someone close to you has thrown criticism your way, it doesn’t mean they don’t have your best interests at heart. Is there any merit to their comments? They may not have communicated it constructively (that’s a downfall of many), but can you apply it constructively? If you can see it in that light, their criticism could be a brilliant opportunity for you to improve.
Get out of your comfort zone
Who within your top five confidantes challenges you intellectually? Anyone? In order to learn and progress, you need to be held to a higher standard. If you feel you’re lacking that person(s) within your inner circle, seek them out and commit to spending more time with them.
How do you influence others?
Now consider how your behaviour impacts those in your top five. Are you as positive and inspiring as you could be? Are you bringing anyone’s average down? In order to get the best out of the people closest to you in life, they need to be able to get the best out of you too.