We are all susceptible to influence, in a myriad of ways every single day. Movies, books, music, tv, social media. However, it is the impact of other people, the people you associate with the most, which has a significant impact on your life.
You are a product of the people you associate with
Are the people you hang out with, (either socially or professionally), people who are inspired and inspiring? Motivated and motivating? Dream weavers or dream stealers?
Are they the type of people who see great potential in others? Who are dedicated to helping everyone use more of their potential? Or, are they people who are living a limited life?
Choose carefully the people you associate with because they help you choose your success levels.
Stop hanging around people who aren’t going anywhere
Be very wary of seeking out the advice and mentorship of people who haven't overcome challenges or succeeded in the areas where you want to go.
Too often, we seek out the advice of our family, friends or neighbors – who are often very willing to give their ‘sage’ advice – yet what is their advice founded upon?
Is it fear based or success based?
Is it from a person who is living the life you’d like to role model? Or someone who is beaten up and overwhelmed?
There are people in the world who are real misery-guts. To them life is bleak. They don’t seem to notice the great things that surround them. They don’t seem to have much passion for life.
These people are often dream-stealers. Focusing on all the negative in life and not seeing how things could be improved.
Be careful: their view of the world is contagious.
As you set about bringing your dreams into reality, practice selective listening. Turn off the negativity people – they steal dreams. Don’t say too much to people who are dream thieves. They will have all the reasons why it can’t be done. Until you do it, then they’ll ask for advice!
What to do when 'advice' is given with the best of intentions ... but steers you in the wrong direction
When my business wasn’t doing too well, my sister, in almost every conversation, kept “encouraging” me to step back into the corporate arena. She felt I would be ‘better off’ with the security of a well-paying job.
I couldn’t convince her that my vision to inspire a bigger audience than just a few people I got to work within the corporate world was sound. And, she was right, at that time, financially I would have been far better off in a corporate role.
However, I knew I was on a mission to get out to the world all the experience I had had as a high-performance leader. I knew I needed to keep persevering. Unfortunately, at the end of every conversation with her, I’d come away feeling flat and fearful.
It got to the point, where I said to her: “Don’t ask me how the business is going. Let’s talk about other stuff. I know you are only trying to help, but you aren’t.”
I could have stopped talking to my sister. That would have been an easy option. But I love her! Instead, I shifted our conversations to areas where we could come together with a meeting of minds and not an argument.
It isn’t about dumping your loved ones and friends and only surrounding yourself with people who are dream weavers. It’s about making sure that when you are with the dream stealers, that you minimize your exposure to their negativity.
You certainly may leave some people behind. You may choose to let friendships fall away.
It is an unfortunate flip side of unleashing more of your potential that the people around you, who have not yet begun to grow, may feel threatened. They may either consciously, or sub-consciously, try to hold you back.
The reason this occurs is that you are putting a spotlight on their comfort zone. And they don’t like it. They’d rather hold you back then be confronted by their lack of dreams. Their lack of courage to get out of their own comfort zone and take the risk.
You can never climb a mountain alone.
You need mentors and a support team. People who will be your cheering squad. People who will help you discover the ‘hows’ to achieving your desires.
Who can support you? Who has similar dreams to you? Who is heading or arrived where you want to be?
Start to hang with them; they will help you step into your potential.
Your commitment becomes stronger because of the people you hang out with.
Certainly, you can unleash your potential, even when you are surrounded by people who may not be the most encouraging, or the most supportive. It is just a more difficult path.
If you have to be around negative nellies, then shower yourself in motivation to get their energy off you. Listen to an inspirational audio or some great music. Read something inspiring. Contact someone who is in your dream-weaver network. Minimize your exposure to negative t.v and social media.
Chose the People You Associate with and Choose Your Success Levels
Mark Victor Hansen, founder of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books, tells a story about a time when he was presenting at a conference with Tony Robbins.
Tony was making approximately $130 million per year and Mark was making $1 million/year.
He said to Tony, “We are doing the same thing. We both have a terrific message. Why is my income so much less than yours?”
Tony’s reply was that he made a choice several years ago to start hanging out with billionaires. Mark decided to do the same and his income went vertical.
Billionaires use their 24 hours better. They think bigger, use mentors and leverage others who have unique skills they do not.
This technique works in every arena of life. For example, I love the equestrian sport of Dressage. Whilst I’ll never be a world-class rider (and have no ambition to be), I do want to improve. By hanging out with great riders, I’ve improved my capability. I pick up on subtleties of technique and thinking, that I can’t pick up from lessons alone.
Tom Corley from Rich Habits Institute.com shares research about choices we make and the results we get. Here are just a few of the stats he gathered:
I like to think of this wealth not only in terms of the $ amount in your bank account and the assets at your disposal. Wealth can, and should, encompass those less tangible items such as relationships, love, joy etc.
Take Inspired Action - Who is Influencing Your Life?
Think of people you regularly spend time with. Place their initial where you feel the best fit each of the sliding scales. If your left-hand scale has more initials than the right, you may want to find new people to spend more of your time with.
If you have a lot of people who tend more toward the left-hand side of the continuum, you might want to take a good hard look at yourself. Remember the saying, “Like attracts like”. You may need to work on where you put your focus. What you talk about. How you show up in life.
If you’ve got a lot of negative people in your life, it is probably your dominant vibe and you need to shift that.
Create your dream-weaver team.
Identify people who are heading toward or already arrived at where you want to go. Who can support you? Who has similar dreams to you? How can you strike up a relationship with them?
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This article was extracted from the "How To Bring Your Potential Into Reality" program. You can access the rest of the content here.
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