Jim Rohn said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.
Based on the statement above, I want you to jump straight into an exercise.
Exercise 1: Who are the five people you spend the most time with?
Your relationships with friends and family can significantly influence the choices you make in life. For instance, your friends can be a significant influence in helping you resist a temptation like a large purchase or even a cake. They could be a considerable influence on inspiring you to exercise more and become more healthy.
However, they are just as likely to end up encouraging you to give in to temptation and have that chocolate bar, that next drink or give your gym session a miss.
You are most likely to start behaving in similar ways to the friends who surround you. Have you got friends who make poor choices in their lives? Or are your friends the kind who inspire you and enable you to have a much greater chance of reaching your goals?
It all depends on the friends you choose to have around you. As well as affecting your choices in life (many times subconsciously), your friends also have a significant impact on how you think and feel about yourself.
How your friends and family think about you, and react to you, has a significant impact on your perception of yourself. If a partner or close friend already sees you in a good light, like the person you are aspiring to be, that will have a positive impact on your self-perception. But the reverse is also true. If that same partner or close friend had a more negative view of you, this could affect who you ultimately become in a negative sense.
Because your friends and family have such a powerful impact on how you see yourself this can encourage your inner critic, to the extent, your inner critic may quote what a ‘friend’ said to prevent you taking action.
Despite your friends having such a massive influence over your life, many of your friendships may not have formed by conscious choice. What I mean by this, is in the cold light of day, an ideal friend should share your values (but that does not mean you have to agree on everything). You can have shared values but differing opinions. An ideal friend will always have your best interests at heart and be supportive. Taking this along with how your close friends and family can impact your sense of self, it is so important to start thinking about how you choose your friends wisely.
As a friend yourself, you should have your own friend’s best interests at heart and be supportive in helping them to attain their goals. You should be a giver in your friendship and aim to have friends that reciprocate in giving back. At different times in your friendships, you will need to both give and take, and that is a healthy balance to have. It is friends that are predominantly takers who are not beneficial to be around for too long.
Especially as you get older, having a close friend to confide in can make a world of difference to not only your quality of life but also your longevity especially if you have an extensive network of friends, compared to those who do not.
Just like Jim Rohn’s quote at the beginning of this chapter, over many years, I have seen the same type of quotes from many quarters. In essence, the message is this:
If you are trying to become a particular type of person or reach a specific goal, then you should surround yourself with those that are already that type of person or who have already achieved that goal or are on that same journey themselves.
This is an excerpt from my book: TAME YOUR INNER CRITIC, which is available on the link below:
Direct from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08NJXYC2L/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_.fEZFbGJPX3P4
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