May 31, 2018 By Nick
If you want to raise your standards and live a better life, you could do with taking a good long look at the people you spend your time with.
Do your friends lift you up and push you to be better? Or do you need some new friends?
This sounds harsh, but motivational speaker Jim Rohn said it best:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
So when was the last time you really looked at the people you spend time with? If it’s been a while, do it now. Because as the random internet meme also said, you can’t do epic shit with basic people.
Personal growth comes at a cost
This all sounds ruthless and cold, even to me, but personal growth does come with a bill. Everything in life comes with a price attached in some form or another.
Think I don’t know what I’m talking about? I had to put some severe distance between me and my BPD, narcissistic mother, finally end all contact with a girl I once wanted with every fiber of my soul and ditch several friends.
Some people just aren’t good for you. Deep down, you know it.
So are your friends constantly driving you forward? Do you talk about:
- How to make things happen.
- Practical solutions to each other’s problems?
- General encouragement.
- A harsh reality check when you really need it.
Do they challenge you, in a healthy way? Do they push you to be a better person? Do they show you how to be an Alpha male. Are they striving to become a better man themselves? Do they work on themselves?
If you do then that’s awesome. You have good friends.
But when I did a thorough audit of my social circle, and it only started when I really began to analyze my life, I found some issues. I was at a weak point, but when I really stepped out of myself and took a good look I saw a lot of:
- Insecurity disguised as arrogance.
- One upmanship.
- Limiting beliefs.
- Excuses and blame.
- Wallowing in each other’s misery, almost bathing in it.
The longer you spend around this kind of poison, the longer it will take you to lift yourself up. It makes everything harder. For every two steps you take forward, you will lose a step.
Negative people have a major impact
You know the really interesting thing? Most of it came from a small group. They weren’t evil people. They didn’t strangle kittens or kidnap children. I wouldn’t even go so far as to call all of them toxic, but they certainly didn’t support my new vision.
It can be subtle. Just the digs, the sarcastic jokes, the subtle put downs and the snide comments about others. That aura of negativity.
Once I was looking for it I even knew that when something negative came up on TV, that’s what they’d comment on. That can pull you down and back into negative thought patterns. When you really start to focus on the right things you’ll notice it more.
They had to go.
As soon as they did, my vibe started to pick up.
If you’ve got this far then it’s a given, you are striving to become a better yourself. That’s awesome, it’s great.
Part of the process, though, is surrounding yourself with people who will lift you up, rather than drag you down.
The wrong people will pull you back in
Once you make a conscious effort to go for your dreams, or just to grab life by the balls, there will be people around you who try to keep you small. They’re not doing it for you, they’re doing it for them.
They want to keep you in your box and in their comfort zone. They don’t like change, it doesn’t work for them and for insecure or plain lazy people, any sign of personal growth is a reminder of everything they should be doing.
It would be amazing if you inspired one of them to come with you on the journey. But that’s the exception, not the rule.
If you’re really determined to better yourself then the most likely option is you’ll need to limit your time with the negative influence, or eliminate it altogether.
When I really took a magnifying glass to my life, too, I noticed there were certain groups I went to and they reflected how I felt about myself at the time. If I was on top of the world, I hung around with the positive and strong people. Alpha males and top drawer women.
When things had turned to shit, I ‘made more time’ for other people in my life. I was bullshitting myself, I’d retreated to a comfort zone and a group that didn’t challenge me. They virtually welcomed me in with a repetitive ‘one of us’ chant and I even fell out of touch with people I really value.
They are the ones that would have grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and yanked me back up to my natural level.
Don’t be first of the losers
In this group I was a leader, but if you’re King of the Ratchets then guess what? You’re still just first of the losers.
Think about that, and see if it applies to you. If it does then I just saved you months of your life settling into that rut and fighting back out again. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a real sign of what we all need to do.
Spend time with the friends that make you feel good. Cultivate the group that challenges you in a healthy way and don’t tolerate negativity and bile in any form. You might walk away thinking a person is a miserable asshole, but you still spent hours imbibing their poison in some form and it does have an effect.
So don’t just settle for who is there. Surround yourself with the people you want to be. They don’t have to be rich, or super successful. They have to have the values, character and certainty you respect. I promise you, they’ll help you get where you want to be a lot quicker.