A few weeks ago I wrote a series called Four Steps to Getting Paid to Make a Difference. This was based on my experience and my personal journey over the last few years. It was a way for me to organize all of the steps that led me to launch this blog and to start a business based on the things I was most curious about.
The first thing I talked about was how to Get on Your Feet Financially. I talk about building a foundation of financial stability so that you can pursue your greatest work without the energy of fear and scarcity lurking in the background.
The second thing I talked about was how to Simplify and Prioritize Your Life so that you have the time and energy to create something brilliant.
The third subject was all about Creating Room for Expansion which allows us to create our life in the direction that is most inspiring.
And the final entry in the series was about Creating a Life with Meaning and Money. This idea focuses on the necessary action step of deliberate experimentation and pursuing your most inspiring ideas.
After putting together a comprehensive blog series on the steps that I have taken to get where I am, something still felt like it was missing.
And I figured out what it is.
Step 5: Surround yourself with people that support you.
As I began talking to people about pursuing steps to create a life with more meaning and money, I realized that I had left out maybe the most important step of all.
Whatever you do, begin surrounding yourself with people that support you!
Maybe you’ve heard this quote from Jim Rohn:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
What we believe is possible for ourselves, who we can become, what we can achieve, what we deserve, is largely determined by how we were raised, who we spend time with, and the community we’re surrounded by.
Thus my realization that you can be following all the other steps above, but if you are surrounding yourself with a crowd that has no desire for doing something greater…well, good luck!
How we limit ourselves.
Have you ever heard someone say something limiting about themselves that just sounds ridiculous?
“I want to get out of debt but I don’t make enough money.”
“I wish I could get in shape, but I don’t have the time.”
“I’d love to travel more, but it’s too expensive.”
“I want to find a lover, but there’s just no one out there for me.”
To the person making the statement, these thoughts might seem completely true. Some people really think that debt-free living is only for people who make a certain amount of money, or they don’t have time to get in shape, or that travel is cost prohibitive unless you’re rich, or they will never find love so why bother looking.
To others, these are just weak excuses. Maybe you read the above and knew better.
But no matter who you are, and how easily you can recognize the weak excuses of others, you’re never without your own self-limiting beliefs. Some of your beliefs probably even seem like silly excuses or uninformed points of view to others who have more informed views of the subjects than you do.
We all live in our own realities.
Where do these self-imposed limits and beliefs come from?
Think about who you spend the most time with. Is how you see yourself influenced by what those people believe and what they have achieved and aspire to?
Now think about your own limiting beliefs.
What do you accept as being out of reach in your life?
How do the people you spend time with contribute to those beliefs?
It’s not just your closest friends who influence how you see yourself and what you accept as reality. Your surroundings, your media influences and the status quo you’re surrounded by all have a big impact as well.
If you’re surrounded by unhappy, out of shape, in-debt people, whether they’re close friends or simply your community or co-workers, guess what you’re likely to be as well?
Make a Breakthrough!
Here are two ways to make a breakthrough in your life.
- Surrounding yourself with people who have broader, more enlightened and ambitious views of themselves and life is one way to change your own reality.
- Another way is to take an honest look at yourself and admit that you’re capable of much more than what you’ve allowed yourself to become so far. Then force yourself into a period of discomfort. If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. To change your life, you have to embrace being uncomfortable regularly.
The good news is we’re all capable of these voluntary adjustments of reality. These moments of clarity are opportunities and gifts, but they shouldn’t be relied on for all the progress you hope to make in your life.
You have to use these moments of clarity to make changes that will give your not-so-bold self a safety net. When you’re ready to change your life, you should devote part of your energy to tackling your challenges head-on, but you should also use some of your energy to change your surroundings and influences.
The easiest way to make a big change is to upgrade your surroundings.
I don’t know about you, but I only have a limited amount of will-power. If I am trying to lose weight and get in better shape, the last thing I need is to be hanging around someone who heads straight to happy hour for two dollar cheeseburgers and a pint of ale.
It will be much easier to achieve my desired lifestyle result if I’m surrounding myself with people that are talking about going for a run after work or discussing how to make delicious and healthy meals.
Never accept your current surroundings as your reality.
Do you really want to make changes in your life? Then be very deliberate about who you spend the most time with every day.
Make new friends, change jobs, start a business, move to a new place, start reading new books or blogs, find a mentor, stop watching so much junk TV, stop hanging out with the negative people in your life, and start doing more things that make you come alive.
Be bold and get purposeful about who you spend your time with. Do you spend your time with people out of obligation, out of old habit?
This may sound silly to some people but I keep a list of the people who inspire me and who I want to meet. And I find creative ways to meet them or get introduced to them.
I don’t think there is anything more exciting than bonding together with someone in pursuit of a common goal: to mold your reality as you want it to be.
It’s true, you might be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, and you’re likely to live a life much like your colleagues and people in your community. The good news is that you can change your surroundings.
Remember, your reality is up to you!
What is the first thing that you would change in your surroundings? Leave a comment if you feel inspired.