CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Surround yourself with people that are going to lift you up, you’re going to lift. Surround yourself with a bunch of negative Nancy’s, you’ll become one yourself.
Ever gone on a hike and felt it wasn’t going too bad, a good challenge, but overall an enjoyable experience?
Next minute, one person next to you begins to complain about their tiring legs. Another asks how much further. Then one brings up their chafing issue. The next says they’re getting hungry. And the last one begins to bang on about the dust everywhere.
Before you know it, you’ve jumped onboard with them. “Yeh I’m done, it’s taking a lot longer than I expected, and then we have to head all the way back, I’m over it!”
How the hell did that happen!? You were fine a moment ago. But the influence of those around you has suddenly flipped your mood.
Flip it the other way. Have you ever been on a hike or physical challenge with a really motivating and supportive group? You guys absolutely boss the shit out of that hike!
Sore legs? Nothing I can’t handle!
How far? Fuck yeah we did 12km’s!
Chafing? Oh man everyone hates chafing, but the view and the challenge was totally worth it!
Hungry? We’ve earned the biggest and best meal once we’re done!
Dust? I didn’t even realise it was dusty, nothing a shower can’t fix!
What a difference a little change in group mindset can make.
The same theory goes with your daily relationships and the closest people to you. Contrary to Jim Rohn’s quote, as much as the 5 people you spend the most time with would heavily influence your behaviour, I think the 5 people you place the most trust in (healthy or not) would influence your behaviour even moreso. Eg, You may not spend as much time with your mum as you used to compared to five others, but many of us are still influenced heavily by our mothers behaviours and opinions.
If you spend much of your time with sloppy, lazy arsed work mates who enjoy a cigarette during smoko. Huge chance you are going to underperform and potentially enjoy a sneaky cig here and there too.
If your work mates are thorough with their work, get the job done early so they can enjoy a longer lunch of healthy food and a quick gym session, no doubt you are likely to join them.
If your mothers group spends every coffee catch up sharing their horror stories of their childbirth and everything that has gone wrong since, chances are you’re going to join the pity party and not get what you were after out of a mothers group.
If your group shares stories of their struggle, but uses them to offer help and advice so all the mums can learn and grow together, bets are you’re going to share your stories with the intention of helping the group too.
Our relationships with our significant other and/or our parents tend to have the most influence.
If your husband brings you up, if your parents support and constructively guide you towards your goals and ambitions, you’re likely to achieve more, do more, experience more, live more.
If either of these highly influential relationships operates more as a pit of negativity and consistent complaining with lack of growth and solution. Well, you’ve got some decisions to make…
If you are trying with every ounce of your energy to elicit positive change in your pessimistic, lazy, downer of a loved one, with absolutely no avail… well, two things are going to happen:
1/ You will continue to be influenced by their downer behaviour and live far short of the happiness you wish you had and thoroughly deserve.
2/ They haven’t changed yet, they aren’t going to change anytime soon.
As much as we all try, external control is impossible. The only person we can control is ourselves. We can guide and influence, but in the end we cannot make them be who we want them to be.
We cannot make our husband get off the fucking PlayStation every night and become the family man we wish he would be.
We cannot stop our mum from telling us the decisions we are making are bad.
We cannot stop our dad from smoking himself into an early grave.
We can only influence via our own behaviour, and that is it.
And if our actions cannot influence positive behaviour, there is nothing else we can do. It can be a heartbreaking truth. But a truth nonetheless.
So now you have two choices:
1/ Remain frustrated and unhappy
2/ Remove them from your circle of influence
Yes, cut them.
Yes as horrible as it sounds, you may need to cut your mum from your circle.
Yes as scary as it sounds, you may need to leave your husband.
No this doesn’t mean you should stop loving your mum. But yes it does mean that you can no longer allow her negative opinions influence your decision making.
No it doesn’t mean you should stop caring for your ex husband. But yes, if he is not allowing you the opportunities and happiness you desire, and he is unwilling to change for that, then there is only one option to make.
When we’re ‘stuck’ with someone or ‘stuck’ in a situation, the number one thing that stops us from leaving or making change is that we are so afraid of what is on the other side. We fear that nothing will be there but more problems.
But what we don’t realise is, is that when we stay in our current situation we’re limiting ourselves to only one opportunity… the same shit useless one we are in. When we make the change we open ourselves up to absolute infinite opportunities! The world is your goddamn oyster! All of those feelings and emotions and things you wish you had are now in your control to go and achieve.
For sure it will likely be worse before it gets better. For sure you’re going to break some hearts. But fuck me, your heart has been breaking bit by bit every single day and your ‘loved one’ doesn’t seem to give a fuck. So why are you giving so much of a fuck about them? Why shouldn’t it be your turn?
Maybe you moving on will cause the change in your other you’ve always wanted, maybe that’s what it takes, maybe it’ll be with someone else, but maybe that’s the outcome that’s meant to happen. But that’s not your concern anymore, clearly it was never meant to be. Yes it is a scary truth to accept, but you’ve allowed yourself all the opportunity in the world to do what’s right for you and those in your closest circle of influence.
You can only control you. Your current situation has been achieved only out of the choices you have made. You can choose to maintain your situation. You can choose to change your situation. But regardless of how much every choice is down to you and you alone, your closest people are going to influence you. You are more likely to live in the situation you desire if your five closest people are supporters, not downers.
Cut the downers.