You Are Who You Hang With: How to Surround Yourself with Positivity

As an entrepreneur, you know that keeping your energy levels and drive at the highest possible levels is the key to success. While it’s not always possible to be optimistic and focused, there are some strategies you can use to help. Taking some time in silence and avoiding common mistakes made by first-time entrepreneurs are certainly an important part of the equation, but one of the most important things you can do to stay in the right mindset is to surround yourself with the right people.

Why Your Peer Group Matters

As legendary motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This makes you really look around at your friends, co-workers, peers, and family members, doesn’t it? Simply put, if you are a relatively optimistic person and you’re around mostly negative people, you’ll start to gravitate in that direction. On the other side of the spectrum, if you struggle with keeping your energy level high and are prone to pessimism, spending a lot of time with those who are happy and view life in a positive light is going to lift you up.

Evaluating Your Current Peer Group

We all know that there are some people in our lives who we have no choice but to spend time with. Outside of certain family members, though, you really have a lot of choices when it comes to who you surround yourself with – especially if you work for yourself. So the first step is to take a good look around and do some soul-searching. Identify the people you spend the majority of your time with and ask yourself the following questions about them:

  • Do I feel energized or drained after spending time with this person?

  • Does this person support my dreams or are they constantly deflating them?

  • Is this person truly interested in me or do we spend most of our time talking about them?

  • Does this person seem to be constantly surrounded by drama?

  • In an emergency, would I hesitate before calling this person to help?

  • Does this person tend to find ways to turn obstacles into opportunities or are they constantly pointing out the negatives in situations or other people?

  • Does this person work hard to get ahead in his or her own life or is he or she self-destructive and/or stuck in bad habits?

Notice that I did not suggest asking how long this person has been in your life or how they contribute to your business (or household) monetarily. These are not the things that matter.

How to Surround Yourself with Positivity: Eliminating and Adding to Your Peer Group

After asking yourself the above seven questions, you’ll likely get some clarity about which of those in your peer group should stay and which need to go. Eliminating someone from your group does not have to be dramatic. Depending on your relationship, you can usually just start distancing yourself from them. If this doesn’t work, an honest conversation may have to take place. This won’t be easy, especially if it means losing that person and having to significantly alter your business or your personal life. But believe me, it will be worth it in the end.

So who do you fill the gaps with if you’ve eliminated some of your core group? The best way to find good candidates is to attend events with like-minded individuals. You can either attend events in your industry or in similar fields or events based on your interests or hobbies. When you meet someone and start to spend time with them, keep the above seven questions in mind to determine if they are a good fit.

We all have negative people in our lives. Friends, relatives, business partners, children, and spouses can all fall into this group. While mitigating negativity may be the right move in some of these cases, others may require stronger action. Remember, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Look around…what does your group say about you?

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