Be honest… Are your friends helping or hurting your overall success in life?

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Do they motivate and hold you accountable to achieving your goals or do they laugh and judge you whenever you try to make a new, positive change in your life?  

Every 5–6 years I seem to attract new groups of people into my life. I didn’t realize why until I start investing in myself through endless amounts of personal development content. It seemed like every book, podcast, or seminar I attend said the same thing — surround yourself with people who support, motivate, challenge and encourage you to achieve greatness.

Finally, I realized that I should evaluate my friends to make sure I was constantly surrounding myself with winners. It’s easy to get stuck with where we are in life. One of the reasons we feel stuck is because we aren’t growing.

As Tony Robbins said: “The secret to real happiness is progress. Progress equals happiness. And if we can make progress we feel alive inside.”

How Your Inner Circle Helps You Progress

beware burnout - shut it down and spend time with friends and family

Think of the last time you felt stuck in something. It could be your job, fitness routine or a relationship. You felt stuck because you weren’t making progress. This can lead to settling in one area which can affect other areas of your life without even knowing it. 

The problem, often times, is that we get stuck in routines that don’t promote growth and development. This includes the people you spend the most time with. People become “set in their ways” as they get older and are less likely to change.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Rise Above Negative People

That is bad for you because often times it’s the people that are closest to you that are secretly dragging you down. It could be the friend who just can’t seem to get it together, the pessimistic co-worker who is always in a bad mood or the roommate who is always being a negative influence.

Think about your own life, do you have friends who you feel are dragging you down? Do you have any that are negative, pessimistic or still doing the same thing year after year?

If so, make it a point to start recognizing which friends are helping or hurting your dreams. In the most simple way, ask yourself, “Is this person helping or hurting my future?”

Why Does It Matter?

“You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you strong they are making you weaker.” — Tim Ferriss

As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed so many friends become very stagnant and lose the ambition they used to have. They make excuses about working too long, having a family or just being too busy to keep striving for more in life.  

This can be toxic for your own success! Don’t allow yourself to be surrounded by people who are simply going through the motions of life without any real plan or purpose.

Even if it’s unintentional, as you try to grow and develop they might try to limit your ambition by projecting their own doubts and beliefs about themselves onto you. This is because they are scared that if you change they might not be a part of your life anymore.

But if you’re clear about what you want in life don’t let someone with limiting beliefs hold you back from achieving your ultimate life.  

Ditch Some Friends to Earn More Money

“Your network is your net worth.” — Jim Rohn

If you and your friends are making $50,000 a year and want to be at $200,000, do you think it makes sense to ask them how to earn more money? Or would it make more sense to learn from people already at that level? 

The same goes for any area of your life. Want to be more fit? Hang out with people who have the discipline to wake up early and make health a top priority. Remember, success leaves clues!

If you can’t seem to find these new people in real life don’t forget that your network doesn’t necessarily have to be five “real” people. It can be made of up of podcasters, authors, personal development speakers, and other people you want to align with.

Listen to audiobooks, read their books, attend their seminars and use their message to help you grow.

How to Do It

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Spend some time, sit down and evaluate the ten people you spend the most time with. Ask yourself, how they are helping or hurting your life goals?

Start spending more time with the positive, uplifting friends and less time with others. Only after some time will you begin to notice all the positive changes.  

Your time is precious. Don’t spend one second with someone who thinks you are too ambitious, motivated or driven. The world is filled with people who want what you want. It’s up to you to seek them out and attract them into your life.

Just because you have been hanging with the same person or group for ten years doesn’t mean you have to forever. You will undoubtedly get some backlash but don’t let it phase you.

Stay strong, know what you’re trying to achieve, and surround yourself with people who will help you get there. Sometimes it will be hard but often times you will see in the long run how important it is to put yourself in a more uplifting environment. 


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