You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Over the course of the past several years I have been paying really close attention to what I intentionally “let into my brain”. By that I mean, I’m trying to seek out and read books that will push me forward, spend time with people who are good for the soul and something I think we can all relate to….who/what content I allow in my social media feeds. That hide feature gets a lot of use from me!
I don’t watch the news, I don’t talk politics and I have tried hard to weed out all the negativity on social media because “ain’t no body got time for that!”. But in all seriousness, what you focus on will consume you. We all have that friend or relative that we label as the “debbie downer” in the group. I bet you had someone immediately pop into your mind but they’re the people that find the negative in ANYTHING. For example, you call them up to tell them the great news of how you won 1 million dollars in the recent lottery. Their reaction: “ohh congrats, now you have to pay all those taxes”. WAH WAH WAHHHH.
We all have at least one in our lives. I’ve had many over to the course of my life but I hadn’t REALLY started to pay attention to that until several years ago. Since making a few adaptions to how/how often I interact with them, my life has gotten remarkably better in all aspects: socially, financially, personally and everything between. I find myself thinking more things are possible because I don’t have as many people “shooting me down” or making me feel like the ideas/goals I have are silly. There is no one there to pick out and highlight the negative which means my mind is freed up to think of more ways to make things happen instead of focusing on all the ways it can’t happen. It’s refreshing if I say so myself.
You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Take a minute to write down the 5 people who consume most of your time during the day. For some of you, it could be your co-workers, spouses, friends/family, if you’re a student, it may be your classmates etc. Some of them are out of our control like co-workers for example. Some of them we can control but the point is to evaluate the list of people who consume your time and think about whether they are a positive influence or a negative influence on you. Do you love being around them? Why? Do you dread being around them? Why?
Until you take inventory of your own 5 people and analyze how they make you feel, whether they help/encourage you go move forward or if they find the negative in everything…..you’ll never be able to figure out what is sucking the positivity out of you. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean you have to cut them out completely because let’s face it, in some cases that isn’t even possible but you can change how you interact with them, what information you share with them or just learn to distance yourself a little.
You can achieve very little with a negative mind set. What you believe you achieve. Believe you can’t, you’re right. Believe you can, you’re right. Surround yourself with people who believe you can and I promise it changes how much you believe in yourself. Make that mental shift, and watch how your life will change. You begin to attract opportunities, people, things that will enrich your life.
How did I take inventory?
Until I sat down to analyze it, I didn’t realize that I did this all unknowingly. Sitting down and actually thinking thru the past several years, it’s clear that there was a pattern to why I started to distance myself from certain people/situations, etc.
1. I paid attention to who was clapping. BIG BIG BIG one for me. Have you ever heard of the crabs in a bucket analogy? It says something along the lines of if you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket and one of them tries to climb out, watch how all the other crabs will claw at them until it falls back to the bottom. That’s exactly what its like. You are moving forward and have just achieved a huge goal, received an amazing award, have made the steps to follow your dream job, etc., and you look around fully expecting those people to mimic your excitement. To be just as excited as you are, to want to celebrate your victory….except they aren’t clapping. Why? Well because sometimes it’s hard for others to be happy for your achievements when they themselves have settled for less. In my opinion, when ever anyone is envious of what you have achieved…it’s mostly because they themselves have settled for less and watching someone else get a little higher in the bucket makes them want to claw at you so that you fall back “where you belong”. Look around…who is clapping. Keep those people around and then clap your little heart out for them. Don’t be a crab in the bucket.
2. There are three kinds of relationships: Those that add value and those that suck value from you…but there is a thrid. There should be a healthy push and shove here in my opinion. You should be adding value from t0-no one sided friendships. Do you have that friend that only reaches out when they need something? When you see their number pop up on your phone you have an internal feeling of not wanting to answer? Chances are, they are the friends that suck the value from you and knowing where to stand with friends/family/relationships, I think is huge in realizing if they are healthy or not.
The dangerous relationships are the ones where you don’t know where you stand. There is the type of people you know you don’t “like” and then the people that you know you “like” …but then, there is a third category which is what we like to call the “friend-emies”. I believe these are the most dangerous.
In terms of mental headspace, you KNOW you don’t want to hang out with someone you DON’T like, these people are easy to cut out, you KNOW you want to hang out with someone you DO like, these people are easy to keep around, but the in between where you hang with them out of guilt, where you never know if it’s going to be a good time/bad time, you know they talk about you behind your back, you know they judge you, you know all these things but you still continue to hangout and let them suck value from you and never “feels” right.Those relationships eat at you. They could be friends or family and are often the ones that do the most damage and are harder to get rid of.
So what have I been doing lately??
1. Greg and I have joined a group of like minded entrepreneurs who meet regularly. We are all business minded, encouraging of each others goals and are vested in each other’s successes.. You have NO IDEA how refreshed and inspired I am after leaving those meetings.
2. I have unfollowed (not unfriended) negative brands/people on social media. People who repeatedly post political posts, share photos/videos of people or animals being abused, share debbie downer articles, who post lots of negative posts. You know who they are. Now when I log onto my social media, my newsfeed is filled with awesome news and posts. Just this morning, someone finally bought the RV they wanted to travel in this summer, someone was celebrating graduating from a program they have always dreamed of going to at the age of 56, someone recommended a personal development book…..so much better now!
3. Personal Development: I’ve been reading books and listening to podcasts. Most of them are around the subjects of business, personal development and personal finance.
4. Limited interactions with friends/family that suck like life out of us. This means setting boundaries on how often we see them, information we share and in some cases, cutting them out all together. If I’m being honest, there are relatives that Mallory and Levi have no idea that exist. We didn’t make this decision lightly but some have a pattern making very poor choices/poor behaviors that we choose not to raise our children around.
Things I need to work on:
1. limited the time watching tv, I’m a self proclaimed reality tv junkie. It’s my guilty pleasure what can I say! I know some of the things i “let into my brain” from watching those shows is probably not good! hahaha!
2. being a better friend. this is something I’m always trying to work on. I noticed that I’m not as thoughtful as I’d like to be. Maybe it’s because it’s my type of “love language” but some people are really create at giving gifts…I suck. I’m trying to be more thoughtful in that area.
3. being a better listener. I love to babble, I’m working on listening twice as much as I talk.
4. I want to show more appreciation. one of my goals is to write a letter of appreciation to someone new each week. It doesn’t have to be long -but maybe it will be. I want to thank someone who has been an shining light in my life. I have so many people I’d like to thank for both big and small things.
5. Being more self aware and conscience of not being/acting like the things I described at the top. We aren’t all perfect and I know for sure that there are times where i’m more negative than I’d like to be, I’m just trying to be more conscious of that so that I can be a light in someone else’s life!
So I guess your job is to decided if you’re a light or if you’re not. Take your own inventory, take the inventory of the 5 people you spend the most time around and decide that you want more positivity into your life.
Then message me a few months from now and tell me how many wonderful things have happened your life! I’d love to clap along with you! <3