A few weeks ago, I wrote about the excuses we tell ourselves for why we stay stuck.
Today I’m taking this a step further and challenging you to look at the people you spend your time with.
Ouch, too personal?
Seriously, though. If you want to get rich, ripped, sober, find love, grow your mind…but you still regularly spend your weekends with people who are drinking to excess, going home with strangers, complaining to you, or regularly feeling sorry for themselves, there’s a disconnect.
Everyone has heard the Jim Rohn quote about how you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I’ve been open about the chunk of my life I spent spinning my wheels, working double shifts as a waitress, hoping for different results.
Why didn’t I find a way out sooner?
Consider the company I kept when I was serving and partying—hours spent in the same space with increasingly younger coworkers who were using this as a part time gig to help pay for school and fund their bar tabs.
Y’all there is NOTHING wrong with working in the food industry. It was my home for many years. What I am saying is that when you want to level up your career and money-making juju, take a look around. I had to get honest about being an adult trying to make a living from a job that most of my coworkers were using to earn a little extra spending money between classes.
I wasn’t exactly bumping elbows with people who motivated me or could help me visualize a different, better version of myself. No one was stopping and saying, “Hey Becca, what is your five year financial plan?” They were saying, “Hey Becca, how fast can you chug this Guinness?” And while others were just passing through, I was making a career out of habits I should have outgrown. I had to go outside of that crowd.
My nightlife and habits were self-perpetuating. Think my nightlife friends really encouraged me to consider if I was making the best use of my funds, my time, my life? Not so much.
And with this cycle, I chose to distract and distance myself from the peers who were making empowered decisions with their life.
“They don’t understand.”
“Their parents must help them out financially.”
Excuse after excuse of why I couldn’t be like them.
In fact, that life seemed hella out of my league and their ‘upper hand’ must have been given to them in some magical entitled way.
3 Reasons I Didn’t Change my Crowd
I can list three big reasons that I couldn’t wouldn’t break out of this cycle.
#1) I didn’t want to come across as trying to be “better” than my friends.
When we are in grade school, we’re taught to be nice to everyone. You include everyone who wants to play. When you try to change your group—even in adulthood when you know that your squad is part of what’s holding you back—you feel like a traitor.
I felt like I was trying to be someone I’m not. And how scary is the thought that you might fail. You might have to crawl back to your “friends” who are going to be waiting with a big ol’ told-ya-so, Miss high-and-mighty.
In July, I shared the response from one of my posts where people thought I was talking down when I shared my truth about the businesses I’ve grown and how accessible a better life is to anyone. One of my biggest fears is that someone construes my success story as me saying I’m “better than” someone else.
Not everyone is going to understand your journey. But you know what hurts more? Compromising your health and your future to protect someone else’s insecurity.
It is natural to want to fit in. We are a species of villages and tribes. It is deeply woven into our DNA to not get kicked out of the tribe, in order to survive. It is hard for us to argue with our DNA and remind ourselves that there is no death penalty anymore if someone is mad at us.
#2 Waiting for someone else to fix my life / thinking I couldn’t change on my own.
I see this all the time in my coaching business. We’ve all had the friend who’s in a crappy relationship and keeping an eye out for something better, but can’t end the relationship they are in now for fear that better won’t come.
But then they wonder why they can’t find Mr. Right.
No one is going to fix your situation for you, and you don’t want them to. There is nothing more confidence-boosting than knowing you got yourself out of your own damn mess. If you can turn your story around, support yourself…you start to see other possibilities for your life that you didn’t believe were in the cards before.
And surrounding yourself with people who also expect success from you will make this so much easier. Just like it’s “easier” to be broke, unhappy, stuck with someone else who understands.
#3 It was easy to be the lazy version of me with my current group.
Those closest to us make us feel better about our current situation.
I may be broke, but my friend Jessica is more broke, so I should be happy.
I might be a little heavy, but my best friend is really overweight. I’m healthy compared to her.
Nothing like setting the bar low.
And there is research to back this up. One study for heart health found that if you have an obese friend, you are 45% more likely to also be obese. If your closest friend smokes, you are 61% more likely to light up yourself.1
Sociologist Robert H. Gass says social influence can be accidental, but it affects our minds on topics ranging from how we feel about debt to commitment to scarcity.2
In other words, your current crowd isn’t intentionally holding you down, but if they can’t see other possibilities, they can’t help you get there.
Accountability Partners and Other Magic Sauce
There are so many benefits to surrounding yourself with people who can help you level up.
When I started weight lifting in my 20’s, suddenly I was around all these people who were athletes, weightlifters—disciplined and working on their mindset to achieve more extreme goals.
Going from slinging cocktails to discussing best nutrition for recovering muscles was a complete mind shift for me.
They made me want to shoot higher.
Being around other people setting and nailing their own bad ass goals made mine seem achievable. If someone could run a marathon through the desert, hell, I could take up yoga. If someone believed it was possible to build a business from nothing, why couldn’t I do the same.
Maybe you’re thinking, Becca, that’s all well and good, but how am I supposed to just find these fabulous, motivated people that want to be my friends?
I began by working with a coach that showed me I had control over how I did this thing called life. Working on mindset made it easier to see opportunities to change my circumstances.
It’s so easy to fall into this pattern of negative energy blocking out what could be, and your group will help you stay in that place as long as you let them. Purposely putting someone in your corner to help you break through perceived limitations is a great first step.
Think about someone going through alcohol addiction recovery. What improves their chances for success? Recovery programs are social, because there is a need to be around others who are trying to change their habits. A mentor is involved because you need to know a person who has been in your shoes and come out the other side. Social influence is a strong predictor of success, and community makes a difference.
The same concept applies for attracting money, building your body, figuring out what you want to do in life.
The beauty of being around people also shooting high is that you have accountability partners. Suddenly those big ideas don’t seem so crazy. You have the courage to say them out loud and these people don’t roll their eyes.
People more successful than you will never look down on you for wanting more. Only people less successful will try to talk you out of it. Healthy friendships celebrate your growth rather than trying to stifle it, because it doesn’t make them uncomfortable. If you want to make a lot of money, that doesn’t threaten their reality, because guess what, they’re on the same path.
The more time I spent around these people, I started to meet more like them. Compounding effects work negatively and positively. You can create an endless cycle of scraping by and binging on unhealthy things. Rinse. Repeat.
Or you can be open to more and attracting others with similar abundance mindset.
If you are ready to talk to someone about taking the first steps to finding people who will walk alongside you in your journey to health, well-being, or taking on a fitness goal that seems daunting, set up a call with us here. We’d love to be part of your circle that grows you into your better self.