If you want to know how to achieve success in almost anything, the most important ingredient you need is a belief that it's possible, even if you're not sure how.
So if you want to be successful in changing your experience….. you need to have a belief that says - this is a possibility, and I know that because other people have already done it.
But here's the biggest myth of all, that makes many people give up before they've even started - the idea that you need to believe in yourself, that you must believe that YOU can do it.
You don't need to.
You only need to know that it is a possibility.... then let go of trying to work out how it can happen for you, and be guided by the Universe.
Whether you want to buy a house, earn more money, start a business or climb Kilimanjaro – you need to keep a positive spin on it as much as possible. You don't want to be surrounded by people who pour cold water on your ideas... who don't believe that anything is possible.
And to give yourself the best chance to achieve success, you need to make sure you spend as much time as possible in situations that will support you in that.
Jim Rohn – motivational speaker and self help guru – said “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. And he's absolutely right.
Whatever environment you spend most time in will have a strong influence on your mindset and what you expect from the world – although you may not realize it at the time.
Even if you do feel confident, and have a strong belief in yourself, you must protect that by making sure your environment supports you.
Obviously it’s not always possible have everything go your way, and you will have to deal with people who are negative, apathetic or just plain old jealous from time to time. But if one of them is in your top 5… beware!
And if there is more than one… double, triple beware!
On the opposite side of the spectrum, maybe you’re spending time with awesome people who inspire you to be your best and make you step outside of your comfort zone continually, spurring you to the next level.
Or perhaps they are just super supportive of you and your goals and cheering you on from the sidelines. These are the people you want more of in your life.
But often it’s not as clear cut as that… you may not even realize that there is a toxic relationship in there somewhere, or that someone is undermining you, when it seems like they’re fully supporting you.
So how do you know?
First think about the people you spend the most time with – I don’t mean people you choose to spend time with, I mean the people you DO spend time with.
For example, you may choose to hang out with your sister at least three times a week and she might be your biggest fan… cool. But you get to spend even more time with the grumpy, negative colleague at work who never has a good thing to say about anyone…
How do you feel after you’ve been together – drained and tired, or pumped up and full of energy? Often it’s not as obvious as that, but you KNOW when you feel good about yourself as opposed to low confidence and questioning whether you’re on the right path or not.
Now here’s the kicker… sometimes it seems on the outside that someone is all about supporting you and telling you how great you are, but you still feel kind of yuk after you spend any time with them…
Beware, this is still a toxic relationship and one that you should try and steer clear of.
It's a sad fact that ‘friends’ and even family members may be jealous of your excitement about choosing to change your life.
It makes them feel bad about themselves and it threatens their equilibrium by highlighting how unhappy they really are with their own life.
And so, sometimes they will try to destroy your belief in your dream. They’ll try to drag you back down to their level again.
And often they manage to, if you’re not aware of what ‘s going on and if you spend too much time around them.
I’ve experienced that strange energy more than once. It left me feeling quite dispirited after each meeting, and I couldn’t understand why. But gradually I realized that each of these people was actually undermining my confidence, without me realizing it.
As a result they were seriously hindering my ability to achieve success in reaching my goal at the time.
For example – one (now ex) friend was always telling me that I was her best friend, like the sister she didn’t have and she was so happy to have me around… only to shut me down by changing the subject or discouraging me if I had a new idea about something I wanted to do.
Now I’m no psychoanalyst, but once I realized that I always felt so ‘down’ about myself after spending time with her, I realized I was receiving the message unconsciously that someone who loves me isn’t interested in my ideas, so my ideas must be stupid, or there must be something wrong/bad about me.
When I excitedly explained the idea behind a business I wanted to start to another friend, she said something like… “oh, right…. But that’s really hard to do, friends of mine tried that and it didn't work...”
On the surface it sounds like she cared for me, but the message I was getting the was I was more than slightly foolish doing this. (I actually built it into a really successful business, but the ‘friendship’ petered out after I stopped spending as much time around her).
The thing is, in defense of these friends and people like them, they may not be consciously out to make you feel bad, or to drain your confidence.
But it doesn’t matter, the end result is the same – you end up feeling less confident and even slightly silly for having the idea.
And if you spend too much time in that energy, you’ll soon be back ‘in your box’ forgetting about foolish ideas like setting a goal to buy a house or taking a 12 month sabbatical in Europe.
So now it's your turn. Who are you spending time with and how are they affecting your success?
There’s a simple way to find out… If you've been with me for a while, you’ll know I LOVE exercises. Because they work! They highlight things that just thinking about a situation may never uncover.
So, to find out whether or not you hang out in a successful environment....
....write down everyone you spend time with regularly and then find the top 5 - those people you spend the MOST time with (whether by choice or circumstance).
Then rate them from 10-1…
10 being highly motivational/supportive of you and 1 being they drag you down and make you feel ‘less than’ every time you’re around them…
It’s pretty obvious when you’ve done this, who you need to spend time with and who needs to get less love from you.
If you (shock horror) find that you’re spending a majority of your time with people who are draining your enthusiasm and positive energy rather than giving you a boost, work out who would be better to be around and find ways to spend more time with them.
If you realize (double shock horror) that most of the people you come into contact with could be classified as ‘undesirable’ there are other ways to surround yourself with more positive minds.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you are surrounding yourself as much as possible with people and environments that support you, inspire you and challenge you to reach for dreams.
If you do this, your success will be just a matter of time.
Do you have any suggestions or experiences of your own about how to achieve success? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear them!