Who Are Your Friends?
By now, you’ve probably already heard the cliché that you are the average of the 5 people closest to you.
The thing is clichés are clichés for a reason. They’re TRUE. That’s why they’re repeated so often.
The funny thing about the subject of how your friends influence you is that, usually, people go straight into denial. Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible for you to actually have a great group of friends, BUT at least 90% of the people who will read this will NOT have a group of friends that stimulates their growth as an individual. Yet, most of you will immediately think “Oh, my friends aren’t so bad”, which MIGHT be true… Or not.
First, let me just make sure you’re aware of how much you are influenced by those closest to you.
You might be underestimating it, but there’s nothing to underestimate. Let’s use obesity as an example. Regardless of whatever society says about promoting body positivity, the fact is there is a limit of body fat you can have in your body before it becomes a health hazard. Now, how easy or hard is it for someone to become obese? Well, surprisingly enough, a person’s friendships can actually play a part in that. Just read one of the conclusions of this study: “In same-sex friendships, a close friend becoming obese increased a person’s chance of becoming obese by 71%”.
Did you read that? SEVENTY-ONE PERCENT. That is absolutely insane.
Let’s not just focus on friendships either. We’re talking about the 5 closest PEOPLE to you. Your family counts too. In fact, just imagine how hard it would be for someone to not be obese if they’re born in a family whose family members are ALL obese. The poor dietary options and lack of physical exercise would be enrooted in them. It would be MUCH tougher to not be obese JUST BECAUSE you were born into that family.
We can say all we want to please our ego about how we’re our own person, we make our own decisions and we’re totally capable of thinking for ourselves. Sure, that may be true, but only up to a point. If all of your friends are poor and have a poor mindset and approach to life, yet you want to be rich, guess what? They won’t stimulate your path to getting there faster. Even if they support you with their words, the fact that they are NOT trying to achieve the same thing will hinder the speed of your progress.
Just think about it. Imagine you want to make 100 thousand dollars next year. If the 5 closest people to you just want to earn whatever their minimum-wage job pays them while they just chill all year, do you really think that wouldn’t affect you at all?
If you don’t, now imagine that the 5 closest people to you would SCOFF at your goal because it’s not big enough. They’re trying to make 500k in a year while you’re just aiming for 100k. In which scenario do you think you’d be more likely to reach your goal? The scenario where your friends think 100k is impossible to achieve, or the scenario where your friends think it’s an easy feat?
Now, I’m not telling you to leave your friends behind. I’m just saying that, if you have a goal that is much greater and more ambitious than the goals of those closest to you, tell them you’re going to be busy for at least a year. Explain they won’t be seeing you as much because you owe it to yourself to do everything in your power to get what you want out of life.
Does that idea scare you? Because if it does, that’s a good thing. One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to always follow your fears (unless your fear is real, like being afraid of a tiger that’s right in front of you. All other fears that just exist in your mind are NOT real).
So, if it scares you, GO FOR IT. You’re just afraid of how your friends will react. But guess what? That is one of the best tests you can do to screen for REAL friendship.
If they love you, they’ll understand because they want you to do what’s best for yourself. But if they’re just selfish and thinking about themselves, they’ll resist the idea. They’ll try to talk you out of it because it doesn’t benefit them. But it’s THAT friendship that ultimately doesn’t benefit you.
And maybe it’s time for you to start focusing on what CAN benefit you.
Also, sometimes you can be influenced in crazy ways you’re not even aware of. Before I became a Life Coach, I was a freelance copywriter.
Why? Yeah, I think you might be guessing why by now.
Basically, I was unemployed and wanted to work on my own, without any bosses. Yet, I had no idea WHAT it was I could do. So, I talked to a friend of mine who said I should go for copywriting because he knew a lot of copywriters who were making a buttload of money. I followed that advice and, a year later, ended up regretting the hell out of it because I absolutely HATED copywriting. It was not ever my passion and I should have never pursued it in the first place.
It took me about another year to realize why the hell it was that I ended up trying to be a copywriter in the first place. I just thought to myself “Wait a minute. Why did my friend tell me to go for copywriting?”.
The reason? Because 6 years prior to that (back in college), I had told him that I thought my career path would be to become a copywriter. I had said that BEFORE I had experienced it. After I had experienced it in an internship I totally changed my mind. But from my friend’s perspective, he still had the label “copywriter” assigned to me.
Want to know the funniest thing about all of this? When he gave me that advice, we were physically separated by the entire Atlantic Ocean. However, he was still one of my closest friends, so his influence was STILL able to have a big impact on me. (By the way, I’m not blaming him at all for any of this. He was just trying to be a good friend!)
The point of this anecdote isn’t to say he influenced me in the wrong way, he’s very successful and a good influence on me. The point was just for you to understand that even people who are EXTREMELY far away from you can influence you, as long as you respect and trust their opinion. So never underestimate the influence that the 5 closest people to you have over you. And always trust your own judgment and gut before anyone else’s opinion about your life.
Another thing worth mentioning is this: Why are you friends with your friends? Most friendships only start because of some random commonality that stops being true after a while. And then people just stay friends out of habit. So make sure you choose the right people to be in your life!
I’ll wrap this up by saying one thing: Always aim to NEVER be the smartest person in the room. Always be the one who has the most potential to learn from the situation.
Never stop hustling & never stop dreaming,
P.S. I’m a Life Consultant and if you need more positive influences in your life, I’d be happy to help you with that! You can check out my official website https://myupself.com/ for more information
(P.P.S. You can book a 100% free call with me!)