I recently signed up for a high-level course. I’m slightly in over my head but one of the main reasons I decided to join was because I’d be rubbing shoulders with people WAY more successful than me.
I knew that by putting myself in an environment with people with more experience and more knowledge, that I will eventually rise to their level. Scott Dinsmore said “The fastest way to do the things you don’t think can be done is to hang around the people already doing them”.
You’ve probably heard the famous expression by Jim Rohn — “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. We are the company we keep. Keep good company and they will rub off on you.
On the other hand, if the people you’re hanging out with are stagnating or regressing — then unfortunately you’re more likely to downward spiral with them.
Tony Robbins said: “People’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group. If your peer group doesn’t expect much, it’s just a matter of time before you lower your expectations of yourself.”
There are 2 great terms used in psychology that describe this phenomenon: social contagion and the Pygmalion Effect.
Social contagion is the spread of ideas, attitudes, or behaviour patterns in a group through imitation and conformity. We are incredibly influenced by the people in our social group — whether we realize it or not. Studies show that if you know someone who is getting a divorce, you’re 75% more likely to get one yourself. There are similar examples with obesity, having babies and even adolescent sexual behaviour.
The Pygmalion effect states that higher expectations lead to an increase in performance. If the people you hang out with expect a lot from you, you will rise to the challenge.
I recently observed this in my current Align and Thrive group. We completed a 10-day sugar detox and many students remarked: “I could have NEVER done this on my own”. It’s SO MUCH EASIER to do the hard things when we’re around other people going through the same thing right alongside us.
This is why group coaching works. It’s why my students are finally able to make the changes they’ve struggled to make on their own.
No matter what change you want to make in your life, the fastest and most effective way to do so is to find the people who are working on the same thing or have already achieved it.
Are the people I’m surrounding myself with dragging me down or lifting me up?
Are they propelling me forward or keeping me stuck?
Do they have the habits I want?
Do they have similar goals?
The same values as me?
If not, you might want to look elsewhere. If you’re serious about growth and progress, it may be time to find a like-minded community going where you want to go.
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” -Oprah Winfrey
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