When you’re on a journey of personal development, the people you surround yourself with really count.
Here are a few reasons why the people you surround yourself with can make all the difference:
1. You need people to push you up, not hold you down.
It’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in you and your personal vision. When you want to accomplish something, the people who are close to you should be there to keep you on track. The worst thing you can do is surround yourself with people who envy your every success and try, consciously or unconsciously, to hold you back.
That doesn’t mean that the people around you have to agree with everything you say and do. Constructive criticism is integral to our development. We have to recognize our bad habits and the things we’re doing that might be holding us back.
You can recognize when the criticism you’re getting is meant to destroy your confidence and when it’s meant to help you be more effective. For example, someone who tells you that you’re not doing enough to market your abilities is giving you constructive criticism. Someone telling you that you’ve become boring and you need to party more is probably thinking more about themselves than you.
2. Surround yourself with people who are genuinely interested in you.
Your friends never ask about what you’re doing. They seem to show no interest whatsoever in your aspirations. Well, I’m sorry to say you’ve probably got the wrong people around you. It’s soul-destroying when the people who you’re closest to don’t seem to care about the individual you are and the things you’ve got to offer.
If you feel that you’re getting no encouragement from your friends, maybe it’s time to make some new ones. Go to the kinds of places where you’ll find like-minded people. A great way to do this can be signing up for seminars about your field of interest. You’re bound to meet people who are going in the same direction as you. they’ll also be able to help you on your way.
3. You need support and encouragement in the tough times.
Life isn’t easy. When you’re trying to go places, there are inevitably a lot of obstacles on the path. Some of those obstacles are external. You might face rejection, rivalry, and even outright opposition from the world at large. Some are internal – you lose your motivation and your confidence at times. It’s so important to have a strong base to go back to, to recharge your batteries and regain your confidence.
Really, if the people you surround yourself with can’t offer you any support in the hard times, what’s the point in having them around?
4. You need people who are willing to share.
It’s so important to to gain from other people’s wisdom and experience. Especially when you’re trying to make something of yourself. You might have all the talent in the world, but there are things that only a person with experience in your field can help you with.
The best kinds of people are those who are interested in sharing their insight and the keys to their success with others. Somebody who guards those keys jealously and keeps them all to themselves is as worthless to you as someone who hasn’t achieved anything in the first place.
If you find someone who is willing to help you reach the very same heights they’ve reached themselves, stick with them. Offer them all the love and support you owe them for being the wonderful creature they are.
5. Surround yourself with people who have diverse interests.
You don’t always need to be with people who work in the same field as you. In fact, it can be more helpful to spend time with people working in many different fields. This has the obvious benefit of reducing the chances that you’ll become rivals and have a competitive relationship. But there’s also the other advantage that you’ll end up benefiting from the wisdom that they have to offer about other aspects of life.
Another reason why having people with diverse skills around you can help is that sometimes you’ll need a hand with things that are not in your own skill-set. You might be creative, but another person might be able to help you with your accounts. Another friend could help with technological matters and yet another with marketing.
Not only that, but it can have a great moderating influence on you and the way you think. If you’re always with people who are thinking about the same things you’re thinking about, you can end up getting almost religiously indoctrinated into one kind of thinking. This is dangerous. It can mean you lose sight of the bigger picture and have no one to challenge your beliefs. It can make you narrow-minded and blinkered in your vision.
Keep people around you who are doing their own thing and who can test your assumptions now and then.
Have you got any other advice to share about the kind of people who can contribute to your personal development? Let us know.
By Caroline J.