To be successful in life your biggest asset is a positive mindset. Your self-belief, your internal narrative, this is the critical component. It's the reason why the majority of the world's top performers have coaches and/or meditate daily. Mindset Mastery is what distinguishes top performers in every field.
You may have heard this before but it bears repeating; You are the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time. Let that sink in for a moment. Just think back over the last week... In essence, those who we engage with most, have a huge influence on our internal narrative. It's the difference between you believing, "Hell Yes, I can do that!", and "That's sounds really scary. I'm sure I'm not good enough."
If you're comfortable with the latter, stop reading now. This blog post is not for you.
Still with me? Great! So, we agree that being afraid to do new things or challenge yourself, in the long run, leaves you feeling pretty crappy. We want to nip that negative narrative in the bud and get the hell out of "I Sucksville" ASAP! That's where those 5 people become very, very important.
So, let's audit your 5 people shall we? Here are a few to avoid...
1. The "Talk-Busy"
"Oh My God I'm sooo busy! You wouldn't believe how many e-mails I get every day. It's just impossible to get through them all. I didn't get home until [insert outrageously late hour here] all last week. My project is so high profile it's just full on all the time!!" Still awake? I cannot stand the Talk Busy!!! They literally don't come up for air. They are most certainly not interested in anything you have to say, and even if they were, they'd be too busy to ask you anything. In short, these people are self-obsessed, boring, and not worth the effort.
ACTION: Delete or Avoid as appropriate
2. The "Poor Me"
You can have just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, your house burnt down, both your parents dropped dead, and someone run over your fricking dog and the Poor Me will still have a sob story to dump on you. The Poor Me's sole function is to inflate the tedious drama of their lives into a misery reel which they inflict upon their friends and excuse as some form of social discourse. It's not! It's self-indulgent twaddle and most often an excuse for the un-motivated to excuse their lack of progress on anything. These people are emotional drains. Can you really afford that?
ACTION: Delete or Avoid as appropriate.
3. The "Constant Competitor"
Whatever you have or do, the Constant Competitor needs to have more of it, or out-do you at it. Usually the fact that a Constant Competitor has befriended you [well, 'targeted" you would be a more accurate description] is, sort of, a compliment. You are someone who has something they aspire to. But, before you start getting all puffed up with pride as you count the Constant Competitors in your network, I need to tell you something. They don't really like you. Well, they tend not to like themselves very much, but we don't have time to go that deep, so, let's just say, anyone whose focus in their relationship with you is to out-do you in some way, is not interested in you doing well. These people always have an agenda. Your success and well-being doesn't feature on that agenda.
ACTION: Minimize Contact or Cull.
4. The "Social Leech"
"Always the Guest NEVER the Hostess" is the mantra of the Social Leech. Now, to be honest, these people are probably the least toxic of the four. If you love to be the hostess, if you love to organize all the social goings on, then the Social Leech is going to feature in your network. Just pick your Social Leech well. If they insist on being the eternal guest then make sure they're a "Social Leech Asset"!
What's a "Social Leech Asset"? Well....Are they entertaining? Do they bring good wine? Do they stay after and help you clean up when you're entertaining at your place? Are they quick to pull out their wallet to pay for their round at the bar? If so, they're keepers. Congratulations, you've got a Social Leech Asset! If they bring cheap wine and then knock back your expensive wine...I don't need to tell you what to do here, right?! If they're slow to pick up their part of the check, or more of a seat warmer than a social contributor, it's time to consider editing your contact with them.
ACTION: Social Leech Assets are keepers - Otherwise - Minimize Contact or Cull.
It's easier to focus and get good work done if your physical work environment is clean and ordered. That part is pretty easy to control. But if your mindset is corroded by the toxicity or low expectations of the people around you, you will not reach your potential. So, as you consider your 5 people, consider whether it's time for a "Social Edit".
Mindset Mastery is critical to your success. You can get serious about it and achieve or be complacent and, later, grieve.
About the Author
Eimear Zone is an entrepreneur and co-founder of feminist brand and social enterprise, PEBBLE + ROSE. She writes on feminism, entrepreneurship, and mindset management. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.