“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~Jim Rohn
If you pay attention you will notice that you have picked up habits, phrases, attitude, beliefs, self-talk and even body language from the people you spend the most time with. It’s become part of your blueprint and often you are not even aware of it. Why is that?
There are two reasons. First, you have something called mirror neurons. From the time you were a baby you were mimicking those around you. That is why you smile when someone smiles at you. That is why you yawn when someone yawns. And that is why you pick up on habits, phrases, attitude, beliefs, self-talk and body language from those you are with.
Research on mirror neurons are still in the early stages as to what effect it has and what role they play, but you don’t have to be a neuroscience geek to see that much of your behavior mimics those you spend the most time with. That includes your positive or negative self-talk language, your belief system, you income, success and even your health and body weight.
The second reason is that your brain’s pathways and neural connections are always molding, it’s called neuroplasticity, and you can help shape the pathways and connections you want.
Basically, for this purpose, what that means is that what you allow to enter into your mind, either by the influence of the people you spend the most time with or input you choose to allow into your mind is who you become! Your brain will process what you give it, create those pathways, so if you give it negative input it will produce more of that, if you give it positive input it will produce more of that too. Your brain is a very loyal machine and will do what you ask it to do.
Today it is known through neuroplasticity that you can think yourself into anything, including thinking yourself into becoming sick, sabotaging success, and a variety of less than ideal outcomes. Which also means you can think yourself into not becoming sick, not sabotaging success, and other positive outcomes. There’s a book called The Power of Neuroplasticity that I recommend you read to understand this better, and no worries, it’s an easy, yet life-changing read!*
If you surround yourself with negative, always complaining, always blaming other people, you start picking up on that simply because that is what your mind is fed. If you surround yourself with positive, not complaining and always taking personal responsibility kind of people, you start picking up on that.
You can’t always choose who you are surrounded by like immediate family. But what you can do, is to limit your exposure to those you can, understand the impact your spouse, sibling or parent’s language has on you and create a barrier to it, and then work hard at implementing the habits, positive self-talk, attitudes, mindset and actions that will help you become the person you want to be, and work at becoming a shining light that can positively influence those around you.
That means seeking out people that you want to become and learn from them. It takes time and effort to change direction if you realize you have surrounded yourself with the wrong people. It takes guts to fire friends that are not good for you. It takes bravery to say no to those that suck the life out of you and create boundaries. It takes effort to seek out new friends, groups and community and it takes effort, love and patience to deal with those you can’t fire.
But if you want to achieve your goals and dreams, get stuff done and live your life to the fullest remember you become the average of the people you spend the most time with. Choose your friends and the input you allow into your life wisely!
Are you surrounding yourself with the right people in order to go to where you want to go?
*Link goes to Amazon and is an affiliate link. However, as always I only recommend books and products I use and believe in.