Your Circle of Influence – Are you like the 5 people you spend the most time with?

Your Circle of Influence – Are you like the 5 people you spend the most time with?

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn


It’s time to get real about who you hang out with. It has been said that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with: friends, work colleagues, family.  I think to some extent this is true. It is a useful litmus test anyway. Take a piece of paper and write down the names of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Now have a think about these questions in relation to your 5 closest…

  • Are they overweight? Do they struggle with their diet and exercise?
  • Or are they fit and healthy?
  • Do they whine and whinge, reactively about what’s wrong with this or that?
  • Or do they proactively look for opportunities and act to make improvements in their lives?
  • Do they support you to learn, stretch and grow and become all you can?
  • Or do they encourage you to stay the same?

Your 5 closest friends will give you an indication of how you have been living your life up to now and the things that you value.  You tend to “like” and be attracted to people who are like you in some way, people you have things in common with. If you want to make a change in your life, especially one as encompassing as shifting to healthier life habits, you may want to consider how your friends and family are affecting your change and choices.

Circles of Influence and Concern

Steven Covey in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” talks about being proactive, or reactive and how you can tell the difference. He has a model of the Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern.

The circle of concern includes everything you care about or spend time and energy thinking, or worrying about. There are many things in your circle of concern that you may be concerned about, over which you have no real control. Things like the weather, or war or the state of the ecosystem or planet.  The circle of influence inside the circle of concern includes those things that you have control over and you can actively choose to act on and improve.

People who have a proactive focus spend their energy acting to improve those things within their influence, and as such their circle of influence grows because they are successful, positive, productive and inspiring. They inspire others and become leaders within their circle.

People who are reactive, tend to have a negative mindset because they are focussing on things that they have no control over, worrying and fretting. When you do this then your thinking and emotional state becomes more negative and your influence recedes because you are only reacting to outside influences, rather than your own vision, purpose and goals.



Are you more reactive or proactive?

Do you spend time worrying and fretting about things you have no control over? Or do act and make choices based on taking responsibility for yourself and your own situation? Are your 5 closest friends proactive or reactive?

Your 5 closest friends influence you through rapport and modelling. They seed your mind with their ideas, thoughts and paradigms, as you do theirs. If they are really important to you, their seeds will hold more weight and be more likely to influence your own thoughts and behaviour.

Learn new skills effortlessly.

Humans’ greatest skill is the ability to learn through modelling. When you see someone doing something your mirror neurons in your brain fire and you learn as if you yourself were doing that thing. So you have the ability to learn all the skills and habits you see your friends doing effortlessly!!!

If you want to effortlessly improve your life, I recommend surrounding yourself with people who have the kind of results you would like to have in your life, or at least are the next step along the way in some respect. Ensure that they are proactive people who work within their circle of influence. Limit your time with reactive people as much as possible, sometimes this is challenging, especially if they are family, then I would suggest creating stronger positive influences with other people to override that negativity.

Be influenced and inspired.

The people you spend time with do not necessarily have to be living, friends of yours, or in your area either. I spend thousands of hours with my personal development, business and health mentors through reading their books, blogs and listening to their programs and CD’s.

Think of a person who inspires you, who has the results that you want in your own life and read their biography or research their career and habits. This is a proactive, positive and easy way of improving your influence and increasing your probability of success. If you want to become fit and healthy, start to spend time with fit and healthy people that you like. You will begin to unconsciously adopt their habits and strategies and become like them.

I’m not saying to completely ditch your overweight or reactive friends, just be aware of the effect they have on your thoughts and habits.  They are not helping you to overcome your problem if they have the same problem. Maybe you could have a talk to them about each of you supporting the others health goals, and both getting some healthy friends or mentors to be inspired by and learn from…

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