While there are so many ways in which we squander our opportunities, our social and professional networks reflect some of the most glaring and avoidable examples of this. The wrong network isn’t simply a waste of time, it’s also a driver of negativity and a hindrance to personal and professional success and happiness.
Yet, it’s a relatively simple matter to alter. Once you realize the benefit of a good network and start to surround yourself with good people, it’s quickly one of the most dramatic and positive changes you can make to your life.
The directions you can take once you have a strongly influential network are exponentially diversified with every contact, and by adjusting a few simple aspects of your life you can soon be well on your way to maximizing your success, and at no cost to your whatsoever.
But what are the true benefits of being around good people, and how exactly do you go about finding them? Keep reading, and you’ll soon find out!
Why Surround Yourself with Good People
Giving yourself the best chance of success means being inspired, enabled, led, and encouraged towards your goals, by people who have all of the qualities to facilitate your journey.
Nobody has ever made it through life truly alone; the networks that they formed, the opportunities that they were presented with, and the support they received through their growth all come from being in the right places with the right people.
Conversely, breaking out of ruts and escaping the drudgery and monotony of regular life becomes next to impossible if the people you are surrounded by are hindrances to your progress.
Often, there’s nothing intentionally malicious about a person’s negative impact on your progress – it’s simply their bad energy or lack of encouragement that can work to hold you back. For that reason, it’s necessary to spend a conscious portion of your time adjusting the arrangement of the people you’re surrounding yourself with on a regular basis.
The quality of your social network is what determines whether life is happening to you, or happening for you. It’s also the key to shifting this balance in the direction you want and really taking charge of your own existence.
For many who are embarking on a new journey, this difference is the determinator of success or failure. The need to surround yourself with good people therefore cannot be understated.
In some situations, this may mean cutting out some bad influences, but in all cases, it simply means going out there and finding people whom you can synergize with and achieve more. But what exactly is a ‘good’ person? That’s up to you to decide, but there are some traits worth looking out for, that are universally beneficial to anyone looking to better themselves, and these can be found across all demographics and in every location.
The first important quality to look for in a person is positivity.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Positivity is a fundamental driver of good mental health. In fact, it’s correlated repeatedly with physical health too. It’s well established that there are innumerable benefits to a positive outlook, and this includes a much greater chance of personal and professional success.
There are loads of ways to work on being more positive. Exercise, meditation, daily affirmations, and the right kind of literature, music, and media are all beneficial to growing a more positive attitude but none of these has as much power to really push you ahead as a supportive network of positive influences.
Positivity might be the single most important quality to look for in your journey to surrounding yourself with good people. The great thing about positivity is that it comes in many forms, from people of any background, and should be easy to find, wherever you are when you know how to look.
To best be inspired by positivity, you don’t need to find masters of your current discipline or even people remotely similar to you; in fact, positive people can come from backgrounds distant from yours or have pulled through trials much greater or of vastly different qualities. What makes them inspirational is their attitudes, not their circumstances, and the most important thing is to surround yourself with their energy at any opportunity.
Positivity is contagious, and with the right people around you, you will learn something so exceptionally beneficial and powerful that you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner. Simply being around positive people creates a foundation for success that will follow you through your life into every branch of your journey.
Learning positivity from others brings you self-confidence, improved motivation, increased energy levels, and therefore more actionable ideas and more drive to see them through. It’s clear why this is beneficial in any aspect of life.
Positivity is a great foundation for any approach to life, but if you have specific goals you want to accomplish, it can be very useful to find people who have overcome challenges that you expect to face. For a more precise motivation, surround yourself with positive people and people who have achieved great success, and watch how your desired path opens up to you even more
Surround Yourself with Winners
Winners are almost exclusively positive people, but not all positive people are winners. When you’re looking to surround yourself with good people, consider not just the fundamental skills, but the specific ones too.
People who strive for success are likely to be the only ones who achieve it, and while this sounds obvious, there are a lot of folks around who rationalize their inaction in the naïve belief that good things are headed their way through some higher power, or because they somehow deserve it.
Unfortunately, the universe isn’t in the habit of handing out freebies, and in almost every case of success, the successful person had to step up to the opportunities that presented themselves. As such, these people set themselves above the rest in their approach to life and their utilization of the positivity they have cultivated.
There is a significant amount of luck involved in success, and as a game of chance, it can feel as though there’s not a lot a single person can do to improve the odds, but this idea is patently false, and if you are able to surround yourself with winners, you’ll quickly come to learn why.
Winners set themselves up with the skills, the network, and the professional and personal tools to capitalize on the luck that presents itself throughout life. Whatever your goals are, finding successful people will go a long way to introducing you to the key concepts around what makes people great.
When you surround yourself with winners, you’ll realize that most of these people aren’t particularly gifted or special; they simply know how to maximize the chances and the subsequent benefits of being lucky.
This is the essence of the concept of manifestation, in which, when you focus on something clearly and continuously, it’s more likely to happen. There’s no magic to this; it’s simply about putting yourself in the right place at the right time and being ready to take advantage of the opportunity.
One of the key aspects of winners is this very readiness to jump on an opportunity, and this is part preparation and part courage.
Surround Yourself with Courageous People
Fear and anxiety are natural responses to the unknown. Contrary to what Hollywood will show you, very few people can march through danger devoid of fear and spouting off perfect one-liners after a frightening event. In reality, fear is inevitable and manageable, and once this becomes an accepted part of life, new doors open up to you.
Courage is not the absence of fear – quite the opposite – it’s the ability to act in the face of said fear. Courageous people are not fearless but disciplined to acknowledge the feeling as only a suggestion from their subconscious, not an omnipotent dictator of their lives. In doing this, they’re able to choose whether to listen to it, or whether to disregard it and move forward regardless.
Courage is one of the most important characteristics of a successful person, and it’s surprisingly one of the most misunderstood and least-taught concepts in life. When you surround yourself with courageous people, you learn to identify the quirks and techniques they use to differentiate between danger and anxiety, and you will gather valuable inspiration to carry you through your next challenge.
So, now you know that you want to surround yourself with positive, successful, and courageous people, how do you go about it? It’s certainly easier said than done, but here are some tips to get you off to a good start.
How to Surround Yourself with Good People
Set your standards
This is a calibration step, that involves understanding the nature of your challenge. It’s no good hoping to sit in on the board meeting at Amazon, or working your way to an invite to the afterparty for a royal wedding – at least if you’re not already connected in these networks.
Conversely, if you’re looking to start a successful enterprise, simply striving for a phone call with your second cousin who once won a pigeon racing tournament could be setting the bar too low.
Setting realistic targets will help you establish where and how to get out there and find the people of the caliber most suitable to you.
Set your bait
The Law of Attraction may not be supernaturally-driven but there is some truth to the concept that sharing positive attitudes increases the attraction between people. In social situations, you often get out of them what you put in, and having an expectation to take without giving is going to lead to your networks breaking down very quickly.
This means you need to work on whom you want to be, even before you go out looking for role models. Begin identifying your value and try to always bring something to the table when you interact with people; regardless of whether or not they seem to be ‘high value’ contacts to you.
Doing this will improve your chances and build you a reputation for being someone worth knowing.
Set your challenges
“If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”. This is such a common quote (from an unverified source) that it’s become a bit of a meme. However, it’s still a great place to start when setting yourself the challenges you will need to face for your networking efforts.
The idea behind it is that you should always be learning from people in higher positions than you. This is a very important and useful tip, but it doesn’t ring true in every situation. Ensuring that you’re the recipient of experience and knowledge at every meeting is also ensuring that you’re not the one giving the most in these settings, and that means you’re not contributing as you should.
By all means, challenge yourself in social situations by surrounding yourself with people smarter, faster, and more successful than you are, but also set yourself the goal of contributing and returning the favor.
If you’ve followed all these tips, then by now you are ready to get out there and action them. This means knowing how to find people, how to nurture relationships, and how to keep them active and functioning.
For this, there are several basic network principles to look into, and numerous networking opportunities to suit your specific area of exploration.
In networking, the basic tenets of good social behavior apply: be authentic, be honest, give back, and be humble. From there, it’s a matter of finding your venue, and this will depend on your personal circumstances.
When you do make contacts, make sure to keep them, and check in, follow up, and nudge the relationships forward at the appropriate times. One of the best ways to do this is to use CRM software.
Dex helps you consolidate your network into one platform and can provide you with useful alerts when it’s time to check in with a contact, or when a special event is upcoming. It also helps you keep track of previous conversations so you can pick up where you left off.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to make progress. This is as much a life skill as it is a networking one, and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start small and work your way up. If you can become comfortable with being uncomfortable, the world will open up to you, and your contacts will appreciate your courage and humility.
This is a great way to meet new people and become more sociable over all.
Find inspiration elsewhere
Surrounding yourself with good people involves dealing with the living, but there is still plenty of influence available from historical figures. The people you surround yourself with don’t all have to know you, or even still be alive; you can attend seminars and lectures or read important works of people you hold in high regard and you can still benefit from their greatness.
Make sure to set a wide scope with these influences, too. Sometimes there are translatable skills and influences from two seemingly unrelated disciplines and being able to bridge them can create unique opportunities for you.
Cut out the dead weight
Finally – and this might be the hardest step – it’s important to identify and remove the elements of your network that are holding you back. If you’re lucky, this shouldn’t involve cutting people out entirely, but in some cases, it may mean having difficult discussions or changing the way you approach your social life to focus more on those who are good for you.
Unfortunately, misery loves company, and for you to benefit from the good people available to you, you may have to cut some ties with the ones dragging you backward. From this point onward, be careful not to take on any more baggage unless you have surplus room for it, and work on cutting out as much negativity from your life as possible.
As soon as you decide to surround yourself with good people, good things will begin to happen. The effects on your mental health, your inspiration, and the energy and ideas you’ll experience are immeasurable and lasting.
The trick to any good network is learning your worth and getting out there. Developing the skills you need to take an active role in your social groups takes time, and is part of the process, but as soon as you begin, the positive feedback loop is in action and every interaction spurs you on.
If you want to take charge of your life and stop being a passive receiver, maximize your opportunities and set yourself up with the best chance of jumping on them when they arrive by surrounding yourself with the right people.