If you want to improve, embrace change. After all, improvement is change.
Everyone from (Ben Franklin to Albert Einstein to Fred Zamberletti of the Vikings) has been credited with the truism that expecting different results from the same actions is just crazy. But year-after-year, most of us continue to do exactly this. Especially when it comes to our “friends.” I put friends in quotes because our “friends” aren’t necessarily our friends.
What does that mean?
I define a friend as someone who can balance the potentially conflicting qualities of:
- Telling me when I’m acting counterproductively
- Supporting me on some of my more creative endeavors
Too many times, our “friends” manifest only one of these qualities, usually the first.
- Isn’t that risky?
- Ooo, that house is scary!
- You’ll never make money doing that.
The people with whom we surround ourselves greatly affect how we view our reality: what we believe is possible for ourselves, and what we give ourselves permission to be, do and have, etc….Hang out with people who believe anything is possible and who joyfully set about creating realities they love, and chances are you’ll feel inspired, energized and motivated to create something awesome as well.
But the flip side of that coin is also dangerous.
- Go for it! You might fly.
- Of course, that Internet scheme you just read about will work.
- Wiring that guy $500 to cover the cost of sending you $5-million sounds like a good investment. He sure sounds honest.
Okay. It’s hard to come up with reasonable examples of being overly supportive. Suffice it to say that overly negative “friends” hold you down to their level while overly supportive friends can encourage you to do stupid things simply by being yes-men. You need friends with real-world experience in what you’re trying to do to give you solid advice.
Now here’s the hard part. Take a good honest look at your circle of friends. Will they be both supportive and honest? Are they too risk averse? Do they know enough to advise you about real dangers? Do they build you up or tear you down.
If you want to be more successful—no matter how you define success—you have to change your behavior. Sometimes the first step in changing yourself is changing who you hang out with. You don’t have to abandon your old friends. Just be sure to surround yourself with people who build you up rather than hold you back.
If you don’t change, you stay the same.