What Is Missing
Everyone wants to taste success, whether it be in romantic relationships, finances, emotional health, or friendship. There are all different aspects of life to consider and we want to feel fulfilled in most of them. The problem is that most people find themselves lacking in one or more aspects of life.
Why? The biggest reason for a lack of fulfillment in life is low standards.
If there is one thing that can impact every aspect of your life and change it, your business prospects, your financial state, and the health of your relationships… it’s your standards.
I’d like you to think about the people you spend the majority of your time with. Who do you work with? Who do you date? What is your partner like? What type of people do you call a friend? It might just be that they all have something in common. They’re negative. They’re pessimists. They’re naysaying, toxic people who are dragging you down.
It’s hard to face up to the idea that your standards in people have been holding you back. Just as holding too high a standard for yourself leads to you holding others up to impossible standards, the opposite is true. When your standards aren’t high enough you attract people with impossibly low standards. Whether it’s a conscious choice or not, they will do anything to keep you down at the same level as them. This isn’t about holding your inner circle to impossible standards, it’s about raising your standards and finding an inner circle that matches that energy.
Some people would say this is the law of attraction in its simplest form. There is an excellent quote that sums it up, and while Goodreads attributes it to Confucius, there is no way to determine where it originated (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7854941-if-you-are-the-smartest-person-in-the-room-then). Regardless, the point stands:
“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”
Life is about growth and every single day you wake up is a fresh opportunity to stretch yourself and improve. When you’re the smartest person in the room it’s probably because you orchestrated it as such. You have chosen the room because you know you’re head and shoulders above everyone else. After all, it makes you feel good. It’s the same as the person who seeks out romantic partners who have less education and life experience. It wasn’t a coincidence. If you look back at their dating history you will see a pattern. They have a need to feel superior and the way they do so is by surrounding themselves with people they deem less intelligent. That way, they always feel intelligent which makes them feel more confident.
It’s an illusion.
They aren’t highly intelligent, they’re simply more intelligent than the people they hang out with which is an intentional move to feel more intelligent. They aren’t truly more confident as soon as they find themselves in an unfamiliar situation that confidence pops like a balloon.
If you have ever done this or felt this way, then you know that you have intentionally allowed your standards to dip in order to attract the wrong people so you feel better about yourself.
That’s the thing. Some people are unaware of their low standards, and some do it consciously. Though both are a form of self-sabotage, the latter is unconscious self-sabotage.
The Help Of Quality People
One of the greatest ways that you can invest in yourself is by surrounding yourself with the right people – Winners, Supporters And Optimists.
The people you spend a lot of time with can have a major influence on your mood. They impact how you see the world. They can even prejudice how you see yourself and the expectations you hold for both yourself and others.
If you choose to surround yourself with only positive people, then you are more likely to embrace empowering beliefs. You are more likely to see life as something that is happening for you rather than to you. Positive people make you feel happier, negative people don’t. Positive people make you more open-minded, negative people don’t.
Think of a highly positive friend and how you feel after spending time with them versus an incredibly negative friend and how you feel after spending time with them… you know there’s a difference, don’t you? You know there are friends or family members you walk away from feeling empowered and uplifted.
Just as you know there are friends or family members you feel drained by when you walk away. You groan when their name pops up on your phone screen, whether it’s a phone call or a simple text message.
The people you spend most of your time with,
that’s the type of person you will eventually become.
If you want to reach success, new heights, or otherwise, then you need to surround yourself with inspiring people. People who are positive but challenge you.
Do you think of yourself as a go-getter? Is your partner, team, or business partner someone who lacks ambition? Are you trying to feel your way to the next level of success, but you feel tugging from where those people have a hand on the back of your shirt holding you back. The first step to making changes to your friend group is to identify the people who bring you down or hold you back.
It might hurt, but it’s important that you let go of those negative relationships. The more negative relationships you can let go of the easier it is to embrace new positive people and build those relationships.
How do you determine who is negative or toxic? You have to think about how you feel after you spend time with them, speak to them, or text them. Do you feel good? About yourself, life, or in general? Do you feel ready to tackle any challenge? Or do you feel caught up in your emotions, upset, unsure, and uncomfortable?
Your emotions exist to communicate with you. Think of them as a gift to inform you of what’s going on inside you. Your feelings will not always be factual, but they are valid and the more in touch you are with them, the easier it will be to read them accurately. So, if you feel agitated, drained, or fearful after you spend time with someone, then recognize that this person is not good for you.
It’s uncomfortable to step away from the relationships you identify as lacking, toxic, or negative, for a host of reasons. Perhaps it’s a childhood friend, maybe it’s a family member, it could be a colleague you will still have to see at work every day. You can’t always burn bridges because sometimes there are obligations you can’t bow out of. You can put distance between the two of you while maintaining professional courtesy.
It’s always particularly challenging when dealing with family and co-workers. The former because there are always other family members willing to go to bat for that person and guilt you into making a different decision. The latter because you still have to work with them, even if you want to cut them off from your personal life.
If you’re having trouble with cutting certain people off, then you need to dig deep and question why you feel the need to stay in those relationships. The only way to escape them is to get to the root of it, change your mindset, and let go.
Surrounded By Elevation
Everyone has goals. Whether it’s to make it to the weekend, to finish the project you’re working on right now, or to have a million dollars in your bank account before you’re 50. There are goals and dreams of all sizes and shapes because there are people of all sizes and shapes. You don’t have just one goal, though, do you? So, think about all of the goals you have floating around in your mind or recorded on an action plan. Which of these goals is an absolute must? Where you invest your time and energy, those are the pursuits that directly reflect your standards. Just like your relationships do.
If your ultimate goal is to grow your business prospects, then why on earth would you be spending time with people who are negative? Why would you hang around those who distract you and put down your ideas?
Perhaps you are just used to certain people being in your life and you’re concerned about moving on. Maybe you’ve just never thought about it before and you didn’t realize how much of a negative impact certain people were having on you. Regardless, you shouldn’t allow fear or a lack of awareness to derail your success story.
You have the power to actively choose the people you spend time with and you can choose people who share your ambitions, empower you, make you feel happy, and push you to improve your standards.
Surrounded By Success
If you want to succeed, then you have to endeavor to never be the smartest person in the room. You want to surround yourself with people who stretch you and force you to grow. People who you can learn from.
Whether you join a community of people, many of whom have already achieved your ultimate goal, or you start attending relevant conferences as a way to network with successful people. If you cannot find them in your existing circles, then you simply need to expand those circles and cast a wider next.
When you do, look at how those people respond when faced with conflict. Consider how they network and build relationships with potential associates, as well as key contacts. What established habits have contributed to their success? Pay attention and learn.
Surrounded By Discomfort
How big (or small) is your comfort zone? If you surround yourself with people who live well within their comfort zone, then you will always live well within your comfort zone. It’s the natural order of things.
Ambitious people go to workshops, attend seminars, and constantly seek knowledge because they want to stretch themselves as much as possible. They are prepared to expose themselves to differing views, contrary opinions, and alternative perspectives. They push themselves beyond their comfort zone and they do it consistently and continually.
If you surround yourself with the best in your industry, the best at what you want to do, then you are going to constantly push yourself to be better than you currently are.
Surrounded By Greatness
If you want to be the smartest person in every room and on every topic, you are strictly limiting yourself. It was the late Jim Rohn, a businessman and author, who said “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
There is no better way to sum it up than that. You are the average of five people, so who do you spend the majority of your time with? Is it people who challenge you? People who push you? People who constantly set the bar higher?
If you want to be a master chess player, then you need to play chess with people who do it better than you. Professional tennis players play against each other in competition and in practice.
Boxers don’t just see each other when the bell rings, or in the press conferences running up to it. They enlist great boxers to spar with to prepare for the big bout. It doesn’t matter whether you want to play better poker, improve your trivia skills, or become a master yogi. Whatever you want to do, you have to grow by relying on people that are better than you. It’s as simple as that. Whether you’re at work or at play, surround yourself with winners. Surround yourself with people who are better than you.
You will always come across people constantly plagued by drama. You know the type, the people who are in constant turmoil and trap themselves in pity, never moving beyond their current position.
Life is tough, it’s hard enough without having others trying to drag you down to their level. Once you cut those people out of your life, you will have to constantly set and maintain your boundaries to ensure that more of those people do not find their way into your circle. It will be a constant battle because as you socialize and network you will meet more people who will introduce you to more people.
You may have a positive interaction with someone upon first meeting, perhaps even multiple meetings. However, when the red flags of toxicity rear their ugly heads you must be prepared to take action.
You can’t always win. And, on your path to success, you will run into naysayers, negativity, and obstacles. When you do, there is nothing more satisfying than someone who is ready to listen to your fears and doubts. That isn’t enough. They can’t just listen. It’s just as important that they cheer you on and motivate you to do better.
Our friends and family should be cheerleaders (and you should be the same for them). But even cheerleaders have to get tough with the chips are down. Those are the relationships you should focus on. The people who propel and energize you.
Cultivating Real Relationships
Social media has its uses, but it has grown far too intertwined in our lives. For many, they have taken over the real relationships we have. Social media can also be a difficult reminder of the things you wanted to do but didn’t. The things you would like to have, but don’t. Or the things that you wanted to accomplish, but not only have you not but someone else has. It can be difficult, especially when you watch someone else’s stories or to see all of these incredible adventures they’re having.
You see the adventures, that’s just the highlights. You don’t see the work that went in behind the scenes. You don’t see the breakdowns, fights, tears, and sweat that went into achieving it. You get to see the pretty picture they want to share, not the effort and strife that came with it. Social media focuses on the result, but you need to focus on the process.
Observe When You Can’t Engage
Not everything is nearby or in front of your face to engage with. Sometimes, you have to make do with what you can and that means observing. For example, a person desperate to play a sport can watch that sport when they are unable to actively engage in it.
There’s a reason that football coaches show their team highlights of the competition. It isn’t just about practicing the plays they plan to employ to stop the other team. It’s about seeing them in action and understanding how they play.
Likewise, not everyone can go to conferences and network with movers and shakers. There are monetary obstacles, as well as scheduling problems. That doesn’t mean you should miss out on everything just because you don’t have direct access. That is your opportunity to watch webinars, to subscribe to relevant blogs, to listen to podcasts that offer knowledge.
The same is true for the people you surround yourself with. You might not know or have access to high-performing people. If you can’t get to them in person, you can go to where they spend their time online.
That’s where social media is useful. Consume the thoughts and advice of highly successful people. You can listen to a podcast on your commute. You reach watch webinars in your spare time, read books, and observe.
Attracting The Right People
We have spoken at length about the time-bandits, energy suckers, and emotional vampires you need to cut from your life. We have touched on the type of people you want to attract and where you might find them.
Those time-bandits, energy suckers, and emotional vampires are a reflection of the incorrect stories you have told yourself that turned into limiting beliefs. They are a mirror of your insecurities. But it’s up to you to change who you attract and how they interact with you. To do so you have to first change how you feel and think about yourself.
Before you can start changing and improving your relationships you have to work on your self-image. Everyone has a vibe. Other people pick up on that vibe. Have you ever met someone and had an immediate spark, platonic or otherwise?
A spark that made you realize that this was your kind of person? The start of a beautiful friendship. If your self-imagine is low then you will emit negative vibes, but when your self-image is flying high your vibes will be feel-good! Those vibes attract people. Just as feel-good vibes attract people with feel-good vibes so do bad vibes attract people with bad vibes.
The more people with bad vibes you attract the more you will draw negative experiences to you. This will simply validate your feelings that you’re a victim, that the world is awful, and that nothing good can happen.
If you want to attract positive people, then you have to start with yourself. You need to be a more positive person. You have to think more positively about your life and your future. You can start by being grateful which means you need to review your life and find all the different things you feel grateful for.
Those are the things you can focus on while you work on becoming a more positive person. Now, let’s look at a few ways you can easily attract naturally positive people.
People can feel it, whether you believe in yourself or not. If you don’t, then you will likely attract other people who also struggle with self-belief. Start believing in everything you are, it begins with total acceptance.
Your talents, strengths, attributes, gifts, and even your physical traits. Accept all of it. Show yourself kindness. Correct negative thoughts, correct negative self-talk, embrace positive self-talk, use positive affirmations, and honor yourself, your wants, desires, and truths. That will attract positive people.
A lack of forgiveness, whether it’s toward others or yourself, is negative energy that will hold you back and attract more negativity. If you have made a mistake, accept that you have and forgive yourself for it. If someone else has harmed you, betrayed you, or cause you any type of emotional pain, then let go of the anger you have been holding onto.
Forgiveness is not about letting others off the hook. Forgiveness is beneficial to you and allows you to move forward. You don’t have to let that person back in. You don’t have to have a conversation with them. You only need to make peace within yourself and move forward.
Like For Like
If you want to attract positive people and positive experiences, you need to feel positive about yourself and your life. You have to look at your past as an opportunity for learning. You have to view your current situation as a chance to grow and your chance to shape your future. That positive mindset is what will help attract positive situations and people to you.
If there are positive relationships in your life, embrace them. If there are inspirational people in your life, embrace them. The people who motivate and empower you, embrace them! You should also do the same in return. Celebrate when others succeed. Celebrate your own successes.
Pay attention to your thoughts, if they veer to the negative gently correct them with positive thoughts. Self-believe and self-love should become a daily practice.
The naysayer who constantly puts your ideas down. The negative nelly who laughs in response to your suggestions and tells you your dreams are impossible. The pessimist who isn’t above sabotaging you when good things start to happen. What do you do with them?
Protect Your Goals
If you try to erect a house of cards during strong wind, how far do you think you will get? You’re not going to get far, but you will get frustrated. Think of naysayers as the wind and your big ideas as the house of cards you have been trying to build. Your efforts will be in vain if you don’t take steps to protect them.
The naysays focus on all of the dangers and the downsides, they’re skeptical and discouraging. They are quick to offer anecdotal stories of failure somewhere related to your goal. Every second you sit and listen is like another strong gust of wind coming for your house of card. In the end, you have lost all self-confidence and you wonder whether you should go through with it.
But before you spoke to this person you felt optimistic! You were flying high, confident that you could do this. Your goals matter too much to allow others the power to taint them. Protect your goals and don’t let naysayers have the chance to damage them. If you know a naysayer, don’t share your ideas or goals with them.
Consider The Source
Before you even consider heeding someone’s advice, you have to consider the source. Is the person offering advice living the type of life you want for yourself? Is the person offering advice successful in what you are pursuing?
Or do they have any relevant experience? Does the person offering you advice have expertise or knowledge in what they’re speaking about? The answers to those questions can help you determine whether the source is a worthy one.
If you want to eat well and lose weight, but an overweight colleague who follows every fad diet going wants to offer advice… it’s probably best to ignore them. Unless they are warning you off of a specific fad diet.
Then they may be speaking the truth. If you’re starting a business and your friend is offering advice even though they have never started a business or worked in the industry of your focus… you can pretty much ignore everything they have to say.
If you’re desperate to quit smoking, but your smoking friends try to warn you about how hard it is… they’re not wrong, it is hard, but they’re not great sources of advice on the subject.
Analyze the Message
When you’re dealing with a naysayer, pay attention to their message and the words they use.
- Does what they’re saying resonate with you?
- Is there any validity to their words?
- Will you be better off if you apply this advice?
- Is this person coming from a place of love? Or are they coming from a place of fear?
If you answer no to any of these questions, then this is likely advice you can ignore. Even though they may believe it is well-intended.
Tune It Out, Refuse To Engage
If someone is offering bad advice or is just discouraging in general, then you have to tune it and them out. Just because someone is willing to offer you advice does not mean that you are beholden to take it.
If you have an idea, you have done the research, consulted with experts, and gone to great length to put a plan together, you don’t need to listen to a naysayer standing by to tell you that you’re wrong. Provided your ideas, goals, or plans are informed, then the only advice you need is from experts. The only approval you need to seek is the people who would be directly impacted by the decision or plan you have put together.
Additionally, it’s important that you know that naysayers are as resolute in their views as you are staunch about your goals. Don’t engage in their discussions. You don’t have to fight back or justify your stance. It’s a waste of time and energy.
When we talk about enabling and enablers it’s generally a negative thing. But, in this context, you need people who enable you to do positive things. People who encourage you, build you up and motivate you. Those are the people you should surround yourself with. There is nothing worse than having no one to turn to when you need help. Think of who can help and build those relationships.
If you were to imagine your ideal life, what does that vision look like? When naysayers distract you it’s probably because you took your eye off that vision. Push your focus back to your vision and think about what it is you want to achieve. What do you want out of life? Is the opinion of a naysayer worth derailing that? No. Don’t let a naysayer put you off of your purpose.
Show The Red Card
If you can, show naysayers in your life the red card. You don’t have to engage with people who only want to put your ideas down. The best course of action in dealing with people trying to darken your worldview is to remove them from your life entirely. If that isn’t possible, reduce contact as much as possible.
If it’s a colleague, spend your time with other co-workers. If it’s a friend, spend your time with different friends. If it’s a family member, you don’t have to spend time with them if you don’t want to. When you are forced to, you can engage in subjects unrelated to your goals.
Surrounding yourself with the right people is a key investment in your future, get started today!
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