Surround Yourself With Positive People

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,”

Unconsciously, we always attract people that are almost similar to us – same belief, same thoughts, same quirks, and vibe. That’s how we are designed as humans. Birds of the same feather flocks together sabi nga nila.

What if you’re ready for the next step but your dear friends are not? Would that mean abandoning them and look for more ‘successful’ circle? Just writing those sentences makes me cringe. I can guarantee that it also doesn’t sit well with you. Ang sama pakinggan diba? Ditching your friends for success? We don’t want to be that bitch.

Here in TWP, I’m into practical and actionable steps. Something more tangible and you can work on. Theories are nice but it’s also vague. “Surround yourself with positive people”  How can this be achieved without losing any of your existing friends? And where can we find these people that can help us grow.

Three years after I came to Dubai, I found myself struggling with credit card debt. I shared this story on my book, The Wealthy Pinay: A Guide for Exceptional Pinays to Create Their First Class Life. This was the same time I moved to a new company and met colleagues who discussed their investments and savings. Sure, some of my officemates would talked about travel and shopping but several would discuss about farming, buying condominiums in cash, giving one million each to their grandchildren, and our daily lunch will revolve about financial talks.

Others might consider those discussions as bragging but I didn’t. Instead, I was so inspired hearing their stories. I mean, they were my fellow kabayans who are so normal like me. They’re earning more or less like me. We have almost the same skill set. Yet, they have savings and investments that I first thought reserved to those who earn higher salaries.

In my mind I’m thinking, if they can, then I can do it too. 

That’s when I realized that people we constantly interact with can really influence us whether we like it or not. I’m grateful working with that company as I met a lot of amazing Pinoys and Pinays who opened my mind that I can save a million pesos (unimaginable that time).

Of course, I’ve also met some Debbie Downers who constantly talk about negativity around people and situation. You might have few of them in your social circle too. Worst, if they are family members ‘coz we can’t really avoid them. What should we do then?

Seeking out people who can help you grow is not something that will happen organically without any effort. On the other hand, being surrounded by negative ones simply just happens. 

In real life, how can we expand our network and meet like-minded people? Let me give you some practical tips.

  1. Start with being the person people want to talk to.

Obviously, if you keep on talking about office politics or your sorry life, you’ll end up with people who probably can relate to you. Like attracts like. Instead, try to gear the conversation towards topics you’re interested in.

“I heard about this business idea, I wonder if it’s a good one.”
“How do you think we can save a million?”
“I read about World Vision and how by donating 750 pesos monthly, we’ll be able to sponsor 1 child.”

It’s ok to talk about shopping and travel, but if you find yourself having the same conversation over and over again, then some things (or people) need to change.

2. It’s fine to let go of people (especially negative ones).

People change. Everyone grows up (hopefully). Our elementary school best friends might not be the same BFFs we currently have. It’s inevitable to discover ourselves and lose some connections along the way. It doesn’t mean we’re bad or the other party is not great. It just so happens that we find new interests, learn new passions, and the ‘spark’ we used to share sizzles out.

Accept this as a fact and you won’t mourn or feel guilty of the relationships you need to let go.

3. When dealing with Debbie Downers, stick with ‘safe’ conversations

It could be your aunt who questions your life choices or a cousin who always gives unsolicited advice on your business, it may be a boss that you can’t really kick out of your life – whoever they are, when it’s unavoidable to have conversations with the Debbies then I suggest stick with ‘safe’ topics.

Talk about the weather, their favorite movie, or the latest bout of Pacquiao.

By the way, one thing I’ve noticed with negative people is they crave attention and appreciation. Therefore, revolve the discussion around them. Meaning: ask ‘safe’ questions, listen while they talk, and kinda agree to whatever they’re saying (even if you feel like pulling your hair), sooner or later, they’ll get tired talking or at least stop talking negatively.

4. Reach out to like-minded people

This is one thing I’m struggling with. I’m ok with my set of friends and don’t really want to seek out new friendships. Besides, reaching out to new acquaintances requires energy and time which I value the most and don’t want to waste.

However, I know this is my introvert self-talking. It’s not natural for me to go out of my cocoon and be a social butterfly. Not that I’m shy. I’m used to giving presentations but it’s more of the energy required to exert on social conventions that drains me (to be honest though, I actually end up enjoying these meet-ups).

Dr. Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of The Power Paradox says that the first step to diversify our network is simply to pledge to do so. “Commit to expanding your social circle like you would commit to an exercise regimen, eating less meat, or drinking less. Make that kind of commitment.”

How can we expand our network when we’re introvert? Here are my tricks:

  • By default, I perceive networking events as a hassle and don’t bring value. My ‘I-can-do-this attitude’ doesn’t see the importance of expanding my social circle further. Logically though I know it’s wrong. Now that we’re going full-blast with our businesses, having these connections prove to be valuable in sourcing for materials, spotting locations, and meeting people we won’t be able to meet unless we attended these events.
  • In any training or conference I participate in, I make it a point to have a photo with the speaker or raise my hand when he/she asks a question. I would rather blend with the crowd but I do them anyway just to train myself to step out of my comfort zone.
  • I joined Facebook groups of entrepreneurial women. This is the first step for an introvert to mingle with others. You start with lurking, then liking other’s post. After a while, muster all the courage to post.
After months of being a member, I found the courage to post in one of the groups I’m in. In less than 1 hour, the reactions and comments prove how my story is relatable to them.

******

Working on your mindset is the most important, if not the only, thing you need to be successful in any of your endeavors. May it be saving, weight loss, investment – none of it will be a success without working on your mindset continuously. Mastering your mindset sounds easy but it really requires consciousness and effort. We should never underestimate having a strong network of like-minded individuals in our inner circle.

If you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and move to your next financial goal, start by reaching out to like-minded individuals. You can start by sending me a message. Tell me what you want to achieve. Promise, I always answer.

Live The Life and Business You Have Imagined!

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of