Success: Why your inner circle matters.
It is said that we become the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, and when you look around at society this is difficult to deny.
People move in circles, and usually those in similar age groups with similar incomes and similar lifestyles stick together. Maybe this goes back to the old class structures that society once felt compelled to abide by, or maybe it is just down to people attracting to others who share common ground (as the law of attraction says, like attracts like) but either way, it generally only ever serves to hold people back and stifle their success.
Crab bucket mentality is a concept whereby those who are alike stick together (like a bucket of crabs) and if one dares to raise their head above the parapet and try to escape, the others will pull it back in.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not usually intentional sabotage, it’s generally very well intended, instinctive behaviour (our inner circle simply to try to protect us from taking risk) they think they’re looking out for our best interests.
There can also be a more sinister side sometimes though, where people who are not well intended simply don’t want to see you move forward and achieve more success. These types don’t want to get left behind or be upstaged. Often, others want to keep you on par with them simply because they fear change and who or what you could become. They see and fear your potential.
The problem is that success of any kind requires growth, change and calculated risk taking on a regular basis.
Success requires pushing out of your comfort zone (climbing out of the crab bucket).
Let me ask you something, how often have you thought of doing something and been put off by your inner circle pointing out all of the negatives to you? How often have you thought of doing something but without even telling anyone about it, you decided against it, purely based on the fear of what others might think if you told them?
That dream of writing a novel might get laughed at, and that would hurt, right?
The idea you had about quitting your 9 to 5 in favour of setting up as a freelance where you could earn a higher percentage of profits and have more flexibility, but your friends and family put you off and said you were better to stay in the corporate job with the average but stable income….
We’ve all been there! We listen, then we feel unfulfilled because we didn’t try! We allow ourselves to be put off by the opinions of our inner circle. That’s not a recipe for success, it’s a recipe for depression!
So, what’s the answer? How do we stop getting intentionally or unintentionally held back?
Well there are a few answers actually. There is no “one size fits all" approach to it, but through personal experience I’d say that all of these are effective.
Reassess your inner circle.
Sadly, it may just be that you have out grown your current squad! Think back on your life and look at all of the friends you’ve had but moved on from over the years. It happens, each chapter in the story of our lives sees characters exit the plot to make room for new ones! It’s not necessarily a bad thing!
We can’t really disown our parents and siblings can we? However, if we are aware that they have put us off growing or succeeding in the past, we may want to think about reassessing the narrative of the relationship and setting some boundaries.
We can still have a full, loving relationship with them on every other level, but maybe it would be best to stop discussing goals with them. If they are only going to serve to discourage us, what’s the point? If you don’t tell them, they can’t have an opinion!
Stop caring what anyone else thinks.
This is hugely important! If you stop caring for the opinions of others they no longer matter, and you can do whatever the heck you want to do without worry of their negativity stifling your progress! These days I’ve learned to keep things to myself and it’s far easier for people to find out about my success in retrospect once it’s already done, believe me!
Get around successful people.
If we are looking to level up, we need to be around people who are constantly levelling up! Get with the people who are pushing for more every damned day, the ones who’ll shove you out of the crab bucket when you’re not even ready to leave instead of those who want to keep you confined to it! Surround yourself with the doers, the optimists, the ones who will raise your state of mind, the ones who’ll influence you to try harder and to want more!
I know you might think these people are hard to find, but they’re really not! Join an online community (fitness, diet, writers, personal development or whatever you are interested in) and network!
Everything worth having is on the other side of your comfort zone, but it is important to be aware that your inner circle may be the very thing stopping you from ever reaching it.
I used to think good and bad influences were things that only affected kids, but in the depths of personal development, I think awareness of them now is more important than ever!