You know the saying: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room…” This is true on many levels, not just with intelligence.
The startup scene likes to produce this type of quote when it wants to instill good leadership qualities. However I have found that this isn’t just about leadership of others, but just as important, if not more so, for personal growth and maturity.
Make sure you are surrounding yourself with the types of people who make you want to elevate your own personal growth just because you are around them. I’m not just talking about the people in your life that you go to for advice, those are necessary as well. But the types of people that you want to emulate in whatever area it is that you respect about them. This extends to your circle of friends as well. How many of us have a ‘friend’ that holds us back because of their own insecurity or jealously… it’s common so don’t feel bad for your success even if your ‘friend’ can’t get excited for you.
Think of these people as personal areas of life mentors. It doesn’t have to be official and you can do this from afar as well. The reality is modeling your behavior around people that are where you want to get to is paramount to you actually getting there.
I surround myself with those who inspire me and elevate me and that I want to be around. The more i’m around them, the more I want and the more I can give to the people who are around me.
So how can you tell if a person is genuine in what you admire. Well, the reality is that most of us have our flaws. No one is perfect and you should never meet your heroes… But you can sure tell a few things about a person by how they react to things. Like your success or the success of others. A true friend or mentor will genuinely be excited for you when you win. But someone who is insecure or not really a ‘winner’ will ride on your accomplishments and never really add anything to your effort. In fact they will tear it down with snarky comments, jokes or maybe even disengaging from you while you are doing your thing.
The thing is, if you’re busy working on your goals or being a better version of yourself, you won’t have the time to spare to give in to negativity especially negativity directed towards others. These types of people are spending their energy on their own growth and learning as much as they can from their environment and those around them. Including you…
Heck if you’re one of these negative people you may find yourself being dropped from your own friend-circle. It’s like T-Pain says:
Being an asshole aside, if you find that you have a ‘friend’ who is marginally supportive of you, or if this is you. Then you’ve got some work to do on yourself. Don’t despair, you’re not too far gone, I promise. You probably just need to start with some self-awareness.
A great place to start is to look at those you surround yourself with on a daily basis. If you find yourself is daily sit-down bitch sessions or aren’t talking about the good things happening in your lives then you may just be associating with someone who can’t help you get to that next level just by being around them. Find people who make you feel good and those that can help you begin to see things in a positive light, or simply those that will hold you accountable to your emotions and outlook. It can be uncomfortable at first, but if you are truly looking to walk the warrior’s path then you won’t mind getting a little better.