I read recently about a study that was done on patients who had severe medical conditions that required lifestyle changes in order to live. After 12 months 90% of the patients had reverted back to their old lifestyles. They couldn’t make positive, lasting changes even thought their lives depended on it!
One group had a much higher success rate, around 80% versus the 10% of of the first group. This second group had access to a network of peer support. Your chances of making positive and lasting changes to your life to achieve a certain goal increase from 10% to 80% when you’re part of a group working towards the same goal versus going solo. That’s a 70% increase, huge.
We might think we can take on the world alone and remain in integrity with ourselves regardless of who we interact with or what situations we spend our time in, but the truth is we’re interdependent and highly influenced by those around us.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Take a look around; do your closest peeps embody everything you aspire to be in this life? Or do you need some new people?
Like it or not, the people closest to us influence the way we think and the way we see and experience the world. They have the power to broaden our horizons and propel our evolution or drag us down and keep us stuck in place.
As architects of our awesome lives this has some big implications. Firstly, we need to be conscious of who it is that we are and who we want to become. This is where a meditation practice can be super useful. Spending a little time each day, sitting in silence gives us space to tune into our higher Self and hear what our Soul is calling for amidst the busyness and background noise of day-to-day life.
Spending time each day in silence with your Self is the first step to keeping better company. You are essentially making Spirit, or God, or Self, one of your five biggest influences. This is an excellent place to start.
Next, we need to ensure that the people we are investing most of our time with are supporting us in our evolution. Remember, if they aren’t then our chances of successfully making the positive changes we dream of are just 10% versus 80%, so this is super important!
As an exercise consider the following questions:
- Who do you want to be? What qualities would you like to embody? What does your dream life look like?
- Who are the five people you spend the most time with? What qualities do they embody? What kind of lives do they live?
- Are the people you spend most of your time with in sync with who you want to be?
- Which people are in sync with who you want to be? Who do you admire, who’s a good role model? Who’s living the life you dream of?
Chances are there is a disconnect between who you spend most of your time with and who you’re striving to become. Does this mean you have to cut people out of your life? No, not necessarily. But if you’re serious about evolving and moving forwards you need to open yourself up to influences from people who inspire and challenge you to step your game up. People who are vibrating at that higher level you’re shooting for. Because spending time with these people will lift you towards your goals much more efficiently than trying to go solo and against the momentum of your existing company.
I recently had the excellent fortune to come across a book by an awesome yoga teacher called Cate Stillman (you should definitely check her out – www.yogahealer.com ). She is my big influence right now. Besides my partner, she is probably the second person I am spending most of my time with now. I’ve never met her and I’m not spending any time with her in person, but she is taking my thinking and understanding to a new level through her books, videos and podcasts. I’m pretty much spending all of my free time soaking up Cate Stillman like a thirsty sponge.
I also joined her yogidetox programme where people from across the globe, who are as serious as me about their health and wellness, can connect and support each other in the process of seasonal detoxing. I deliberated over whether or not to join the yogidetox. Do I really need to pay to join a group detox? I could just do it alone couldn’t I? I’m definitely one for going it alone usually so the realisation of the power of peer support was a big and humbling one for me. Yep, I need other people, lots. In the end I dived into the yogidetox and boy am I glad I did. I’ve been able to access a supportive group of people that are totally on my wavelength and striving for the same thing. I feel like I have people, a tribe, who are inspiring me to go through this process that I know is for my highest good but that would be much harder and let’s face it, less fun, on my own.
If you want to take steps in a particular direction, surround yourself with people who are already there to uplift, challenge and inspire you. You’ll be carried along towards your goals with greater ease and enjoyment.