The people with whom you surround yourself have a strong influence on the life that you live. They impact the TV programs you watch, the places where you spend time, the books you read, or if you’re even reading at all. Collectively, those choices have a huge sway on the direction of your life.
But all too often, we don’t find time to take a good, hard look at the people around us and make sure they’re supporting us, and not holding us back.
By spending time with the right people, you can achieve those goals that really matter to you. So take a look at the warning signs below, and find out if your friends are roadblocks on your path to success.
Here are 5 warning signs to look for:
1. They take, but never give.
You shouldn’t be keeping score in your friendships, but if the only time your friends come around is when they have their hands out asking for favors, it may be a sign that they’re more “opportunist” than friend. Friendships should be a balance of give and take. If you ask for the occasional favor and your friend always has an excuse, you may want to ask yourself whether that person is really a friend.
2. They attack your self-confidence.
This is a big one. So often, people don’t believe in their own abilities, so when they see someone else trying to shoot for the stars, they immediately tear them down. It sounds ridiculous but it happens all the time. A friend like that is going to be nothing but a detriment to you. A huge part of finding success is about being confident in yourself and your abilities. You have to be able to look in the mirror and say, "I can do this." If the people closest to you are the ones giving you hardest time when you try to grow, life will be difficult, and success will be elusive.
3. None of them are ahead of you.
If you’re always at the head of your class, then you’re in the wrong class. You want to be friends with people who've been around the proverbial block. It helps to know people who are a little more experienced. You can’t always lead yourself; sometimes you need to be a follower so you can learn something worthwhile.
If you’re always the brightest star in your tight-knit circle, your personal growth is slow down. Success demands that you have people who are challenging you in every way. Success demands that you constantly push the envelope and try new things. You run into problems when everyone around you is busy learning from you, and never teaching you. When you can consistently tap into brilliant minds, you can grow two, three, or even five times faster than you ever could have on your own.
4. They stay in their comfort zone.
We all know it. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. It couldn’t be truer. Almost every time I’ve made something significant happen in my life, I did so by stepping out of my comfort zone.
If everyone around you is content with living life under the radar and inside the box, chances are, you will be too. This could be the biggest problem of all because it's not something your friends may be doing on purpose.
They're not consciously trying to pull you back into your comfort zone. They're just so used to how things are right now, that they have an instinctual (and unconscious) resistance to anything new and uncomfortable, even if it may lead to success.
So make it a point to find people who are not only pushing their own boundaries, but also encouraging you to do the same. It’s easier to live on the edge when someone else is ready to jump with you.
5. They want to stay the same, forever.
Everyone around you doesn’t have to be bona fide superstar, but it becomes a problem when the majority of people you know aren't focused on intentional growth. They have no plans to improve their knowledge or skill. They have no desire to find success.
Take a look at someone who is close to you and think back to where they were, and what they were doing five years ago. Then think about where they are and what they're doing today. If five years ago looks the same as today, something is very, very wrong and you need to run in the opposite direction.