It happens so slowly that many people never notice.
When we start our career or take a new position, we’re usually filled with a sense of potential and excited to see where this new path on our adventure takes us. We learn the ropes, get to know our team members and are eager to get started.
We might notice that our eagerness starts to fade, however, and we become jaded. The initial excitement turns into a “day-in, day-out” drag, and we might even join in with the chorus of griping and complaining that some of our coworkers have been doing since we got there.
So, what happened? Unless there was a massive corporate shift or drastic pay cuts, our position still has all the potential it had when we started. If it didn’t change, that means we did. But why?
One of the foundational blocks of The Theory of 5 is that we become the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time. This circle includes our partners, coworkers, relatives, friends and others. If we’re around people with negative attitudes all day — when all we hear from the people who have befriended us at work is how “we don’t have the right inventory,” “our company doesn’t spend enough on advertising,” “our managers are no good,” and so on — it can negatively impact our thinking. Worse, we might start to join this parade of people with a “victim mentality,” which will absolutely wreak havoc on our attitude.
3 Steps to Building a Better Circle
The first step to avoiding this demotivational trap is to recognize it. If we are surrounded by people with negative attitudes, poor work ethic, low ambition and poor results, we’ll struggle to succeed. If we take their poor examples to heart, we’re giving ourselves a disadvantage that’s almost impossible to overcome. Let’s not join in!
Second, we must seek out and surround ourselves with positive, energized people with a clear vision. These are the people striving for more — not just in a materialistic sense but who want to make the most of the opportunities available in all areas of their lives. They don’t just want to be exceptional sales professionals, but better people. They don’t complain about the challenges in their path; they are too busy looking for ways to rise above and go to the next level.
They might be more difficult to find, but our search is well worth the effort. In this group, we’ll also discover mentors — another building block in The Theory of 5 — who will share with us what it takes to live our best lives.
Finally, one of the most significant advantages we can give ourselves is to become the person we would want to be around. Instead of blindly following poor performers down the path of negativity, we refuse to give in to pessimism, cynicism and hopelessness. We might not have all the answers, but I promise you that people mired in a “victim” mentality rarely find solutions; they seem content to complain rather than succeed. We will find a better way.
By adopting this attitude, we’ll attract people who are also looking to succeed. This might even draw the attention of people who will ultimately serve as our mentors, as they’ll see someone with raw, untapped potential who is open to growth, willing to listen, learn and ready to excel in life.
Keep in mind that no one will be as happy for our success as we are, and those stuck in “victim” mode won’t appreciate our mindset. They might even talk about us behind our backs. Let them. Attitude is a choice; they’ll make their choices, and we’ll make ours.
By seeking out positivity around us and staying optimistic, confident and enthusiastic ourselves, we’ll build a circle to enhance our efforts, challenge us and enable us to reimagine our lives with clarity and creativity. With these people by our side, we’ll be able to put our actions and dreams to work and grow past what we would have achieved alone.