The power of surrounding yourself with the right people.

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Jim Rohn once said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Whether we realized it or not we become like the 5 people we spend the most time with. We start behaving like them, thinking like them, looking like them, we even make decisions based on what we think they would want us to do.

For example, there are many research findings that prove we are more likely to gain weight if a close friend or a family member becomes overweight. Similarly, we are more likely to engage in an exercise program if we surround ourselves with the fit and health-oriented people.

So, who are the top 5 influencers in your life? Do they make you feel positive? Do they inspire and motivate you to be the best version of yourself? Do they support and encourage you to achieve your goals? Or, do they tell you that “it can’t be done”, “it’s not possible”, “you aren’t good enough”, “you will most likely fail”.

If you feel emotionally drained by the energetic vampires in your life, you may want to detox your life and get rid of the relationships that aren’t serving you in a positive way.

The negative people, the naysayers, the Debbie Downers and the chronic complainers are like a dark cloud over your limitless potential. They hold you back and discourage you from even trying because they’re afraid that if you succeed, you’ll prove them wrong.

Have the courage to remove the negative people from your life and watch how your energy and enthusiasm automatically blossom. Letting go of the relationships that aren’t serving us is a critical step if we want to become more positive, fulfilled and successful.

Detoxing your life from negative influencers will also allow you to become the person you truly want to be. You’ll free yourself from constant judgement, negativity and lack of support.

Here’s what you can do:

-        Stay away from chronic complainers.

-        Stop participating in meaningless conversations.

-        Share your ideas only with people who are supportive or willing to provide constructive criticism.

-        Minimize your interactions with “friends”, co-workers and family members who are negative, discouraging and bitter.

-        Stop watching TV and reading negative posts on social media (yes, mainstream media is a major negative influence in our lives!).

-        Surround yourself with positive and successful people (remember, we become like the top 5 people we spend our time with!).

-        Find new, like-minded friends, join networking and support groups, or find a positive coach or a mentor.

If you want to make a positive change in your life, remember, the people around you have a critical influence on your energy, growth, and probability of success.

Positive people bring out the best in you and make you feel motivated and happy. They help you when you're in need, encourage you to go after your dreams and are there to celebrate your successes or support you as you move past your challenges. Pick your top 5 wisely!

Joanna Echols (MS, MA, PBC, RYT200), Career & Wellness Coach

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