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Surround Yourself With Winners

Surround yourself with winners
Surround yourself with winners

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the significance of the obvious but rarely lived motto: “surround yourself with winners.”

First a quick update:

“Why do models hate themselves?”
Despite their beauty, most models are full of self-loathing. Watch the interview where former supermodel Susan Miner, now a psychologist helps models overcome self-loathing to find their inner beauty, and real value and self-worth. Susan says most girls are broken and also relates her own experience of helping and guiding other models, looking for her own inner value and the revelation that she also helped guide and ‘raise’ her parents. Watch the TV interview here.

Now, let’s talk about the significance of the obvious but rarely lived motto: “surround yourself with winners.”

Recently, a freelance writer working on an article for Ryanair, approached me for insights into toxic friends and how to end the toxic relationship.

A toxic friend is someone who not only no longer supports us, but instead leads us down a destructive path – mentally, physically or emotionally. All relationships of every kind (friends, lover, business colleagues and so forth) need to be symbiotic relationships: both people mutually benefitting each other.

When the time arrives that the friendship is toxic and it is destroying you, then the only reason you would continue to accept such treatment is because you believe you deserve to be treated poorly. Remember, every relationship begins with you – you must love, respect and accept yourself and you must be willing to place boundaries and be clear about what you will and won’t accept in life. But always give, starting with yourself!

You can read more about toxic friends in my article  “Dealing with toxic friends”.

While toxic friends might be easy to identify, there are still other friends and friendships which are not as easily recognizable for being negative or unsupportive.

Most of us are aware of the common expression and admonition – hang out with people who are successful; avoid the losers, dropouts, negative people and others who bring you down.

However, few of us are even aware of the effect that our friends have on us.

Without being consciously aware of it, your friends, colleagues and family shape your character and influence, infect or destroy your values and goals in life.

“Character isn’t something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. It’s something you weren’t born with and must take responsibility for forming.” – Jim Rohn

Make a list of your closest friends and colleagues; answer these questions:

  1. How do they influence me – thoughts, ideas, feelings, recreational time and use?
  2. What do we most often discuss (negative gossip, minor & useless things, dreams & goals, grand ideas & visions)?
  3. Do they encourage and support me to pursue my dreams and goals or do they try to hold me back in mediocrity so that they can avoid feeling inadequate about themselves or avoid having to take responsibility for their lives?
  4. Are they in alignment with my values or are they trying to change me to want and expect less from life?
  5. Do I feel strong, confident and inspired when I am around them or do I feel weak and apathetic?
  6. In what ways are they shaping my character – my thoughts, feelings, behavior and morality?
  7. What do they expect of me and what do they want for me?

The latter is a critical point; you will unknowingly live up to the expectations of the people around you, the people closest to you. If people expect you to succeed and to do well, you will do so because they are expressing a belief in you and that belief supports and encourages you. It also shifts the image you have of yourself. If your friends reinforce the good qualities in you, then you will express more of those qualities.

Read about the experiment conducted in 1964, later to be known as the Pygmalion Effect: the effect of teachers’ expectations on students; it proved that teachers could raise the IQ of students when the teachers believed that those students were about to bloom in intelligence. The same applies to you; what do your friends expect of you? Do they expect and want you to succeed?

Yes, we live up to people’s expectations of us but we also become who we hang out with. In a group setting, each person will follow the dominant personality; they will copy his/her behavior and adopt his/her emotions, values and outlook on life. Numerous studies reveal that we subconsciously follow and copy other people – not just their behavior but also their beliefs.

A series of studies and tests conducted by psychologist Solomon Asch in the 1950s (known as the Asch conformity experiments or the Asch Paradigm), revealed that we will even change our opinion to match and conform to the group because when we are informed that the group thought otherwise, a part of our brain is triggered to tell us we are wrong – even if we are actually right.

In other words, we need to take conscious action to follow the right path – in alignment with our values and we need to ensure we surround ourselves with winners – people who want or already have the same things we want out of life.

(Read my article “Who is brainwashing and controlling you?” ).

In order to ensure that you are surrounding yourself with the right people, with the winners, get clear about exactly what you want out of life, and what defines a winner:

  1. Identify your values and goals in life
  2. What is most important to you?
  3. What do you want out of life?
  4. Where do you want to be?
  5. Who and what do you want to become?

Remember, “Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” You cannot simply affirm that you will succeed, you must take action to surround yourself with winners, if you want the best out of life and if you want to actually win. Also, read my book or use my audio book: “Get what you want”.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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