When you’re an ambitious, high-achieving person, going through adversity can be even more challenging than usual. The average person just spends their life going with the flow and seeing what happens, and doesn’t really live with intention. You, on the other hand, are uniquely goal-oriented. But the goals you set for yourself — things like extreme success and excellence in your field — are tough. Throughout your career, you will experience difficulty and disappointment.
That’s why you need to build your success squad. When times get tough, you’ll strengthen your resolve by leaning on other people for support. Achieving success alone is not only impossible, and if you did somehow do it, it would be lonely and isolating. So it’s in your best interest to be smart and pick the right people with whom to surround yourself.
Look for Positivity
People will do one of two things in your life. They’ll either build you up or drag you down. When you’re building your community, you can’t just be friends with everyone you meet — you have to be selective. Think about how your mindset will change if you spend a great deal of time with someone. It’s been said that we’re all the sum of the five people we spend the most time with, so you can’t let those people be naysayers who don’t believe wholeheartedly in your success.
The truth is that misery loves company. If you’re a happy, positive person but you hang out with negative friends, your friends will resent the joy you bring to everything you do and start trying to suck the life out of your spirit. Find people who match your energy. Look for friends who are understanding, passionate, and strive for success just as much as you do.
This idea also applies to the advice you choose to take. Everyone loves to give their opinion, and if you pay too much attention to the bitter opinions of negative people, you’ll start to doubt yourself without a good reason. Once you filter out the nonsense, you can start zeroing in on advice from positive people with something valuable to offer and your best interests in mind.
Cast Roles in Your Life
You probably have dozens or even hundreds of people in your life who could positively influence you and make you feel good about yourself. But you can’t have all of those people playing the same role in your life. After all, some people are better at certain aspects of community and friendship than others. Ask yourself: what responsibilities are you giving your friends?
To better organize the way you spend time with your support network, award people in your life with certain special roles and responsibilities. Some friends are your cheerleaders, supporters, and superfans. Some are the people you turn to for knowledge and wisdom. Some are your sanctuary, the people you spend time with to get away from everything. And some are your coaches and mentors. Find ways to collaborate with these people and watch yourself soar.
Coaches and mentors are especially important if you’re going to be going through adversity and dealing with tough times. There are probably people in your life right now who would be honored to check in on you and be your sounding board. I bet if you reached out to one of those people and asked how they could support you, they would likely say yes and definitely be delighted that you thought of them.
Give Yourself a Fine Reputation
Dale Carnegie once wrote, “A great way to get more out of other people is to give them a fine reputation to live up to.” This strategy isn’t just for others, though — you can also use it to motivate yourself to achieve. Leverage your success squad by letting them hold you accountable for measuring up to the reputation you’ve built.
Share with the world exactly what you plan to achieve so you can stand up and be held to account. If you have a major goal for the next 12 months, go and tell all the positive, supportive people in your community that you’re going to do it. You’ll find out that when you share your goals with your cheerleaders and coaches, you start to visualize them more clearly. By sharpening your vision, you’ll find even more supporters who are willing to help you.
When the going gets tough, these same people will be around you to help you overcome your obstacles, work around the challenges you’re facing, and put yourself back together when things get really, really tricky. Your success squad is invested in your journey to live up to the great reputation that you’ve set for yourself.
Aiming for success in business is hard no matter what. But once you surround yourself with positive people, decide what role you want your friends to play in your life, and create a network of constructive accountability, nothing seems so impossible anymore.