If you spend enough time with someone, you will likely begin to notice that you have slowly adopted some of their mannerisms, catchphrases, or attitudes. This phenomenon often happens whether you intend it to or not, and it can even happen whether you actually spend time with that person or you just see them frequently – think television and movie stars starting catchphrases like “wassup” and “that’s hot.”
The good thing is that you can leverage this phenomenon to help improve yourself by purposely surrounding yourself with those whom you admire. For instance, if it is your goal to become better at engaging with potential clients, try to expose yourself to others who are already good at this skill.
You can benefit from this exposure in multiple ways. Not only are you liable to slowly and subconsciously begin to adopt the traits of the people whom you have surrounded yourself with, but you can also conscientiously watch for the characteristics or techniques that make these people successful and do your best to emulate them. Beyond this, your motivation to be better and to achieve your personal goals will be higher as you naturally strive to be more like those whom you admire.
Finally, if you are able to witness others achieving the goals you have made for yourself, it brings the achievement of those goals from a concept to something more tangible . When you look at highly successful people that you don’t know, it is difficult to see the steps and traits that it took for them to get to where they are, which makes it difficult to follow those steps in your own life. But if you are with these people frequently, you can see the things that have helped get them to where they are. Your goals will then feel more attainable as you see definable steps that you can take towards those goals.
Avoid Negative Influences
The value of this practice is especially clear when you look at it from both sides – if you are surrounded by people with irritating or otherwise loathsome traits, you are liable to either adopt those traits and/or to find yourself already so superior to the people that you know that you find little motivation to work on self improvement. Essentially, you could fall into the trap of being in the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” frame of mind.
With this in mind, it is important to occasionally step back and examine the relationships in your life. Whether they are business partners, colleagues, or family members, there are some people you cannot simply cut out of your life, but you can work on either limiting your time with certain people or at the very least balancing the negative influences in your life with positive ones.