​You are the friends that you make.

​You are the friends that you make.

friends peer pressure
Have you ever been with a group of friends and found yourself choosing to do something that you didn’t want to do?

You might see this this as you having succumbed to ‘peer pressure’. To be honest though, the expression ‘peer pressure’ is a bit misleading as it suggests that the source of influence is the friends around you, when the truth is that it’s a motivation that comes from within.

‘Herd behaviour’ is inherently hard-wired into our nature. Strength in numbers, a desire to fit in and benefits in collaboration predispose us to behaving similarly to friends. Famous motivational speaker Jim Rohn stated: ‘You are the average of the five people that you spend most time with’. The downside of this is that if the general direction of our friends isn’t in line with where we want to go then we may do damage to our dreams.

So how can we remain in control of our future and not be at the mercy of a motivation that is, after all, instinctive?

Friends and our animal nature.

The solution doesn’t lie in trying to smother this subconscious characteristic but working with it. Instinctive drives like this are primal and there to ensure our survival as a species. Fighting it will likely just lead to stress and you could eventually find yourself alone and unhappy. Going with this instinct in a way that support your goals is a much better option. Consider the following motivational strategies:

1. Connect with like-minds.

If you are going to have people rub off on you then why not ensure it’s in a good way? Increase the chance that you’re going to be positively affected by making friends with people who seek similar objectives to yourself. Also, connecting with people who have completed or are further along a similar journey can provide a major boost to your motivation and performance.

2. Keep your own unique goals in mind

Even if you associate yourself with people with similar objectives to yourself, no dream is exactly the same. The motivation you are trying to fulfil is as unique as a fingerprint. Keeping your own goals in mind will help you to remain sensitive to the type of influence that will promote your own progress.

3. Don’t be afraid to move on

Goals aren’t static things. They develop with your understanding and often change completely. Both as you go through different phases of your life and as you fulfil your ambitions. If group objectives no longer line up with yours then it’s perhaps time to develop a new network of friends. Remember that moving on doesn’t mean losing touch with all the friends and situations that have brought you to where you are now. It’s simply about setting yourself in the right environment for your own growth needs.

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