Do the people in your life represent who you want to be? Do you surround yourself with people whose energy makes you want to be where they are in life – or are you surrounding yourself with people that represent who you don’t want to be?

It’s important to evaluate who you surround yourself with to make sure you’re able to grow to your highest potential.

Keep reading to find out how.

1. Surround yourself with people that can make you better.

Every year, I strive to be a better version of myself. I want to be a better husband, a better father, a better CEO, and a better adviser to my clients. All these things represent growth.

This growth mindset means that we also have to be growing and evaluating who’s in our life. They have to be people that do exactly what I do, in my work life and business. People outside the industry have to be friends and mentors who can accomplish the goal better than me.

The main goal is to figure out who you can learn from if you want to be in a certain position.

2. Are you doing things that represent who you want to be?

Are we going into the office pretending to be someone we want to be and then spending the weekends doing the very things that don’t represent who we are?

Are we going out to dinner with friends that support us in a way you want to be, and not where you were?

Who I was 20 years ago, is not who I am today. Very few things about that person still exist. The raw version of who I was, my personality, still exists, but the growth is exponential – and it should be exponential every year. Are you surrounded with people who want to grow to where you want to be – or are you surrounding with people that are who you were?

3. Invest in people that challenge you to be the best version of yourself.

I know that there are way more people that are already above me in the version of where I want to be, and those are the people I want to surround myself with and spend time with. Who are the people you’re investing in?

  • Are you getting results when you invest in them or if they invest in you?
  • Are you giving them the results they deserve to see? 
  • Who are the people in your life that are challenging you to be the better version of yourself?
  • What kind of person did you say you’re going to be this year? Does everybody around you right now symbolize that person?

These are all things that might sound “pie in the sky”, and maybe visionary – but it’s so important, especially when it comes to business.

4. Join a group of like-minded individuals.

I’m part of an entrepreneurial network where people can share ideas and challenges, and really grow and learn from each other. There are people in this group and organization that are so much bigger and better, and have done so many amazing things that I haven’t accomplished yet in my life – but I’m surrounded by them, I’m learning from them, and I’m growing because of them.

You’ll always be focused on what you can give and how you can add value to any group, organization, or friend that’s investing in you. All you can control is what you can give.

 5. Expand your circle.

People struggle in relationships, especially when they’re young. I’ve talked to a lot of kids coming out of college, who are trying to find that special person. Sometimes, they’re just in the wrong pond. Maybe they haven’t expanded yet to the lake or the ocean, and are just still swimming in a pool – a small circle of people that aren’t going to help them get to where they need to be.

Expand the definition of the person you’re looking for. What does that person represent? Expand your circle to include more people that represent who you want to be.

6. Don’t neglect your relationships.

There are tons of friends I’ve had since high school, and even some from elementary school. I still value the relationships I have from school, some of which are still great friends of mine – and I’m so grateful for it.

Some of those friends were more like acquaintances when we were young, but now we have so many things in common that we’re great friends. Some friendships grow at a level that’s exponential – so it’s important to never neglect those relationships, and evaluate how you can grow.

 How are you making this a priority moving into next year? How are you evaluating your relationships?

 7. You control the “room” that you’re in.

A very simple analogy when it comes to relationships that I use all the time, is if you’re looking for a person to start a family with and you’re looking for a lifelong partner, which place do you think you might find the right person for your future? Which room represents the person you want to be?

 The analogy is: which room are you in – and how is it expanding you and leveling you up to where you want to be?

 If I find myself not challenged in the room that I’m in, I change rooms. I grow and build something bigger than myself – whether it’s in business, friendships, or the circles around us, it’s always something we’re doing. By getting better every year, I’m a bit closer to the husband I want to be, to the father I want to be, and the friend that I’m aiming to be. The main thing to remember, is that you can control what you invest – and what you give.

 8. Evaluate who you surround yourself with.

Figure out what kinds of people are where you want to be.

  • Who are those people?
  • Do you know them?
  • Are they people that you want to know?
  • How can you meet these types of people?
  • What pond/lake/ocean are they in?

Swimming in a pool might be easy, but there’s nothing scarier than being in the Caribbean and jumping into the middle of the ocean. You have to remind yourself that if you’re good enough in one place, you’re good enough anywhere. Don’t be afraid to meet people who are swimming in the “ocean”.

The current version of yourself has to expand. You need to have a growth mindset, not only when it comes to the room you’re in, but of who you want to be.  

Maybe there are people in your life right now that you have to evaluate whether or not you’d like to spend more time with them. Make a list of the people in the previous year that you should have invested more time in, and the people that really helped you in life, in family, and in spirit.

The Bottom Line

Who are the people you want to be around more? Write them down, circle them, make it a purposeful goal to succeed at – and if you’re swimming in a pool, remember you can swim anywhere. Having a growth mindset can take you anywhere, and it’s important to surround yourself with people that can help you get there. Find people who going to make a difference in your life, who can make the “how” in your growth journey obsolete.